Who has healed?


I'm not suicidally depressed. So I start from there. Going through it (I'm at 5 years or so) I felt like you do a lot. I got good help and therapists.

But I feel mostly like this is what I have to settle for. I don't find that bad considering. I'm a little depressed sometimes and it's anxiety mostly.

So yes I'm better, much. In the big picture what's it mean? IDK. I tried to put myself out of my misery so I wouldn't remember. Now it's all on the surface, here and now. It's a lot to deal with or it seems like it.

So I try not to worry and I rely on my therapist and I try to be easy with myself. I think i experienced CSA and repressed memories and I'm still here.

Some days are better than others. Most of the real bad stuff is in the past, what it was like then. If I never slid back, if I'm never really depressed again, I think I can live with that.


i applaud you posing this question, I think about this every day, and I know I have not healed. I can only speak for my own journey, when I was younger, it felt to me that so much opportunity exists to strengthen and define your life joy, and when what I had hoped never really occured, I fell into my next decade and then nearing another, in therapy, on meds, but there are so many things that are impacted by the abuse, things that then directly influence your quality of life and your confidence in seeing a future different than what you have known your whole life as being, and I feel less connected now then I did when I first began to detail the abuse that had been done to me, and i tried very hard to believe and feel and know who and what was to be my life path, the people I would feel complete with and a part of...I believed and felt hope, i imagined healing would show up as I committed to do the work, and really worked on knowing myself, and time passed, life hits you, and things occur that suddenly its years later, and a finite years ahead, and I'm unaware if between now and my last thought, i will know true healing, right now, i don't feel anything close to what I would hope healing brings, and my doubt grows
I like to use the analogy of a journey. I know where i started and where i was headed.
I use the term journeying. I say to my self and others that I’m on a journey. I’m journeying some days I’m high on top of a vista and other days I’m down in a muddy murky mess. It’s never easy. There is no coasting along, it always a struggle. Yet over the past 6 years of therapy and being more open to what has happened about the sexual abuse, rape and torture I have grown, I have only recently achieved a level of calm that I have never felt.
I am trying not to grasp and hold it. I know that life’s a bitch and this will not be the way it is now, but I do know that it is possible to feel a inner peace and calm and I will take what I can get.
I want to also say that I deeply respect and am inspired by everyone here and on this site. You are all true heroes!!! How many people do you know that care so much about how they function in the world. So many people just continue on the path of self destruction and not only hurting themselves but others as well. Never even for a moment thinking am I living in a way that build my own self and the lives of others. This is not to say I or any of us have never done anything to hurt ourselves or others. Far from it I have done things that I regret and am very sad about that. Yet I and others here have not thrown in the towel being content with the status quo of our lives.
A will say this again I have posted this before on a thread.
You are all miracles!!!! You all give me hope!!!!
Thank you!!!

It is my personal belief that we will never be HEALED, but that we can recover from the damage down from the CSA and ASA. I no longer have nightmares and flashbacks. But I can never forget and that sometimes hurts. But I no longer have anger and rage, and I have recovered my self-esteem. But being healed? To me, that applies no more pain from it. I am content with where I am. It took me 10 VERY long years and a lot of work to get where I am today. I have no shame and I have no guilt any longer. But I cannot call myself healed.

((( Gistin! )))


This is a great post. As a person who claims to have healed, I have been asked how long does it take. It is a complicated answer. First, yes is healing is possible. The complexity is how do you define healed. For me, I had an amazing transformation. I feel and live a happy life now. However, I would be remiss If l do not say there are lasting effects that do come up from time to time but now those issues are easy to deal with. I simply accept that I am happy , in control and that I will suffer some permanent scares. Recovery is well worth the trip
I feel healed when I feel love. I love how all you guys try to help each other. I love that hearing your stories and comments and struggles remind me that I'm not alone. I love that I found God's love in my suffering, and I can love God back.

Dale M

I don't know if I have healed or not. I don't think so. 59 Y/O now so it has been decades since abuse but I think about it EVERYDAY!!
I don't know if I have healed or not. I don't think so. 59 Y/O now so it has been decades since abuse but I think about it EVERYDAY!!
Will "Healing" cause you to no longer think about it? or will it simply allow you to think about it with a new, healthy perspective?

Perhaps we should define what healing *should* look like, then discuss if that goal is even realistic.

Dale M

I am new to this site.....that said I am still trying to figure out how safe it truly is. I've experienced so called 'safe environments' in the past only to find out later they were not so safe after all. I have a lot to talk about and a lot of healing to do.
I am new to this site.....that said I am still trying to figure out how safe it truly is. I've experienced so called 'safe environments' in the past only to find out later they were not so safe after all. I have a lot to talk about and a lot of healing to do.
No site is perfect. But with rare exceptions, I have found this to be the safest place I have ever been. You don't have to dive in the deep end. Just put your toes in the water until you feel comfortable with going deeper. Your pace. This is a journey, not a sprint.


