“For the rest of their lives?”
Challenge that statement, and I can only say I believe it’s true. Over time the effects are blunted and less severe.
Terrible things were done to us and it takes a long time to work through the process and undo the damage. The injury is deep, painful, and we lived with our wound for a long, long time. As we grow, we continue to uncover layers of our inner lives that were tainted by the abuse.
For example, trust has been an issue for me—and probably for most men. It usually means we can’t believe others. I have some of that, but mostly I’ve gone the other way—I’ve been gullible. At least ten years into my healing, I realized that if people treated me as special and showered me with attention they could manipulate me and take advantage of me. Particularly, I loaned out a lot of money that was never repaid.
Whenever I heard sad, traumatic stories, I felt honored that they would trust me with their secrets. Sometimes they lied; sometimes they exaggerated, but they took me in. Only later was I able to say, “I’ve been had.”
That realization about trust came from facing my deep, painful memories.
Those two words express why this is such a long journey.