. Finding The Grace Within – I am on a journey; a journey to heal through my voice – surving life after sexual abuse

11 years to connection

It all began with a touch to the finger that started this “now 11-year” journey in therapy. Today I have found what connection truly means not only to others, not only to my story but to myself.

Today marks 11 years I have been in therapy with my therapist Andy and I can’t even begin to express how truly honored and blessed I am to be working side by side with one of the most caring and kind-hearted people I have ever come to meet.

When I began this journey in therapy I walked in with already one foot out of the door; sitting in the chair closest to the door just in case I wanted to run. Today I sit side by side, sometimes shoulder to shoulder, on the same couch with my therapist. Trust is not even a wonderment in our work, it’s now a staple in our work, and we continue to use that trust as way to be more open to the steps.

Andy has taught me so much about connection which began with his fingertip touching mine to show me that this journey begins with trust and safe touch, and trust is what these 11 years have been about.
He has helped me to see that I am worthy of connection and that I can trust others if I allow myself to accept that I am worthy of love and connection.

Therapy is hard hard work! I have gone through many hard moments in the process of our work. There have been some ruptures, some disconnection, but unlike the people of my past and unlike the abuse I endured, I was still loved and cared for in those ruptures. We NEVER gave up on the hard work or each other in this process.

I am truly blessed for this journey I am on. I am still learning, I am still finding ways to heal the hurt and pain that resides deep within. The difference is, Now I am learning on different levels, and that is another thing my therapist has taught me on this journey; that healing happens on different levels of where we are on our journey.

I have learned so much from him and still do, and recently he shared with me that he learns just as much from me as I do him and that would have been something I would have never believed 11 years ago, but today I truly believe I can be and take up good space in others lives as well; even my therapist.

I continue this amazing journey as I am in the process of writing my book and taking my big steps back out into my life after a hard couple of years. I am honored for this journey.

I want to end this blog writing with a few thoughts right to my therapist, and I want to say:

Andy, you are truly an amazing therapist, an amazing person I have come to know these past 11 years. You have truly changed my life and helped me to see the light in the darkness and to find connection out of the disconnection from the pain of the past. I am so blessed to be on this journey with you. Thank you for being that person the little girl in the closet prayed about when I was just 5 years old, I couldn’t have come this far without you and our work, much love to you

For those reading this, I want to say to you “keep on your journey, don’t give up and trust that connection is also worthy for you as well, you just have to accept it.

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We are important too!

When I saw this months cover of Time Magazine’s “Person of the year” – The Silence BreakersThe Voices That Launched a Movement” it not only struck an angry nerve for me, but it made me sad and frustrated!

For YEARS people have been speaking out about sexual assault, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, rape and so on! I am not talking about just celebrities; I am talking about your everyday mom, wife, daughter, sister, father, husband, son, and brother.

People have been speaking out more and more about sexual assault, sexual abuse, and even rape! I believe it needs to be heard louder, and it’s not given the proper attention it deserves.

What made me upset about the “Time Magazine” article was this quote:

While the concept of #MeToo was started in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke, its use became part of the national conversation in October after celebrities on social media used it to share their own sexual abuse stories in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal

It only became a worldwide conversation when “celebrities” stood up and spoke? What about the millions of people who write books, write blogs, spread awareness around their own stories? Why did it take the voices of well-known, high paid, wealthy celebrities for the #METOO movement to be seen and recognized as much as it has this year?

Are the voices of everyday people not credible enough for this movement to be seen for what it truly stands for; only when celebrities began standing up to it?

YES, Time Magazine did include a great spread of photos around the everyday people who have also come forward – but that was not brought to the forefront, or noticed until popular celebrities began voicing their truth, and telling their stories of the sexual assaults they endured.

Lets be honest, had the celebrities not spoken out as they did – we “sadly” wouldn’t be having this conversation right now – because to society and the media, the every day people are not as interesting, and it doesn’t pay and that is the sad truth in all of this.

It makes me angry, and it makes me sad that we are not hearing the voices and the stories of your average everyday people who dare to speak, and have the courage to be seen.

The “METOO movement” which began in 2006 sadly wasn’t heard-of as loudly until recently when popular celebrities took their stories to social media! I struggle with society and the media not paying attention to it until it brings in revenue or its high standards of the celebrities to make it stand out and worthy enough to pay attention to. it saddens me!

I am however hopeful that the movement is pressing to the everyday people to speak more – I am in awe anytime anyone speaks their truth, but I will stand by this belief – this DID NOT start with the celebrities who stood up this year and took a stand – it started WAY before that, it just sadly went un-noticed!

