Healing from Trauma

Grief Forgive and Forget?

We all have been faced with this challenge since the school yard. But what about the more serious long-lasting and long-reaching scars that linger into adulthood? Those who have experienced emotional abuse, physical abuse, or mental abuse may have different coping skills than others. They may even have had chemical changes in their brains due to severe trauma. As victims, or partners of victims of abuse, there are things we can do to heal. First, I would recommend reading The Drama of the Gifted Child by renowned sociologist Alice Miller.

Letting go of the past is difficult for all of us, but people who suffered as children, before they could rationalize, before they could go off and be free-standing thinkers, had to rely on their abusers for survival. They were in a kind of prison that many of us cannot relate to. That is why it is so important to listen without judgment or interruption to friends, loved ones, or spouses who were abused without judgment or interruption. They just want their voice heard after years of being silenced.

I don’t think it is appropriate to tell someone who has been through such an ordeal to simply move on, drop it, or stop thinking about it. This only further invalidates that person, much the way the abusing family did. Many people who survived this kind of torture have post-traumatic stress syndrome, much like a war veteran or an earthquake victim. You may notice a startled response, or you may notice them being triggered by seemingly banal statements, smells, or other sense memory triggers. These people need our compassion — not lectures about religious faith or telling them to let go.

Of course, we all want to forgive and forget — it is part of the healing process — but survivors have their own timeline. Hopefully, they are working with professional therapists, reading self help books, and gaining affirmations.

These people need a safe place to vent, to rage, and to trust. It is always good if they follow a spiritual path, but they should not have to listen to that kind of ‘talk’ when they are in crisis. They need a good listener. Compassion is the key for those around us who have been marginalized or mistreated for years. Judgment is the opposite of compassion.

Working with children for my university internship in Sociology taught me many things. I saw things in the court system that were astounding. They will stay with me the rest of my life. It was heartbreaking. But to heal broken hearts can take years — please be gentle with this type of soul. They probably do not want your pity, they just want a trusted confidante. A safe place, a place filled with the warmth and comfort that may have eluded them for many years.

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23 thoughts on “Healing from Trauma

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  5. misskrystal

    sorry folks for the errors on my last post- I have a new computer and am not used to the new keyboard.
    I should have hit spell check lol
    oh well,,,,
    I think I need another cup of java this morning 🙂
    miss krystal

  6. misskrystal

    Bravo! Wonderfull article.
    Post trauma is something that many women experience after they have been abused. I am not a medical doctor, but in my own experience and observation, I have noticed that many women who have experienced certain forms of abuse, have opened up to me and told me that they also have “addiction issues” with post traumatic syndrome.

    There are certain behavoirs that “toxic” people are searching for in order to find their victims….The main one is usuallly “the sweetheart”-There is a big difference with being pollite vs. a people pleaser….Additionally, there are a lot of “victims of abuse” that still have not modified their need for approval. Beware……This is what many toxic personalities are on the hunt for….As I am not allowed to assist with issues of addiction, due to not being a medical doctor, I can help you, however, build better self esteem and create boundaries in order to “spot” and handle toxic people, and that is not just with men, this is with toxic people in general…..

    Let’s not count out “men” who have been abused also by cruel women. Please know there are many nice men out there who have been abused, terribly, by women who have toxic ways….They even have written songs about it….

    First of all, don’t worry about what people think…..As long as you are looking out for yourself, in a very pollite, yet firm way, your life will be a happier one.

    Finally, as far as dating, there are for sure some simple things to help out in the process, especially with post trauma issues, and it would be very productive to get a reading in order to master this process.
    Whether you want to call myself, or, another reader here, a psychic reading can really help in this arena-And for this particular issue, a straightforward reader can give you the ideal tools and map/manual like material– in order to be victorious in your dating life. This is one issue that needs to be “cards on the table” and this is definitely something serious……There is nothing “soft” about this. If you suffer from being abused and a people pleaser, but would still like to date, successfully, please know that things can be better…It takes passion, behavior modification and a new “pistol” approach to the possible intruders you could encounter. To end, you can learn to weed those toxic Jerks out of your life, and finally feel good about it! The best is yet to come, if you want it to be…Let us show you how to do it. Give one of us a call here….It is never too late to polish up your life…Thanks, Miss Krystal

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  10. Michele

    What do you do when you stpped trusting at six and learned to justify the situation to make the pain go away. How do you get over the feeling of never being wanted or worth being loved just treated like garbage to be thrown away and stepped on or over? Professional help is not affordable but would make me decide to open up to be hurt again by trusting this person at 58 I am not sure that I am willing to do so. Reconciled to be lonely and alone all by life, kids, grandkids and grat-grandkids don’t need or want me

  11. valerie burgon

    I was abused by my father when i was eleven, bt have flash backs of things he did to me as a toddler, I could never understand why my mother was so off and angry and irritated by me, when i told her she ran out of the house, and came back with her friends comforting her and treating me as if id done some thing wrong, we had to totaly change our life style from that day, because of curcumstanses with my fathers job. all that happened to him was. he was reprimanded by his co,s put in a hospital for 6 weeks. by that time we had had to move back to england.then my mother told me he was coming back home, she was excited and happy to see him again. I was totally ignored, even my brothers went off me.i was told by my mother to keep away from my youngest sister so i didnt effect her.i wasn,t trusted to go out with my friends as i became a teenager, i was eventually allowed out with friends when i was 16.the young man i met that night ,I became pregnant married him became pregnant again, he was killed 4 months into my 2nd pregnancy, and i was still only 18. Im about to have my 60th. birthday, alltho i have had councelling and paid for different types to try and cleans my soul and feel happy with my self, its always been short lived.i have three children. my third i had when i thought i was ready and healed. so i would give the love and devoution, that normal mothers do. after 4 marrages, my 2 daughters have allsorts of emotional problems, i was always afraid and felt uncomfortable with them, So far my son seems well balanced and a lovely person and doing well. but left me to live with his dad when he was 10,I love him more than life its self.But even he finds it difficult to be with me. Iv tried to learn thro other peoples behaveour what is ok.but it feels as if life has gone and iv tried so hard to make a success as a person. At this point i feel i have learned more about my self, but to the detriment of my children, looking back even when i decided to have my son and to simply be there for him and enjoy having my child and having fun with him,I was always unhappy and lonely.What i try and do now is as iv always done realy is try and do the best i can to appear happier than i realy am,and see what the future brings.

