Home Featured Time heals all wounds…not hardly!
time heals all wounds...no it doesn't

Time heals all wounds…not hardly!

by Matt Pappas

Don’t you just love cliché’s, I mean they are just so applicable to every person’s situation right, and they make everything all better? Yeah Right!

There are times when your typical cliché’ might actually pertain to a particular situation in our lives, but even then when we hear them they just normally go in one ear and out the other. I mean those are for other people right? The ones who have a life that isn’t anything like ours?

So one of the all-time greats is “time heals all wounds”.  What a crock! Time alone heals nothing; it takes hard work, commitment, and dedication to keep working through a traumatic past that we abuse survivors have endured.

I will say, in somewhat of a defense of “time heals all wounds”, time does give us a chance to put distance between ourselves and the traumatic events that went down.  That alone can help ease the immediate pain and hurt that we feel and allow us to focus on putting a plan together to work through the trauma.

So, while time can be an ally, it’s not an end all be all fix for survivors.

The real healing starts with accepting when our minds are telling us that we are ready to confront our past, and then putting aside our fears and facing the past head on. As scary as that is, and it is indeed very intimidating, it is necessary if we don’t want to remain stuck living a life full of fear and insecurity.

So how do we know when it’s time to start facing our trauma?

It would be nice if healing from abuse was like healing from a broken arm.  You go to the hospital, time_heals_all_wounds2get an x-ray, and confirm that your arm is broken. Then the doctor puts you in a cast and says, come back in a couple months and have the cast removed and all will be fine.

Unfortunately, there is no set timetable in trauma recovery. There is no definitive number of months or years that we should wait before trying to heal. Each of us has a unique mind and unique ways of dealing with our traumatic past.

The unknown in healing can be unbelievably frustrating.

Since there is no official timetable in abuse recovery, and because it’s not linear, there is no way to say that in “X” number of months or years in recovery, we’ll suddenly be healed. That magically we will have it all together, and never be triggered again, have an anxiety attack, or experience feelings of self doubt.

You’ve heard the phrase, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”?

Well in abuse recovery, that holds true as well, although in a slightly different context than talking about an actual trip or our lives in general. You can’t get from point A to point B without traveling a route to get there.

That route could, and very well may be filled with detours, pot holes, and boulders that can slow us down and threaten to derail our progress.

Healing from abuse is all about the desire to not give up, it’s trial and error, and it’s realizing that the end justifies the means.  Man for somebody who doesn’t like cliché’s I sure am using enough of them here. It all ties together, I promise. 

The journey of healing is something that we should anticipate being difficult and long. That’s just the reality of it. When we experience horrific acts of abuse, through no fault of our own, it’s not something you can just “get over” after taking some courses and reading a couple books.

However, we know that the experiences we allow ourselves to sit with and work through will give us the power we need to face the rest of our life head on, and with more confidence.  Reading the self-help books, tracking our emotions, writing trauma narratives, doing sandbox therapy, role playing, self-care, surrounding ourselves with supportive and validating people, these are all things that help us get to the empowered stage.

I am of the opinion that we do not ever fully heal from trauma, but rather it’s a lifelong healing process.

Again, there is no magic time that we can say, “ok we’re healed”.  There will always be triggers or random circumstances that bring to light the events of our past. The abuse was too traumatic for it not to affect our entire being for the rest of our lives.

However, how we deal with triggers, how we handle anxiety and stress, how we choose to not dwell on memories, that’s where we can feel more confident in healing.  Being empowered and knowing that we can use coping skills and grounding skills to deal with triggers, and recognize situations that may be unhealthy for us and then staying away, those types of things are signs of healing.

It is all about the journey, it’s all about how bad we want to feel better and be able to live the life we want.  It takes more than just time, it takes every ounce of energy every day to not give up and remember that regardless of what our abusers tried to make us believe, we are worth the time AND effort of having the life we want.

-Matt

 

image courtesy of,  inspirationalstorytellers.com

You may also like

7 comments

Charlie Jaxx August 24, 2016 - 11:06 am

It DOES take every once not to give up. Believe me…I’ve wanted to give up many times. Some days and recently, I still do. Having depression and anxiety of course doesn’t help matters. I wish time could heal all wounds. Most of mine have become scars. But they are still there to remind me of the trauma I went through.
With hope, support and faith I’m trying the best I can to live the life I want to live. Despite my trials and tribulations.

Reply
Matt August 24, 2016 - 6:14 pm

I’m glad Charlie! You are worth fighting for, never forget that. You’ve been through hell and back,and you are an amazing survivor because you care enough to keep living. Never give up!!! Ever! 🙂

Reply
Serena August 24, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Ha ha..i think you’ve inspired my next post!

Reply
Matt August 24, 2016 - 6:13 pm

That’s so awesome Serena, I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Reply
Joy Richardson August 27, 2016 - 4:54 pm

Oh my gosh, it really takes so much work to heal. Hard work and, I believe, Divine Intervention. I’ve been in intense therapy for eleven years and I still have a long way to go. I don’t like looking down that road because I’m afraid of seeing how long it actually is! If I had someone with me on the road it wouldn’t be as bad.

Reply
Jennifer September 13, 2016 - 1:15 am

I think you are spot on as always. I agree that you never quite heal, but you learn to cope with triggers and unhook scary neuron pathways and to protect yourself from unsafe people and to surround yourself with safe encouraging people. If anyone had told us it would take this long I’m sure we would not have tried but the process (journey) to healing has started to become so rewarding ???

Reply
Matt September 14, 2016 - 11:17 am

I’m right with you Jennifer! The more we take time to heal and put in the hard work to not only sit with our feelings but understand and learn from them, the more we help develop new pathways in our minds. We retrain ourselves to look at our past differently and look at the future differently. Our past can affect our future in a positive way if we learn from it and embrace the possibility that we can change the negative pattern that has affected us. 🙂

Reply

Reply with your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.