I am new to this site.....that said I am still trying to figure out how safe it truly is. I've experienced so called 'safe environments' in the past only to find out later they were not so safe after all. I have a lot to talk about and a lot of healing to do.
glad you are here


Who here has healed?
Great question.

Full up, I am one who has been in and out of therapy for decades. It has lead to insane changes and wonderful growth. But I am not healed. Nothing can remove the scars. It is deep in the fiber of who I am, so much so, that if I forget the trauma ever happened, I wouldn't make sense, I wouldn't add up. I understand that can sound bleak, depending on where you are in your journey. But trust me, at this point it is not. I am insanely rich from the work I have done. The trauma didn't make me who I am, but dealing with it sure has.

I am no longer an open wound all of the time. I am no longer bathed in self contempt...Hell, I am posting selfies for god sacks...crazy, wild behavior I know. Just a few years ago, I couldn't even look at a photo. Now I make them.

I am afraid the word "heal" has to much promise in it. I really suggest looking to how you would like to change and grow.
I hope I don't sound harsh.
I could never be the same, but I'm much better than I used to be. For me, healing is about going in the right direction, and experiencing better connectedness to others.


An interesting piece to the 'healing' part is that it is different for each one of us since our experiences were so different - yet the common thread of it being abuse. BDD - you make some interesting points in that at one time photographs of yourself were anathema - now it's quite different. It's about change. Changes we all can make in our lives for the better - big or small - they're huge to us. I've noticed I don't mind the bed not being made until after breakfast. I can now let the dishes after a meal be set on the counter while I finish my coffee. I don't mind small items being out of place for a while around the house - because I was hurt pretty bad if none of these things were not done immediately and 'the right way'. My car can now have some small dirt spots or a few pieces of grass on the floor mat and I can get to it later. I can now hug my wife or children and not feel awkward or like I have to get away from them and go do something in the yard or the house.
I have to chuckle at your post WG because I'm at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to tidiness. I appreciate there is no right or wrong here. In reality we each found our own response to trauma, probably shaped by our early experience, not only of trauma but of being in that particular environment. I have a touch of OCD but it has been difficult for me to mobilize myself to actually take care of my home, my car, my body. So for me making the bed first thing, hanging up clothes rather than throwing them on the back of a chair, washing dishes each morning as I make tea for myself, keeping the place tidy, is healing. I love that we're able to tell ourselves the truth about how we run away from our pain and learn what we need for healing to happen. For you it is to relax what might be called perfectionism... for me it is to be caring for myself by paying attention to my environment and taking care of what has been evidence in the past of my dissociation. These journeys are amazing!
The trauma didn't make me who I am, but dealing with it sure has.
Love this line Bri. I'm reminded that healing doesn't take away the wound. Our body mobilizes its healing capacities as we attend to the wound. Pain necessitates that we pay attention. We may walk differently, carry ourselves more gingerly, all to protect the wound. It may very well be that the wound is so severe that we'll carry the residue with us for the rest of our lives, like a limp perhaps. We'll still be able to walk but will be reminded something was broken and the repair/healing didn't restore our body to full functioning. I have a friend whose hip was shattered in a car accident the night of his high school graduation. I visited him recently and noted all the chairs in the room were very tall, which allows him to sit with one leg fully extended. He just turned 70, so he survived that traumatic accident that left him in the hospital for six months in a body cast, doing so by caring for himself and acknowledging his limitations.

This is how I see healing of sexual trauma. To me healing is relieving myself of the residue of trauma. I'm ever mindful of the line a spiritual teacher uses "old friends come to visit." Another friend uses the line "when life squeezes us." I've no doubt that when life gets hard enough, the residue of trauma will surface... the fear, perhaps the shame, perhaps the anger and probably the grief. I may dissociate. I rather doubt anything could drive me back to a video arcade or to stealing lingerie and cross dressing. But the wound was deep, and I'm still carrying it... but dealing with all of this has allowed me to be the strong, compassionate man I'm becoming day by day as I continue this journey... with all of you as companions.
I don’t know what “healed” looks like… I don’t think it is possible for me to be “completely healed” in that I will never be who I would have been had I not been raped and sexually abused. I will never be who I was before I recovered memories of having been raped and sexually abused. I thought time would “heal” me… it has not, nor has “therapy” although talking to a therapist as well as non therapists, has, for the most part, helped me to understand who I was, who I am and how I have been impacted by these trauma.
For me, healing means no longer feeling ashamed or afraid of who I am and what I lived through as well as what the the impact on me has been… I have read some survivors use the term(s) the “residue of trauma” - not sure what that means or if it refers to the “scars” of trauma – those will always be there as far as I know and if not, I don’t want to postpone living until this “residue” is gone especially because if it isn’t gone by now, I don’t think it ever will be – if I could just will away the pain or other impacts, I would but I cannot – I suspect none of us can by effort or by finding some secret cure – instead we get up every day and do the best we can… sharing on this site helps, talking to others including therapists can also help - I am definitely doing better, but I am not “there” and don’t think I will ever get there (i.e. never be “completely healed”)….
At least I now accept myself and love myself – that is a form of healing.