A journal, or any writing is a great way to sort it out. When we write we see the words in front of us and can concentrate on what we mean far better.
I do all mine on the computer, I'm close to 100,000 words now - I have no idea what to do with it all !
But I go back and read stuff I did about 5 years ago and it sharpens my mind and brings everything into focus again.
The temptation when using a computer is to edit what you write when you do go back to it, which can be a good idea. BUT - ALWAYS save every version you do onto a disc, that way you get a comparison. Some things I've written I've got about 5 versions of.
The story, the emotions and the detail I never alter, but I add to them, go into greater depth and explore my ideas more. That's when the comparisons between the first version and the later ones get interesting.
It's a strange feeling expressing emotions on a screen, I have to do mine privately - although my wife has read most of my stuff now. But it's there in front of you, in your face and you can't ignore it.
Whatever method you choose though I think it's one of the most powerful tools we have.
I also took mine to my Therapist who took them away to read, and the next week he'd have something to discuss - or rather something for me to work at !
Dave , do you really think that it does go away ?
I am hopeful to leave all the negativity behind me and live a more productive life.
It can't go away, we can't force ourselves to forget things, hell - haven't we tried that already ?
I think what we learn to do is put our abuse in it's place.
I disclosed to my wife when I was 45 or so, and up to that point my life was dominated by memories of the abuse, sexual fantasy and eventually sexual acting out. Every possible waking moment was dedicated to thinking about this stuff.
I'm nearly 50 now, and therapy ( 1 to 1 & group )coming here and my own efforts - not forgetting my wife and a few close friends, have made my life completely different.
I am no longer dominated by the old thoughts, they faded away gradually to the point that I can't even force my old fantasies to work anymore, they actually kill off any desire to masturbate - and they certainly don't work when making love with my wife. And I relied on this stuff for many years.
I can remember what happened to me as a kid as clearly as ever, but the focus has altered. I actually have it in focus now and I see it for what it was. Four years of someone taking advantage of me and 31 years of confusion.
The confusion was my "negativity" and releasing myself from that has made room for me to become "productive"
It won't go away, but it can be put in it's place.