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If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that it’s going to show up in a lot of symptoms that don’t seem to have anything to do with your trauma. 

You might feel depressed. You might feel anxious. You might think awful thoughts about yourself. You might have urges to hurt yourself. 

And you might not realize that any of that is related to what happened to you. You might be going through life, just assuming you feel these things because you feel these things. 

Or because you’re a loser. Or because you’re somehow fundamentally different from the other human beings. Or because you’re “weak.” 

You need to know that a lot of people who have survived abuse and trauma feel those things. 

You need to know that you are not alone. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that you will not feel those things forever. 

I know. It FEELS like you will. 

It FEELS like there’s no way out. 

It FEELS like there couldn’t possibly be any way to feel or function normally. 

But you need to know that, just as your brain was changed as the result of trauma…your brain can change in response to therapy, safety, and positive attachment as well. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that your past does not need to be your future. 

You need to know that it IS possible to attach to and conduct relationships with people that are not toxic. 

You need to know that you CAN develop skills and tools that will help you attach to and conduct relationships with people in constructive, healthy ways— relationships that have boundaries, that are reciprocal, that offer the opportunity for growth. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that your life is still valuable. 

Nothing that is done TO you can EVER decrease your worth as a human being. 

You are not “damaged goods,” no matter how you may feel. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that nobody’s opinion about your abuse or trauma matters. 

THEY were not the ones who were there. 

THEY were not the ones who endured what you endured 

THEY are not the ones living inside your skin, trying to deal with the aftermath. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that you truly CAN make progress in healing…IF you’re willing to take the “escape hatch” of suicide off of the table for awhile. 

I know. That’s a big ask. 

But it’s hard to make real progress in healing, when you’re trying to do therapy at metaphorical gunpoint. 

There are parts of you that are suffering, and who need your care and attention…and they don’t get that if the main focus of your treatment is whether you’re going to kill yourself or not. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that no one is expecting miracles from you. 

No one is expecting your recovery to be easy. 

No one is expecting you to be able to function as if you HAVEN’T been abused or traumatized. 

If you’ve been abused or traumatized, you need to know that recovery is real. 

It happens. Brains change. Behavior changes. Feelings change. 

It doesn’t happen overnight, and it does require sacrifices and personal honesty that are challenging for many human beings. 

But if you’re reading this: you can recover. 

It’s not too late. 

And you are worth it. 

 

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