Dear fellow abuse victim

I don’t know who you are as I’ve never met you and probably never will. Yet at the same time I feel a very strong connection to you. We’ve both been through the horrors of childhood trauma and abuse and we both struggle with the aftershocks of it all.

I know your pain because I’ve been there and lived through so much pain as well. I know the haunting nightmares. I know the debilitating triggers and flashbacks that can come at any moment and knock you down without any warning. I know the extreme depression. I know how dark life can become. I know how hard it is to live side by side with your inner critic who wants to see you dead and will not stop bashing you until he wins.

I know the feeling of not wanting to go to sleep at night because that would mean that in a few hours you would need to get up and battle through yet another day. I’ve also been to weddings in which I’ve felt that lonely feeling, that all the other guests were on one side of the world and you are all alone trapped in the prison of self blame, shame and guilt.

I know of those dark days in which everything is a struggle. It’s so dark that you can barely see where you’re going. You’re holding on to the walls trying not to trip on the many obstacles along the way and you’re watching how everyone else is just cruising down the block with such ease.

It’s on those days that healing from your hellish past seems impossible. You’ve been on the journey for so long and it seems as though you’ll be there forever and never reach your destination. There’s no end in sight and every mile marker seems to be getting further and further apart. Part of you wants to continue traveling yet you feel your strength slowly ebbing away. Why continue fighting when there’s seemingly no end in sight? Is life with so much pain even worth living?

Dear fellow victim, I’m a few miles ahead of you on the highway. I just turned a corner and I see the end! I see hope! I’ve been on this journey for close to ten years. I’ve invested enormous amounts of time, money and energy and I’m here to tell you that healing is very attainable and possible.

Over the last little while, I’ve been tasting real healing. I’ve noticed true and undeniable healing. I’ve felt feelings that I’ve haven’t felt in years. Feelings that are so peaceful and lightweight that it almost feels like a dream. It almost doesn’t feel right. However, I know that they are real. They are well deserved feelings as I’ve done so much work to attain them.

I know that I still have quite a bit to go and I’m not healed yet, however, that doesn’t take away from the true inner peace that I’m beginning to feel. I’ve told someone recently that I’ve lost my ability to feel any sense of happiness, however I now see that it’s possible to regain that ability.

So dear brother, I know you’re feeling frustrated and depressed that you’re still traveling. I know that you just want to pull over and stop traveling. I ask you, please don’t. Please continue driving. I’m on the same highway as you just a bit further ahead and I promise you that I see light. I see that it’s possible to live through trauma and abuse for so many years and with the proper amount of work and perseverance you can come out stronger and better than ever before.

Please my friend, don’t give up. I’ll be at the finish line waiting to greet you and we will both look back and see how far we’ve come. We will both rejoice together and perhaps wait for other survivors to come and we will all sing and dance together that we’ve made it through an almost impossible trip!

Posted in media, news-articles, op-eds, survivors-letters.