by Christina Enevoldsen
“Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.” Oscar Goldman in the opening narration to the “The Six Million Dollar Man”
If you managed to miss this classic show from the ‘70s, it was about American astronaut and Air Force Colonel, Steve Austin. When Col. Austin suffered a nearly fatal plane crash, the United States government replaced his legs, right arm and eye with bionic parts that gave him super-human abilities.
He was so injured that he shouldn’t have survived. I felt that way about my childhood. As I look back and realize that to go through those horrifying experiences without anyone to turn to for safety or comfort seem too much for anyone, much less a child. I survived, but my very being was mutilated.
Unlike Col. Austin, I didn’t have the government’s help to rebuild me. I’ve had to do that job myself. He may not have ever questioned the value of his restoration, but I sure did. Did I have what it would take to heal?
Investment of Money
Even though Steve Austin is a fictional character, I wonder if he ever questioned why the government thought his life was worth that much money. That’s a big chunk of change to sink into one person.
I know many abuse survivors who have spent a small fortune in therapists and other healing resources. The healing process can be expensive.
When I was in the thick of my healing process, I didn’t have much money, if any, to invest in myself. I barely had enough to survive on. But I was intent on healing. Instead of paying for the knowledge and support a therapist provides, I bought books and rallied a strong base of support in my friends.
Investment of Time
The former astronaut’s rebuilding was relatively fast. He had surgery and a short rehabilitation and training and POOF, he was fixed. My process has taken much longer.
It’s taken me years to get to this place of wholeness. There have been layers and layers to wade through. I never knew where I was in my journey. I had the tendency to overestimate my progress. I’d make it through one issue, believing I was completely finished facing it–only to cycle through to another layer of the same issue.
In Steve’s case, he had to repay the government by capturing their enemies. I started out with that motivation too. I began my healing with the belief that my self-improvement was for the benefit of other people. I’d be a better wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. I’d be a strong advocate for other survivors.
But my healing has taught me that I’m worth every penny, every moment, every drop of energy I invest in healing, even if it’s just for me.
I’m no super-hero, but I feel more whole and self-aware than most people I know who haven’t been through trauma. I don’t have bionic vision, but I do see things with better clarity—not just suffering of others, but solutions to the suffering. I don’t have bionic limbs, but my healing has made me see how strong I really am.
As I look back at how many years I lived without investing in myself, it’s painful to look at what it cost me not to heal. No matter the cost, it’s been worth it. I’m far better than I was before I started healing. Better, stronger, faster.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how I took back my life after abuse, I invite you to read my new book, The Rescued Soul: A Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal. In it, I spell out the details of exactly how I’ve healed, using excerpts from my journal, very candid stories and detailed examples. It’s definitely up close and personal! It’s healing guide, workbook and journal all in one. I put a lot of love into all 518 pages.
Christina Enevoldsen is cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse, an online resource for male and female abuse survivors looking for practical answers and tools for healing. Christina’s passions are writing and speaking about her own journey of healing from abuse and inspiring people toward wholeness. She and her husband live in Scottsdale, Arizona and share three children and six grandchildren.
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