From The Desk Of Darlene J. Harris – The Third Stage of Recovery by Rachel Grant

Greetings Everyone,

First, we acknowledge those who suffered and those who served on this date in 2009.  It was a day of  horrific devastation in our country.  A day of calamity that changed our lives forever.

Today we complete the Three Stages of Recovery by Rachel Grant and we thank her for her contribution to And He Restoreth My Soul Project.

In addition, we thank our growing network of writers for the resource of information we share on our site.  And, because of this information we are experiencing an increase in the number of followers to our site.  Thank to you all!

My challenge to you today:  think of someone who has made a difference in your life and tell them!





As a survivor, you will have gained a sense of empowerment by no longer seeing yourself as the victim. You will have done amazing work to reach a place where you are able to acknowledge the abuse and both accept and exist with the knowledge of the abuse. However, this recognition and sense of empowerment is not enough.

How will you know when you are ready to move to this final stage?

When you are ready to do something about the effects of the abuse. Simply compensating– tending the wound– is no longer acceptable. Nor is just understanding enough. Instead you will be willing to actively challenge the patterns of thought and behavior that you have identified during the survivor stage that have been holding you back.

You also will no longer be satisfied with just surviving your life but instead want to break free from the pain of abuse and move on toward feeling ‘normal’.

I call this the “enough is enough” phase and during this stage you step into the final stage of recovery and the objectives and the goals of recovery shift as well.

What are the goals?

  • Learn strategies for breaking free from patterns of thought or behavior

  • Let go of shame, guilt, and any belief that the abuse was your fault

  • Break down the walls that keep you from connecting with others

  • Release pent up emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness, and the fear of abandonment

  • Gain self-confidence so you no longer sacrifice yourself or your desires

  • Learn how to set boundaries, enjoy intimate relationships, and trust again

  • Connect with your genuine, authentic self and feel normal

What types of support are best for someone in this stage?

As a Beyond Survivor™, you will reach a place where you no longer feel it necessary to manage your behaviors or to cope with thoughts and feelings on a regular basis that have resulted from your abuse. Instead, you will gain insights and skills that make it possible for you to live an abundant, powerful life no longer mired in past experiences.

More specifically, during this final stage, you will get complete about the abuse, let it go as an excuse for present behavior, and take responsibility for the choices you make in life from this point forward.


I encourage you to think about the three stages I’ve outlined as a roadmap. By identifying which stage of recovery you are currently in, you will be better able to focus your recovery work and seek out the types of support that will most serve you.

A shortcut way to think about each stage is that:

  • Victim: I’m not ready
  • Survivor: I’m fed up
  • Beyond Survivor: Enough is enough

And remember, it is possible for you to change your lives. It is not some pipe dream or new age hope.

I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Daniel Siegel, a leader in the field of neurobiology:

“Each day is literally the opportunity to create a new episode of learning, in which recent experience will become integrated with the past and woven into the anticipated future.”

The more you do the work required at each stage of recovery, the more your genuine and amazing, lovable selves are revealed.

To learn more about the 3 Stages of Recovery, you can download this MP3.

As a special gift, I would also like to share with you Part 1 of my guidebook, Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recover from Sexual Abuse. GET IT HERE!