When I saw the magazine cover, the first thing I thought of was “this isn’t new” “this isn’t new news” – look between the lines and you will see that stories have been told – voices have been spoken – people have been courageously talking about it for YEARS by thousands of people – sadly the media and society chooses to highlight it when it benefits them!

I hate that something so important as the “metoo movement” or the stories written by others stood stagnant until the popular media heard it through celebrities!

Whether it’s a story told against the popular Harvey Weinstein, or the actor Kevin Spacey, or the average man/woman living next door to you, it’s a story worth telling and hearing! No one “story” or “pain felt” should be treated any differently whether you are a celebrity or not.

Thousands of courageous bloggers and writers out there have been telling their story for YEARS; using their voice to bring awareness to a topic that is so shielded by society out of fear of talking about it.

I myself have been writing for years on my blog; writing about the story of my past, and the healing journey I have taken in therapy from my past around the child sexual abuse I endured from the age of 5 until I was 11, and then raped at 13 by a “friend” of the family.

I work hard in my journey, and I write about it in hopes it gives others the courage to stand and tell their story! I love connecting with others and truly have a heart for those who find that courage within.

I am not saying that Time Magazine didn’t focus on the everyday people, and I am absolutely not saying that the voices of these celebrities are not important – because EVERYONE’S VOICE MATTERS!

What I am upset about is that we live in a society that money and fame speak louder than your everyday person whose voice is just as important – but unfortunately not as noticed.

EVERYONE and ANYONE who has courageously spoken their story deserves to be seen as “person of the year” – and I will say, if this highlights the movement, even more, that’s GREAT, but lets stop giving all the credit to the celebrities – because I truly believe it started with those who hide behind the fear – those who are NOT seen in the limelight.

We need to bring awareness to all woman and men who have a story to be told! Let’s give credit to this movement to ALL who speak and use their voice to the truths around sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape.

You matter, and your voice matters! Stand tall against a society that chooses to focus on what will sell the story – because, in the end, no amount of money can equal up to the courage it takes to speak your truth.

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crying wake ups – what does it mean?

Those who do not weep, do not see.”  – Victor Hugo

I’m sleeping soundly, and then I find myself crying in my sleep, and when I realize this, I am wrestling and struggling to wake up out of the dream – and when I wake, I have tears rolling down my face and the emotions build even bigger as I continue to cry.

I then realize, WAIT I just woke up out of a dream, why am I crying and why am I so sad?

Sometimes I will stop crying right away, sit and think about it, feel puzzled on what just happened! Then other times I will continue to cry out of my sleep, even sob and feel completely sad about whatever it is that I may have seen in my dream that made me have tears.

Sometimes the crying wake up is so bad that it leaves me feeling out-of-place all day, and it sits within me wondering “what is going on, and why does this keep happening to me”?

As some of you may know, I have written about this a few times on my blog, but for a few years now I have gone through bouts of crying as I wake up out of my sleep. It’s the worst feeling in the world because as our bodies sleep, our body is paralized, but the mind and emotions are not, therefore you truly feel what it is your feeling.

This has been a huge topic in therapy, and when I tell my therapist “I had a bad crying wake-up” he knows what that means. He understands the depth of how that makes me feel, and the struggle I have had with this for quite some time now. He will ask “did you continue to cry when you woke up, or did you stop it right away?” because there are times I will keep crying because I feel so incredibly sad, or I will stop it out of anger that it hapened again and why??!!

SO what does it mean and why does it happen? There are many theory’s written online like, “repressed emotions having a space to open up when you are at your most vulnerable (sleeping)”. But for me, I believe it has to do with the young inner child within – – showing her emotions when I am least likely to stop them.

Its no surprise that I fear having emotions. I have struggled with this my whole life, and this fear showed up most in therapy when I began expressing my emotions! I have a fear of showing emotions, therefor maybe that is why they show up in my sleep.

I’m not sure the reason, but I hate it and it feels horrible when it happens. When it happens it takes me out of my sense of self that whole day – even DAYS will go by that I struggle with the dream / crying wake up, even to the point of projecting.

Just this past week I had such a hard week in therapy since the crying wake up – I was projecting my feelings onto my therapist and in the room, but I can’t help it, this is what happens to me and it sucks.

SO for now, all I can do is pay attention to these cruyingwake up’s and work with them the best I can until I really get an understanding around them, but for now, its something I struggle with and I have no understanding around it and that is OK because it means something.

Does anyone else struggle with crying wake ups or crying out of your sleep

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