Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Many times, in the process of trying to heal from child abuse, the survivor is told to let it go. It can be said with a tone which insinuates that it is wrong to think or speak of oneís past abuses. In our society it can seem as though survivors are silenced from talking about the abuse they endured. It can be seen as something to be ashamed of. I believe that many survivors of child abuse do not begin to deal with the abuse they endured as a child, until they reach their adult years.
When a survivor begins their quest for healing, they must be free to remember the memories, the wounds, the scars, the confusion etc. I am a firm believer in having the freedom to feel and express oneself throughout the healing process. Many times the memories can be extremely painful and a trusted friend or advocate must be a part of the process for the survivor.
Now, I donít believe that people tell survivors to let it go with an intention of being hurtful. I believe that others mean well when they say to let it go. Itís as though people feel that if the survivor can let it go then it wonít hurt them anymore. It wonít be a part of their life anymore. They just simply need to let it go and the pain will stop. Thatís not how it is though. A survivor cannot truly let it go until they have confronted it. Confronting the abuse is a necessity! For only after one has confronted it can they deal with it and move forward.
The survivor must take that very painful step into their past and deal with the emotions, thoughts, beliefs, opinions etc. Letting it go will not stop the past from recurring in their thoughts. Letting it go will not make the hurts go away. On the contrary, the survivor must confront the demons of their abusive past. They must have a relationship with a trusted friend, advocate, or loved one that brings a promise of hope into the painful memories and emotions.
The healing process is no easy task! It comes with a very high price emotionally. It brings up feelings that one would much rather bury. However, in order to truly heal, one cannot let it go. No, they must deal with it, talk about it, and feel it. They must seek healing through facing their past. They must not let it go until they feel as though they can. I believe that there will come a time in each survivors heart when they feel as though they can personally let it go. That will be a time of celebration for them. However, until they decide it is time to let it go, itís best to allow them the freedom of controlling their own healing journey.