  12. Charline McMurray

    Thank You for a wonderful article and stating what those of us who have been abused or around abuse cannot make others understand. I’m still working on trying to learn to forgive but there is yet a lot of work infront of me. And I’m not cetain I ever will be able to as I expect too much from the person who did it to me that I will never receive.

  13. Tatjana

    Abuse never makes sense, and should not be forgiven, because the victims deserve respect and empathy, NOT the perps. People need to learn to be realistic and pay more attention to the facts of the bad things that, unfortunately, are often going on before doling out “moral lessons” to the innocent instead of the offenders. To C. Dean, best wishes, you deserve to be safe and happy. Please avoid anyone and everyone who is even remotely disrespectful or aggressive

  14. C. Dean

    I was severely abused as a child, although it has created many challenges in my life. Most recent, being drugged, beaten and raped by my significant other, I have been very fortunate in that I have deep, spiritual connections and very dear friends who are compassionate listeneres. I could never survive as a healthy, functioning adult if these blessed people did not reaffirm my perception of myself and the universe. So often people think that they have to fix abuse and then find the task overwelming and impossible because it cannot be erased, however, listening is the most healing balm. I find solace in the fact that I can utilize my experience to assist others. It still amazes me that the world, even educated people who should know better, wants to blame the “victim” instead of the “perp”. I think that is because victims are so willing to accept responsibilty and becomes a catch 22 because if you are responsible then you can control it and make it stop. I do not believe that abuse can ever make sense but am so grateful for those few precious souls who are able to just listen; it is a very rare gift.

  15. SheilaT

    I was abused by my exhusband phyacal and mental
    That was 15years ago and there are still things
    that make me afraid
    I am better than I was it is alot of work but I know Iwell get it all behind me
    Thank the Lord.

  16. childofafrica

    My siblings and I endured years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of our mother. I grew up thinking this was normal life and just got on with it, albeit terrified everytime she called my name. I got pregnant straight out of high school and moved in with him just to get out of her house. I moved from one abuser to the next. With the help of friends and a therapist, I’m slowly empowering myself with a newfound self confidence and independance. Your article will help people realise that we are not just feeling sorry for ourselves, but venting and trying to leave all the hurt behind to start a normal life. Thanks for this.

  17. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Joey,
    Very good article…..I work with Psychiatrists who send me their patients…..some are victims of domestic violence,some have suffered terrible abuse by family and friends, I’ve also worked with 9/11 victims…..everything you state is true and makes sense.
    Letting go will never happen for some of these victims…..but they do need help with venting their feelings, they require a safe outlet to release their emotions of hurt and anger and disbelief,even if it means only showing compassion and listening. The goal is to listen, validate their emotions,build trust and then empower them…..

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  18. Joey 9406

    I am truly sorry for your mother. I am sure your listening helps more than you know.
    Has your mom ever been in therapy? Does she/has she read self help books? Yes, the triggers do take her right back to that place, in spite of her current relationship with her mom. Your story just confirms how hard it is to live with abuse. You mom is 60 and still suffering. I wish her peace. Sadly, I think the abused must do the hard work of healing, while the “perp” is often clueless. Love and peace
    Joey 9406

  19. lisaLisa

    Interesting timing of this article. Just yesterday I had another conversation with my mother who suffered great emotional abuse by her own mother. Although she is now in her 60’s and my grandmother in her 80’s my mother does have a fairly decent relationship w/her. However, there are still those triggers and i feel as though they take her back to those memories. I’ve heard the same stories but I just listen as I really don’t know what advise to give her. I do wish her heart would mend.

  20. joey 9406

    Hi Maryanne,
    Thanks for your kind comments. I agree with you in re
    to the feeling that judging could further lead to isolation and rejection. I have seen this happen and it all seems very unjust. And good point about the listener’s karma. And to everyone, if you haven’t read The Drama of the Gifted Child, pick it up. There are things we can all relate to in this gem of a book. I think it is one of those life changing books.
    joey 9406

  21. Psychic Maryanne Ext. 9146


    Wow-thanks for the very best article I have seen on this subject.

    You are so right-telling someone who has been emotionally, mentally or even physically abused to let it go, drop it or move on, makes that person hear “you are wrong” again, just as they have been hearing it forever. “You are the one who doesn’t fit in” to someone who has no idea how to fit in or what they are doing wrong due to repeated criticism or abuse just makes them feel even more rejected.

    I agree totally with your reminder that judgment is the opposite of compassion. To take that even a step further, I wonder if judgment of someone who has been abused is not further abuse. You are so right-a safe place to be or speak or have an opinion has to be the start of the long, long process of healing for such a person.

    I do believe being of some assistance to such a person in their healing process by being a safe place to listen or just someone who refuses to criticize the person’s opinion or reactions any further than they have already been is also a step forward in the listener’s karma.

    Thank you again for a wonderful article.

    Psychic Maryanne
    Extension 9146


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