Early in my healing process, I asked that question repeatedly. I was hurting and I couldn't understand the reason for the intense pain. I wanted to face the reality of my traumatic childhood, learn from the experience, and move on with my life. But I didn't want the pain, or at least I wanted less of it.
My real question didn't involve why as much as it did how. "How do I get rid of the torment, the painful memories and re-experiencing my childhood trauma?" Like thousands of other survivors, I learned to say those now-clichéd words, "I had to feel the pain to move beyond the pain." As memories trickled back (some exploded), I faced each one. In private, I cried often in those early days; I raged and I yelled at my perpetrators.
In the midst of those rants and tears, I wanted relief. And it did help to vent, but it helped even more to talk to the two people who loved me enough to stay with me in my pain—my wife and my friend David.
What worked for me may not be the path for everyone. We have different temperaments and see life through our personal, unique experiences. If we want healing, each of us needs to find our own way.
I don't want to feel the pain;
I remind myself that it won't last.
The more I heal, the less the pain lingers.