You’ll Never NOT Have Been Abused

I often hear survivors voice these worries:

Will I ever by normal? My life has been pretty good for years now. I exercise, eat right, take good care of myself, and yet sometimes I still get depressed and feel overcome by shame. All the externals are in place. It’s my internal life that often doesn’t’ feel good. I have my memories and have accepted what happened to me. I’ve had good therapy for the old wounds. But I still don’t feel great all the time.

I understand this worry. I’ve certainly felt all of the above at times. At this stage of my life, I have a really wonderful world and most of the time I feel good about myself, who I am and what I’ve contributed to the world. The best answer I can come up with is, “You’ll never NOT have been abused.”

You’ll never be the same as someone who grew up with loving, protective adults. No doubt you missed out on attaching securely to your parents. You won’t have learned to trust appropriately yoin your parents’ arms. You’ll have to teach yourself to choose good people and avoid predators. (See Guidelines For Healing in Confessions of a Trauma Therapist. There you’ll learn ways of making up for what you didn’t get as a child.) You can learn what you missed first time round, but you have to work at it.

Personally, I wouldn’t change my own history of childhood trauma. I’ve had to work harder than other people at making my life good. Looking back from my perspective of 74 years, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing! My struggle to make my life good has led me to wonderful challenges and accomplishments.

Because I was disabled by fear I took up yoga. I threw myself into my practice because if I did yoga every day I could find an oasis of calm. I could count on an hour of inner peace. My desperate need for calm finally led me to becoming a yoga teacher. Being successful changed how I felt about myself.

When I gathered up my courage in my middle years to return to university and prepare myself for a career as a therapist, I was terrified. I’m so glad I stuck it out. The work I ended up excelling at – helping those wounded by childhood trauma – gave me a fascinating and worthwhile life path. I couldn’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling and fascinating.

It was my pain that motivated me to make my life worthwhile.  If I could, would I change my past? I don’t think so. My life is much more interesting than most of the people I see around me whose early lives were safe and secure.


  1. Krysta says:

    I commend you for writing this book and for speaking out for others. I have always wanted to help others. But have let others discouraging words stop me from that path. But also myself. For I feel I am not healed enough to help others yet. I. Recently was diagnosed with did. My whole life I was diagnosed with many things – add, dysthymia, bipolar, ptsd, ect. I was taken to. A trauma specialist and encouraged to talk at age three, than again at age five. But I. Think I was too smart to know that I needed to keep it a secret for my own families sake. I have struggled with learning problems, social problems, sleep problems, ect. I am a strong person, hard worker, but my mind complicates things that affect all relms of my life. Being a mother, being successful, financial issues, impulse issues, relationships, trust, commitment, you name it. Recently I had gone to a nursing program and was two months away from becoming a nursing graduate, to end up with my son being in the hospital, my anxiety railing, and sleeping in due to my sleeping problems (they say its sleep apnea, but I think its due to disociating in my sleep). Than the relationship I was in ended up becoming semi abusive on both ends due to both of our traumatic pasts, I had to leave for my sons sake. Now I am living back with my mom who I believe also had a sa past. But is not aware of it. I am triggered so much, and feel so far away from where I want to be. I feel my son and I have a poor connection due to my issues. I fear so much, that I feel I keep him from living a carefree life. And I worry so much. I am getting him help and myself help, but worry he will be taken away or damaged by me. My unpredictible behaviors. What kills me the most was that when he was a baby, life was fantastic, I stayed home with him, took care of the house, we both ate healthy, exercized and loved life. And we were inseperable. I was truely happy and felt hope for the first time. Everything was carefree, and I was close to God. When my grandfather was dying and my son was turning one, and we moved again, things just seem to fall apart. The old feelings came back and that is when I truelys started to deal with my issues. Now things seem more tangled up than ever. And I hope that I can find my way through, and get back to myself again. I hope I can get back to taking care of myself, loving myself, and being there for my son. To write a book someday, and to help others when I am healthy enough to. That I can be the person I envision. Happy, centered, wise, and helpful to others in crisis. I want to be a survivor, a champion, and a great role model.

    • Thank you for telling about your situation, Krysta. First, do you realize how fortunate it is that you have been diagnosed as having DID? If you get the right diagnosis and the right treatment you’ll become functional and able to live a pretty normal life. Typically people with DID are mis-diagnosed half a dozen times before getting the right label to direct their treatment.

      The good news about your son is that you were able to give him one year of secure attachment. At least he’s had this. Hopefully as you begin to heal he’ll be able to build on the close relationship you had for one year. (You don’t say how old he is now.)

      Writing a book? Yes,helping others is a worthy goal once you’ve found your own way. You indicate that you know a lot of what needs to happen for healing.

      I just want to emphasize one thing: make sure your therapist is skilled in treating DID. With the proper treatment the prognosis is very good!

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