Monday, February 25, 2013

Moving past isolation and finding peace

by Susan Jacobi

Isolation is one of the biggest feelings to overcome on my healing journey. It has taken me years to accept that I am not alone with my feelings, thoughts and actions as an adult survivor of child abuse.

It is hard to have conversations with anyone who doesn't understand the history of childhood trauma. It is hard to communicate the loneliness, the sadness, the desperation in trying to stay alive every day. Couple all those (normal) feelings with the shame of the abuse, the abuser’s consistent remarks of how no one would believe you and comments that belittle you on a daily bases and the isolation is sealed into a tidy package.

People don’t like to talk about suicide. I have had days, years where I felt suicidal every minute of the day. I think for many people, it’s not that they want to leave the earth, their friends or their life; I think it is because the pain, the loneliness, and the isolation are so gripping they don’t see another way out. I think that people who are feeling suicidal have conditioned themselves as that being the only option to escape their pain.

Here’s the kicker, it is not.

Each day brings us a choice to move forward. As an adult survivor of child abuse, the mental abuse inflicted on you now is what you do to yourself. You have the choice to listen to the lies your abusers fed you or to recognize those ‘voices’ in your head for what they are; lies from a liar and child abuser. It is a choice to remove the lies and isolation in your life. Sometimes it is not an easy choice. It takes focus and doing something you don't want to do and it is possible.

Consider all the years the abuser(s) had to brainwash their victim into believing they are alone, believing no one wants them or no one would believe them. If we spent the same number of years conditioning ourselves that people did want us, did believe us, I wonder what the outcome would be. I wonder if I would feel the same loneliness and isolation and shame that I feel now. I don’t think so.

Just for the fun, it is an interesting experiment and one worth exploring. We might surprise ourselves to find out people do want us, love us. As a special gift, we might even begin to move on from the trauma we experienced as victims of child abuse. Maybe, unexpectedly, we would begin to release ourselves and forgive ourselves and our abusers. It is worth a try.

Susan Jacobi is a radio show host, author, speaker and coach. Visit to purchase her book, How to Love Yourself: The Hope after Child Abuse. Receive ‘100 Tools for Happiness’ when you sign up to receive her weekly ezine at

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Susan! How painful your experience... and hopefully after all you've been through, liberating now that you have "found your center" and happiness. I have felt that level of despair twice in my life...but thankfully can no longer remember any details. God has a way of protecting us from ourselves at times. I can say now that life has much fulfillment...We just have to be in the right time and space to recognize it as such.

    Reading your narrative, my thoughts and my heart traveled to our dearly departed friend and colleague, Susan Murphy-Milano as she recounted her years of terror, abuse and ability to overcome in her memoir, "Holding My Hand Through Hell." You each found your own way.... There is no "right way." We are proud of you!



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