Hi Forgive777. As others have stated, the question you ask has no one right or wrong answer. It is different for everyone. It can all depend on the type of damage done, the duration of the abuse, the type of abuse that occurred, the relationship to the abuser, the amount of time the abuse was kept a secret and a lot of other factors. Also, I think the answer can depend greatly on what a given survivor's definition of "heal" is. "Heal" can mean different things to different people. It can depend on what your expectations for recovery are, on what goals you have set for yourself, and on whether or not those goals are fair or realistic.

For example, when I was 18, I first disclosed to a friend of mine about the abuse and about some of the ways I knew the abuse had affected me. I later went into therapy to talk about my sexual trauma and to work on some of those issues. Before long, it became apparent that I had been damaged in some ways which could not be undone. That doesn't mean that healing didn't take place, it just meant that some of the damage done to my psyche and sexuality was unfixable and always will be. However, that didn't and doesn't mean that any and all hope was lost. In a way, I see it as being much like a person who is in a terrible car wreck and is left with a permanent, unfixable limp. They may walk with a limp for the rest of their lives. They may never fully heal, but they can learn to adapt and adjust and live with the limp. I have a permanent limp that is sexual and emotional. It isn't always easy but I have learned to adapt and adjust to it and I am still learning. Perhaps that process of adapting and adjusting is a form of healing in and of itself.

Good luck finding the answers to your question and good luck with your own healing. The very fact that you are asking the question shows me you are on the right path. Peace,

Ken