Although it is helpful for some, it is not recommended for everyone. Every situation is unique. cool

When I was a child I fell into a river and nearly lost my life. I was pulled out unconscious. It was traumatic. The following year my best friend died by drowning. When my father tortured me for fun he would tell me I should have died.

The next summer my father began taking me to a secluded 20' open dam where the only crossing was a 4-inch beam that was suspended about 6' above the raging river. He would cross the dam on the beam and scurry up up the wooded mountainside across the river, leaving me behind to cross the dam without supervision.

As an adult, I wondered if my boyhood fear of water exaggerated the dangerous situation or if I misinterpreted my father's intentions. As a child it looked like he hoped I would fall while trying to cross the beam over the dam. He did this every summer. Sometimes he paused on the mountainside to glance back at whether or not I made it across. Was he trying to teach me to be brave? Or to swim? Or to face my fear of drowning? As an adult, I had to know if I had misinterpreted the situation. I wondered why my father always found it funny that I nearly drowned to death, frequently laughing about it through the years at church potluck dinners and wedding receptions.

I returned to the dam as an adult. My blood ran cold. There is no POSSIBLE way...that a normal adult would allow a child to cross that dam on a 4" beam. I looked up the mountainside to the exact spot where my father would sometimes pause and glance back; it was much too far away to make it back to the river to save me if I had fallen into the river.

My trip back to the places of abuse confirmed that it wasn't ME who was crazy or exaggerating memories. Years later I learned that my father was having an affair with one of his sister-in-laws during this era of my childhood.

Another reason I returned to the places of my abuse was to embed in my mind the fact that these events and my perpetrators are in my past.