As I peruse different sights of social media, one question I see asked is ‘how long will it take to heal?’ I remember wondering that same question early on in my recovery. I thought I was conquering a mountain as a one time thing. I’m glad no one has asked me that question to my face. I’m afraid I’d start laughing.
Those first couple of years are tough. You are trying to make sense of what was done to you and understand how someone could have taken advantage of your innocence. You are trying to ferret out healthy behaviors from unhealthy ones. You are trying to find coping skills that don’t harm yourself or the people around you who are doing their best to help. You are trying to manage the deep, intense pain. You are trying to find a new way to live.
It does get better with time. All of the above does get figured out. You learn to find peace and joy again. You live a normal life and attain the goals you’ve set for yourself.
And then you’re triggered again. All the feelings are never as bad as those first couple of years but it never does go away. You learn to live with it but you’re never fully healed from it. You learn how to have the abuse take up a portion of your life but not your whole life. I know it’s something I need to give attention to from time to time. If I ignore it for too long, it’ll get my attention again.
I listen to the voice that directs me toward the greatest truth about myself. I am loved and can give that love to those I choose. I am beautiful and allow that beauty to flow into what I do in the world. I am trusting and give that trust to people who have earned it. I am forgiving and give the peace that comes from it back to myself. I see things accurately and accept the facts of a situation. I am strong and act accordingly. I may lose these truths for a while but never forever. They always find their way back into my consciousness.
How long does it take to heal? Longer than you want to know. There’s always more to learn and grow and heal. The journey is tough but worthwhile. You’ll like and love the person you find.