healing me forward

The past couple of months have been filled with movement and healing in ways that I have not felt healing and movement before in all the 10+ years I have been in therapy with my therapist.

Friday in session, my therapist and I were reflecting just how much the past couple of months have changed so much for me in the way of “healing”, “understanding”, and more so trusting the “young part” in me to take bigger steps on this journey I have been on for over 10 years now.

Healing is not a destination or a place to arrive. Healing is not something you see, but rather something you feel deep within. There is this quote that I saw that helped me to write this blog today and the quote reads:

“Healing doesn’t change you, it reveals you“

That is what this past couple of months have been for me – revealing moments that I can connect to – revealing images of my past that help me to come closer to the young parts voice that has laid dormant for so long; only showing up in the vulnerable places of my sleep.

I began therapy over 10 years ago, April 21st of 2007 to be exact – and each time I reflect back on that, there is something new to understand about this journey.

Honestly? I didn’t think that I would be on this journey for as long as I have, in fact, I thought it would be a quick fix “talk about my memories, tell my story, work through them, and I am healed” OH no no no! Boy was I wrong! – that is the furthest from the reality of what healing really is about. Healing is a state of being and becoming who we were intended to be. Not the abused version of what I have been through.

Therapy isn’t an “event”, therapy is the process of being me, I am healing wounds to create more movement in the life that God created for me to be. I am in this process of movement and healing old wounds held by the young part of me that has been stuck in the old memories and wounds – to finally being released as I allow her to be present.

The past 5 years for me were hard – really hard. I went through a lot of hard things that caused me to really go inward and isolate for a long long time. I could sit here and write about all the reasons why and what happened, but that’s not important, what IS important is facing and accepting where I am now and what I am moving towards; realizing that the isolated place I was in the past couple of years was just a stuck place – almost like purgatory while I worked hard internally to heal myself into movement.

I literally had to heal myself into movement, and it took a long long time to get out of the funk of isolation and depression I was in these past 5 years! The isolation to where I had pushed everything and everyone away from me.

I stopped going to church, I stopped going out with friends, I completely shut myself out and away from all the things I loved; even my family. I went internal to the young part and clung onto the old fears and old stories of my past and Is at there for a while until I could really see what was going on and where I was.

I allowed the actions of another in the past to dictate my place of being, and that caused me so much pain and suffering! But one day, I woke up! I came to realize that the actions of another are just what It is “the action of another” and it has nothing to do with me or who I am, or where I want to go. Those same childhood fears are not repeating themselves – they are simply showing up so that I can say NO to it, and turn my face to the things that really matter like connection, friends, writing, the things I love – even GOD!

This past year, (especially the past couple of months) I have finally come out of the hard shell of isolation I was in. I finally accepted where I was and why I was in that place in order to move out, and heal forward.

When we truly accept that place of where we were and where we are now – that is when we truly heal forward.

I have come to a place in my healing in therapy where I am allowing the “Young Part” of me to NOT pull me IN, but rather allow me to open UP and allow myself to see and feel what I have been through not only the past 5 years that led me to isolation, and depression but my whole life as an abused neglected hurt child who holds more wounds than anyone should ever hold.

I have never felt healing the way I have felt it these past couple months. I see things I haven’t seen in such a long time. I am finally moving back into things in life I love like friends, church, family, writing, photography.. all of it! I feel like the numb parts of my life are finally gaining feeling and color.

What I do know about healing forward is, as with anything it takes time, care and love! this is a new place, a new place of being, and that deserves space, time and healing.

One of the things I have awoken to again is my writing and this blog. I have had so many people asking me if I could write about my therapy journey again and how much they missed reading about this journey and how much It has helped them. Well, today is the first step back into that part of my journey and although it’s vulnerable and scary, it feels connecting and healing.

My therapist and I were just talking about this in session Friday on how much I have changed and how different my healing is in the way I can talk about things in ways I have never been able to talk about or feel it before. I am blessed for my therapist Andy and all he has done for me and walked with me through on this journey. he is the most caring and compassionate person I have ever met. he knows my story, he knows me and the young part inside, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to hold my story with care, trust and love just as he does. He is such a wonderful person – – – – So Andy, if you’re reading this, or shall I say WHEN you read this :) thank you for this amazing journey thus far!

So, as I wrap up the end of this blog writing, I want to say to all those who connect with my journey and writing – “I look forward to sharing more of what is next on this part of the journey of where I am and where I am looking toward (hard and good) I look forward to sharing and connecting more of the “Healing Forward”! not only in the healing work but in life and through my writing! It’s vulnerable but SO hopeful!!

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This 10 Year Journey

10 years ago I took a step into the beginning of my healing journey – the beginning of finding my voice, the beginning to unfolding the many little pieces of pain and secrets I held onto since I was as little as 5 years old.

10 years ago I took a step into the beginning of finding what safe connection was – what a safe person to talk to was about, and realizing just how important my truth was, and still is.

