Surviving Child Abuse: How do I channel it all?

by Andrew Richards
(Sydney, Australia)

Darlene, as you'd be aware, I recently submitted my story on the "child abuse stories" section of the site (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of Andrew's Story). Since then I've slowly been showing people I know the published story, and while everyone has been nothing but positive and supportive-the conclusion that some people have reached, while very much turning a positive into a negative, is scary to say the least.

They think I should train to become a counsellor of some sort to help others through similar things. I've toyed with the idea of expanding my teaching degree so I could also become a school counsellor, but I'm worried that it'll always be painful enough that I can't do something like that without memories of abuse flooding back and it all getting too raw and painful.

Does it ever get to a point where it stops hurting quite so much? Does it ever get to the point where you can do that, or is it just something you have to grit your teeth and find coping strategies to deal with?

Andrew Richards

Reply from Darlene: Oh yes, Andrew, it is very possible to get beyond the "stops hurting-grit your teeth to bear it" stage. But whether or not a child abuse survivor ever reaches that stage depends on a variety of factors: personal growth, life's experiences, a willingness to let go and forgive, as well as the type of help received (and applied) for the emotional residue of a childhood rife with abuse.

Your friends mean well, and indeed are being highly complimentary when they suggest you become a counsellor in order to help others through similar things. I cannot advise you on this, but I can offer the benefit of my own experience.

The remainder of my answer to this Ask Darlene question "Surviving Child Abuse: How do I channel it all?" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.

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From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life


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