Wonderful statements--so true. You hit on so many points that are relevant to our healing-venting, supporting, cheering each other on and most importantly putting the monster in its place--not letting it define who we are or will become. I know my own healing journey has taught me many things about myself and what I want in life. I think I am no different than all survivors--striving for a life I now know I deserve--free to love, free to show emotions, free not to be ashamed or devalue who I am because of the abuse, free of letting others destroy and hurt me. It has also given me hope to grow and live the life I deserve as well as to show compassion for others--because I do not know their torment or past--they too may have been shattered or hurt in their lives so as to create their own facade to protect themselves. The value of human life is what life is all about. I see a change in myself and others have seen a happier and more caring person who is willing to help others-I always did in the past but now it is without reservation in my heart and mind instead of a way to compensate for feeling damaged or broken.

I also have learned never judge until you walk in someone's shoes. I have been judged--tried and convicted--without others understanding my life. I have read about the effects of childhood sexual abuse on the mind and brain--it helps me to understand the lost time and and gaps in memory and time. Amazing the research that is being undertaken on the hippocampus--a small part of the brain in the cortex region. It is believe to play an important role in memory--including why memories are repressed, trauma impact and why we dissociate during trauma and years after. It has been noted victims of childhood sexual abuse have smalled hippocampus and thus it differently impacts their memories and reactions to trauma and turmoil--triggering nightmares, flashbacks and dissociative states. It helps to eliminate the thoughts of I must be crazy why do I not remember everything in my life and where did the time go.That thought has haunted me for a lifetime. Now if people want to judge they should look at the research before passing judgment.

Hopefully some good comes from this horrible monster. Thank you for you words and insight.