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Recovery from abuse is possible...

You may have read the recent article in The Guardian, 31/05/16, about a woman in her 20's who was struggling with her mental health, stemming from 10 years of sexual abuse as a child. Her psychiatrist declared that she was "incurable" and that there was "no prospect of hope for her." She was allowed to die under Dutch euthanasia laws. This story is disturbing and distressing but the thread I wanted to pick up on was this.

Many survivors struggle with feelings of shame, disgust, hopelessness, self-loathing and self-blame. Depression is common, alongside self-harm, suicidal thoughts and some are diagnosed with various "disorders." For many this keeps them isolated, fearful of speaking out and struggling in silence. But for survivors still trying to cope with their past, this story may have only served to reiterate these feelings and that's why I feel the need to blog about it.

In some respects the word "incurable" is right, no-one can be "cured" from the effects of childhood abuse whether physical, emotional, psychological, ritual or sexual. What happened to survivors will never be forgotten but recovery IS possible, there IS hope. If you are a survivor, the journey of recovery needs to be at your pace whether you choose to do that through individual or group therapy, support groups, self-help books, support from others or a mixture of them all. There will be good days and bad days, you may take steps forward and then backwards, but each time you will learn from that stage and make progress. Don't allow ignorant comments to knock you back. Yes you will be shaped by your experience but the abuse does not define who you are now. It is something that happened to you, but not who you are. You have survived something terrible but you can take your life back.

If you need further support there are fantastic organisations and websites available such as

www.napac.org.uk www.pods-online.org.uk www.intothelight.org.uk

In the words of Carl Jung "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."