There comes a time for every survivor to grieve over the things that they lost, that they missed out on, the things that normal children have but we never got to experience. I sometimes get an overwhelming feeling of utter sadness that arises from the depths of my soul and that suffocates me even today, and this often has to do with realizing what I have lost.
I lost out on a normal childhood. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in home where there is no physical, sexual and emotional abuse between the family. I don’t know what it’s like to have functioning parents, regular contact with extended family, or people visiting the home.
I lost out on being able to decide my own sexual discovery. I never got to choose who I’d kiss first, whom I’d allow to touch me, whom I would touch. I was not allowed to grow my own sexual boundaries, my trust in the goodness of men, my feelings of being good for anything other than sex.
I lost out on a parent. Two parents. I had a monster for a father and a depressed mother in denial of the abuse, and after they divorced, I was left with an anxious mother who was unable to take care of me the way a child should be taken care of.
I lost my innocence, my beliefs in the goodness of the world, my trust in men, my self-esteem, the trust in my own abilities to set personal boundaries, and my feelings of self worth.
I lost out on the ability to form functioning friendships and relationships with people. I lost my memories, but slowly I am regaining them back. I lost my health and my emotional well-being.
I have lost a lot. More than any child should ever lose. Yet writing this list also allows me to realize that I am actively healing and regaining some of the things that I lost- of course some are forever gone and can’t be taken back, but by grieving for those I am able to honour the losses and move on.