Courage is the first word that springs to mind. It’s not easy to face our pain and say, “Enough! I’m determined to be free.”
Time is the second word. We can’t rush healing. An old joke in psychological circles is about the client who was told he would need at least two years of counseling if he came in once a week. “If I come in four times a week, can I get cured in six months?”
It doesn’t work that way. Our abuse took place decades ago. We need to think of healing as stripping away not only painful memories but discarding our coping methods. It helped me to think of my life having a regime change.
Healing entails unwrapping the pain, re-living it when necessary, and then learning how to live without it. We need to absorb the truths we learn about ourselves and use them to help us change our behavior.
It is a process—and process implies it doesn’t happen quickly.
Healing from abuse is a process and not an event.