Have you experienced any sort of trauma in your life? Most of us have. Perhaps a loved one has passed away. Maybe you have been through some very rough times in life. Perhaps you got out of an abusive situation.
There are many instances in life that present themselves to us that cause trauma.
“Time heals all wounds” might sound like an encouraging thing to say to someone that is struggling. It is a supportive thing to say. While it is true that time will help an experience hurt less, sometimes wounds take a long time to heal. Sometimes they never do.
There isn’t a set timeline for when a wound, any wound, will heal. Nobody gets to tell you when you should be “over it”. It doesn’t matter what you have been through. If it hurts, it hurts. And it can hurt for a very long time.
Telling someone they should be over the the death of a loved one or should be moving on from abuse that they escaped, is not helpful. There is no way to know what someone has gone through and what they are doing to heal from it. You don’t get to decide if they should be better by now.
I was abused
For 8 long years, I suffered at the hands of someone who was supposed to love me. He beat me, he sexually assaulted me, mentally and emotionally abused me. Any type of abuse you could think of, he did it.
I have a scar on the back of my head from when he threw me against the stairs and cracked my skull open. That scar will never go away. I was around 20 years old when it happened. It’s still there. I’m almost 38 now.
There are many more scars that he left on the inside. Ones that don’t show. Ones that only I can feel. I want them to go away. I don’t want them there. I try my best to not think about them but they are still there.
I’ve only recently been talking about what I experienced
Up until I started writing about it, very few people knew what had gone on in those years. Frankly, I was ashamed of them and truly felt like since I was no longer being abused, it should be “over”.
You would think ten years would be enough to get over it.
But is that something your can really get over? Do I need “help” because I am not over it? Am I not allowed to be pissed off about it still?
I’ve only scratched the surface of what I have been through. I don’t expect people to read everything I write about i regards to the abuse. Even if they do, they still wouldn’t know half of what I have been through. Only I know. I don’t even know if I want to put it all out there yet.
Until I experienced it, I never knew a human could hurt another human like that. I didn’t know that that much evil existed in this world. But I lived it and I came out the other side, still fighting.
You can’t come out of that experience and be the person you were before
Things like that change you, for better or worse. The scars are forever. Nothing you do will change that. No amount of “help” will return you to the person you were before.
Personally, I think I came out of it pretty well. I’m still standing aren’t I? I’m still here fighting each day. I carry my scars with me and don’t let it slow me down.
That doesn’t mean they don’t hurt from time to time, even if it has been 10 years.
He still shows up in my dreams and yes, I still get “triggered” at times. Someone yelling, someone throwing things, someone getting really quiet after I say something, those all bring me right back.
Don’t you think I’d like to move on from all of this?
Am I getting some sort of enjoyment by thinking about it still? Obviously not. But I’m trying. I’m trying to make the best of it.
To make the best of it, I write about it.
I hope that by sharing what I have been through, I can either make someone else feel less alone or I can prevent someone else from going through what I went through.
I don’t write for attention. I don’t like bringing attention to myself. I never have. I wish I didn’t have this type of experience to write about. I wish I didn’t have these stories to share.
I’m not over it. I don’t think I will ever be over it. And that is OK. I’m working on my own timeline here. Nobody else’s.
There is nobody in the world who can tell you when you should be over your trauma
There is no way for anyone to know what you went through, how you felt at the time, or how you are feeling now.
Healing from trauma, no matter what kind, has no timeline. Unfortunately, you can’t look forward to a time when things will be better just because someone says time will heal you.
Time will make it better. It might hurt less and less as time goes on. However, don’t beat yourself up if you never fully get over something. You are allowed to feel what you feel.
It is OK if you don’t feel OK. You might feel better some day. Or, you might not. That’s OK too. You are allowed to take all the time you need to heal.