On our better days, we examine our lives and remember where we started. In those self-reflective times, we admit we've come a long way. A friend said to me, "In those depressing times when you tell yourself that you ought to be farther down the road, you're probably more healthy than you know."
Maybe he was correct, but it doesn't stop us from asking the question. Why not? Why not?
For myself, I can say this. I keep discovering the insidious consequences of my sexual abuse. It's a good thing I didn't recognize all the effects in the beginning, or it would most likely have overwhelmed and immobilized me. In my darkest moments, it seems as if the healing takes place one day at a time, or perhaps even slower—one small step a year.
I've jokingly said, "If I'd known in the beginning that this would be such a hard, painful journey, I probably wouldn't have started."
In my early days of grappling with the issue, I felt that way because the feelings were too intense and too brutal. But now I add, "I'm glad I struggled and fought. It's been worth re-experiencing the pain. I've learned more about myself. I've not only accepted who I am but I honestly like the person inside me."
Here's something I say to myself regularly: I am not quite healed; I am a healing-in-progress.
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A note from Cec's assistant: Cec's publisher (Kregel Publishing) plans to release his newest book, More than Surviving, in March, and they've asked us to provide a list of influencers. An influencer is someone who is familiar with Cec and his work and would be willing to help get the word out about his book through reviews, social media, blogs, and/or other ways. If you're interested in being an influencer for More than Surviving, email Cec at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know, and make sure to provide your contact info. The publisher will send you a copy of the book when it's available. Thank you!
For many years I didn't realize I needed healing. I guess you're normal as long as you've nothing to compare it to. I realized in my late teens something wasn't 'right'. But almost all of my friends complained about their families and situations too. So I decided I was maybe better off than most and just went with it.
It really wasn't until my late forty's, early fifty's that I began to realize I had or was the problem. It took longer for me to see exactly what the problem was. I was in deep denial on the relationship with my father.
When I finally accepted what happened to me, even though I would not name it, I was told it would take literally a decade to heal. That really upset me but mercifully I would not realize till much later they were being kind. I've been at this well over ten years and still healing. The scars run deep. I'd rather spend six weeks in a cast with a broken arm than twenty years in therapy over a broken identity.
My wife wants it fixed so we can move on. Everyone does including me but that's not the way this kind of damage is healed. I was attacked when my personhood was being formed. That's not meant to be undone. It's meant to last a life time. So when it's hobbled, even when the hobbler is removed, we tend to continue to limp. There is hope and there is help. It just takes time and perseverance. The earlier you begin the better the results.
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