I was thinking as I was meditating that there is a big difference between dealing with the pain of abuse and reliving it.
I have a friend who is going through a long healing process from a breakup and is still (months after the fact) hurting over the way things were handled, what was said, etc. I got to thinking that in some ways this is like the process we go through in healing from CSA.
First the bad things happen, then we push them away by repression and not talking, then when we start to heal we face the facts. Then we start dwelling in them. We circle back to them over and over again like vultures circling a kill. The difference is that the vultures eventually consume the kill, whereas, if we're not careful, we can feed off that old pain for years and years.
Obviously we have to tell the story and get it out. It is the vital first step to healing. But I think this pattern of revisiting the pain is one of the great problems of our healing. Of course it's important to face the facts and deal with them (consume them so they pass through us and are digested and dealt with). But if we continue to face them beyond that point, I think we reabuse ourselves and actually create more harm.
I think we get into this damaging narrative cycle because the trauma was so great, and there's even a trauma in telling the story. We carry this burden around so long that it might even seem terrible to have it go away. Letting it go will necessarily be a trauma as well because it means becoming a new, whole person. It's like that E.M. Forster story, "The Machine Stops," where people live in an underground space that is ventillated by these big machines. They get so used to the noise that when it stops many of them go crazy.
So I think we keep telling the stories and moaning our complaints long beyond the time when they're useful because we don't know what else to do with our minds and because we're in a habit mode. It's the classic PTSD go back there go back there go back there.
I would encourage all of us to think about where we are with the narration of our stories to ourselves and others. I think that if we go beyond a few months of "why me?" and "That's so terrible that this happened to me!" and "I want to kill those evils perps!" or "They stole my childhood!" that we should think carefully about what we are doing to ourselves with these repetitions.
It can be really helpful if we've passed the first few months of healing and are still in the narrative cycle to use the healing technique I described in another post: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...0309#Post410309
I hope this is helpful.