(a post to alt.abuse.recovery)

if this group had a faq, i'd think this would be the first question.

no, you're not alone. there are lots of us out here, more than you'd think. some of us read this group; some don't bother.

some have suffered more than you have, some less. some have been dealing with the consequences for decades, and others are just now tentatively trying on the word "abuse," suspiciously, the way you test a garment you're not sure fits.

will it help, knowing i'm not alone?

who can say? maybe. it might make those coldsweat nights when sleep is a foreign language you can't quite master a little softer. it might also make you pace restlessly in your head, wondering why someone who seems to have had it so much worse is doing so much better.

you might find yourself comparing stories, deciding who's been "really" abused, and then find, with shock, that you don't meet your own criteria. you might find love and support and hope for the future, or you might find gloomy confirmation of what you always suspected: that you are in this alone.

no matter how much love, support, networking, advice, concern you receive, this path will always be yours to walk alone. it isn't fair. you didn't ask for this, didn't do anything to deserve it. it hurts, god, it hurts with an ache down in your soul that nothing can quite assuage.

but sometimes it can help to meet someone on a similar path and sit down in the shade under a tree and drink tea and talk.

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