Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Overcoming Trauma

A woman left for dead after being raped at nine years old, recently underwent surgery to remove scars the monster left on her forearm. He’d cut her in hopes she’d bleed to death.

The event so tormented her that she became a teenage addict who ended up in prison. In her late twenties she found treatment.

Then she fought to rebuild. Years of hard work took her from a GED to a PhD.

Yet the scars were there, a silent reminder of horror. Seeing them sometimes sent her into a tailspin of depression. So she saved money to remove them – maybe erase the memory

Then the bandages were off, and to her dismay, a red pattern remained – one that might never fade.

Now she’s wondering if more surgery will help. Or if she should simply accept what remains as a reminder that one can survive the most terrifying trauma and build a worthwhile existence.

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