The Process of Healing
Healing is a Process
Healing and recovery take time. It is a process, not a momentary "poof" kind of experience. It takes time, yet time does not heal all wounds. Time alone does not facilitate healing, as healing comes from the resolution of issues under the pain, which then allows for "closure" of the wounds.
The process is a difficult one, and far too few actually properly progress through the darkness and emerge into the light of freedom brought about by proper closure. Sadly, far too many people who have survived significant trauma, abuse, or loss stop the process along the way as the pain becomes too intense, so they get stuck, and end up simply being emotionally reactive over the course of their lives, as opposed to emotionally consistent. We call that defective outcome being "half-baked." The person will attempt to tell you how they have moved on beyond the pain, yet ask others around that person, and they will describe someone who is both reactive, tense, emotionally shallow or detached, compulsive, and unable to meaningfully connect with anyone on more than a superficial level.
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Coming to terms
 with loss
The very fact that a person has experienced emotional pain means that they have experienced something that should not have happened, which also steals from them very important and powerful things, such  as a sense of safety, security, wholeness, innocence, peace, joy, stability, predictability, sanity, and the ability to trust.
The trauma from abuse compounds that with a sense of rage at having been helpless or unable to stop someone from transgressing your personal boundaries, steal your ability to have life be as it should have been, rob you of personal dignity, assault and violate your sense of self (the sanctity of who you are), place upon you a sense of shame, and, in the case of sexual assault, overwhelm you with a sense of degradation and defilement.  All of that combines into a huge sense of loss, which must be processed, worked through, and resolved for the survivor to heal and be able to experience a sense of peace, rest, inner stability (joy), and renewed personal meaning in life.
The process by which healing takes place, and the loss gets resolved, is commonly referred to as grief.  Grief not only enables you to come to terms with the reality of the loss, but also enables the deepest parts of your personality to: (1) synthesize the impact of the loss, (2) process the meaning and the implications of what it will mean to live with the reality of what happened, and (3) come to terms with that which never should have happened, was ripped away, taken away, or foisted upon you without your permission or consent.
So, how do you know if you have adequately taken the time necessary to sufficiently and effectively journey through the pain of loss and trauma? Is there a way to assess to what extent the past is genuinely now in the past, and has been released, as opposed to just covered over? The following list can give you a sense of how much of your loss has been adequately dealt with and grieved.
 
 
Indicators of Unresolved Loss

The result of inadequately processing loss leads to:

•An inability to "be still"

•An inability to experience inner peace and rest

•An inability to be focused

•An inability to truly see and hear from God’s heart and His perspective

•An inability to trust or to become settled

•An inability to be circumspect regarding situations, circumstances, and relationships

•An inability to walk on the Path of Wisdom

•An inability to deeply connect with others

•An inability to know and to discern what is appropriate and fitting

•An inability to know what is needed for any given time, situation, and relationship

•The inability to experience true inner peace and rest

•The inability to be still and know that He is God (Psa 46:10)

•The inability to take time to smell the flowers

•The inability to experience true contentment

 
Benefits of Resolving Loss

Adequately processing loss will result in:

  • The ability to remain emotionally consistent, even in the midst of pressure, stress, or pain

  • The ability to reasonably sympathize with another person

  • A healthy degree of empathy

  • The ability to trust your intuition

  • The ability to easily, readily, and quickly apologize and make amends after negatively impacting someone

  • The ability to have healthy and reasonable boundaries

  • The ability to risk being appropriately vulnerable

  • The ability to risk reconnecting with others

  • The ability to receive from others

  • The ability to love again

  • The ability to hope again

  • The ability to stop being “on guard” when it comes to getting close to others

  • The ability to "be still"

  • The ability to experience inner stability in the midst of the storm

  • The ability to experience inner peace and rest

  • The ability to effectively “wait upon the Lord”

  • The ability to appreciate the beauty in life

  • The ability to be a human being, rather than a ”human doing”

  • The ability to be “in the moment” and fully emotionally present

  • The ability to experience contentment regardless of circumstances

  • The ability to gain perspective

  • The ability to risk believing that the Lord is for me, and will work out His plans for my life (Psa 138:8)

  • The ability to make principled decisions

  • The ability to clearly assess and prioritize

  • The ability to apprehend what a true purpose-driven life is all about

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Survivor Support, Inc.

is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit corporation