Sometimes the hardest part of the process of healing is getting started. Getting started means we have to acknowledge all of the pain that we have stuffed down deep inside of ourselves for years. It means that instead of ignoring the pain and acting like nothing is wrong we open ourselves up and in a sense become vulnerable once again so that we can become healed and whole. Know that this is a good and healthy thing to do! It is not healthy to stuff the pain down. Unless things are brought into the sunlight and exposed there can be no healing.
When acknowledging that the pain is there I think it is important to place the blame where the blame lies. This was very hard for me (and I know it is for others too!). I can't tell you how many countless hours I spent doing the "what if game or the if only game" inside my head. I had been so long blamed by others that I took the blame as my own and tried to figure out in my mind how I could have prevented the attacks I experienced. Because of the many different things that I heard I also truly believed that I was to blame. On the flip side of that I could have looked at any other victim and told them that being attacked or abused wasn't their fault, but it was hard to believe it for myself.
After you have acknowledged where the blame lies (ALWAYS with the abuser) you can begin the process of forgiveness. Let me just say that there are a lot of things that forgiveness is and is not. Forgiveness is for you NOT the abuser. I go into more about forgiveness here on #2. Please know that forgiveness brings amazing peace to your life (I speak from experience). Also know that it isn't a one time event, but something you may have to choose again and again.
Remember that healing is a process. It will take time and effort, but it is so worth it! The freedom that I have experienced as I have been walking through the healing process in my own life is amazing! While there isn't an easy fix so to speak there is a God who promises to love you and walk each step of the way with you on your journey. In the second half of Hebrews 3:5 God promises that He will never leave us. Rest in that truth as you walk through your journey.
I do have a few more thoughts on this topic, but I will finish up another day. Remember you are loved and you are worth everything it will take to go through this process!