It’s a buzz word but what does it mean? The very definition of the word doesn’t really work for me. Recovery is returning to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. What’s normal? What exactly am I returning to?
My entire life is not something I want to return to and returning to whose normal? Recovery requires an initial fall from grace and fixates too much on the idea of personal responsibility. Maybe the more appropriate word would be redemption. Redemption is what I needed from my past, not recovery. Redemption has notes of vindication, absolution and freedom. Recovery connotes regaining something back that was lost.
When I was about four or so, my father asked me to start using my left hand. I was eating dinner with my right hand and he didn’t like that. He told me, “No baby girl of mine would be right-handed.” At that moment, I put my fork down and picked it up with my left hand.
After all he’d taken from me, I still hadn’t given enough. I was never good enough.
I’m still left-handed to this day, though quite ambidextrous.
How do you recover from something like that? I don’t believe you do. You can overcome it but you cannot fully regain your innocence and return to the state you were in before the abuse occurred. And why should that be the ultimate goal? When we promise people that they can regain what once was, we are selling them a bill of goods that sets victims of abuse up for failure.
The redemptive process is a beautiful thing. It’s more an action of regaining something then returning to a normal state, isn’t it?