This journey has been about unfolding every piece of a secret kept for years that I held onto – and finding my voice right in the middle of it all.

10 years ago I met this wonderful inspiring wisdom filled person – my therapist Andy – who has taught me that not every connection is a painful one – that my voice matters – and that I am cared enough about to be heard and believed in.

My therapist is one kindest – most wisdom filled person I have ever met, and one of the most trusting people I have ever met – and because of who he is – he has allowed me to trust this healing journey and take these steps into finding the voice that would tell the painful stories I was never allowed to tell.

Today in session we celebrated this amazing journey of 10 years – we talked about what we were most proud of, and what we still work hard on together today! We even had a few laughs about our phone tag we played in the beginning 10 years ago trying to make our first appointment – – This is what makes my therapist the wonderful person he is, he wanted to carve out space to celebrate the 10 year journey today, and found this milestone of my healing important enough to celebrate.

We had such a good talk today – and even in these moments of talking about the journey – healing happens, and something is learned.

What I have come to realize this past year is that, healing happens in moments of struggle just as much as moments of good! I used to think that healing only happened when I have over-come something hard – well I have learned is that healing also happens in moments I don’t over-come, because in those moments I am still healing, because I am learning to accept those moments of hard struggle, and in that struggle I heal.

This journey has really helped me to accept the young parts of me inside that need healing, and that has probably been the biggest realization for me these past couple of months. My therapist never judged me for having a wounded little child inside of me – and he has helped me to accept her, and to bring her out from behind the wall to be seen, heard and mostly accepted and loved.

This has been such a hard hard journey, but a rewarding one each day and each step. I never thought it was possible to bring my voice, my story, and my truth to someone who would hear it, hold it and believe in it.

I am a changed person because of this healing journey – – I have seen a whole new me, and I continue to see this new person because I am starting see and accept the little parts inside of me that need just as much love and healing as I do.

Its because of that little part inside of me, I am becoming me

I truly have hope for the steps I continue to make, and see a life that God has intended for me! I am taking steps every day more and more out into the light of the life I really want to live in, and I am thankful everyday for this journey God has put me on.

If I were to say something to my therapist in this moment as I write these words to this blog, and as he reads it – – –  I would say “Andy, thank you for listening” – “thank you for helping me take steps out from behind the wall, and giving me a safe place to speak my voice and tell my story” – “thank you for being patient and understanding to the moments of struggle” – “thank you for believing in me, and finding me to be an important enough person to walk this journey with” –  –  like I have said before, you are one of my favorite people.”

10 years on this amazing journey thus far and I wouldn’t take a moment back, because each moment whether its been good or hard, sad or happy, frustrating or elating – – I have found healing and strength to take another step in front of me.

As I continue this path ahead –  I am finding myself more and more into the life God intended for me, and less in the pain and hurt I was put in!

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therapy helped me find my true self

When I began therapy almost 10 years ago, I was scared! I was vulnerable, I was unsure of what the process would be. I was afraid to let someone else into the part of my life I had locked up deep within for a very long time.

But I took that step 10 years ago, and I took that step because it was something I needed to do for me for that scared locked up little girl inside that never had a voice to speak without consequences.

I was told by “other people of my past” that going to therapy wasn’t going to help – that all therapy was about was paying someone to listen to my problems, and that talking about my past would be digging myself a hole I would never be able to get out of.

I was even told that I would be abandoned in the process, and if I took this step, no one would be there for me if I came back.

I was told that once I took that step into therapy, I would have to become dependent on the process; dependent on my therapist and change into a different person.

I was told that it wasn’t a good idea to open old wounds, that life is about handing everything over to God, and old wounds belong in the past.

The phrase “the past is the past“, yep I was told that time and time again by many – –  “the past belongs to the past” – –  “you can’t change what happened!” oh and let it go Karen.” – I have heard it all.

Well, they were right about some of those things – – –

I did change – I changed in ways that I never thought was possible. I found a voice inside that even I didn’t know I had. I changed – I changed into the person I always wanted to become – a person who can speak and use my voice in so many ways.

They were also right about something else – I did dig a hole, a big one, and in that hole what I found was a way to release the pain, and the hurt, and that lost little child inside who was silenced for way too long.

In that hole I dug I found a light – a light to healing; a light to a place where my voice would heal the hurt and the pain I held.

I found that the hole I dug, the hole I worked HARD to dig, also had something on the other side, a way out into a whole different life that I never knew was there for me. A life with connection, a life with healthy boundaries, a life where I could connect with god and people in ways I could trust.

They were Also right about being dependent – only what I learned in this process of therapy is that, the only person I would become dependent on was myself in a good healthy healing way; a way to where I could finally accept support from others without me having to give anything in return.

I learned that the therapist listening to my truth and supporting me through it, was there for me freely – no consequences or hurt – but to help me find myself behind the wall pf pain and hurt.

They were also right about something else … I am paying someone – but not for the reasons they believe, because what I also learned on this journey thus far is that, the financial part of therapy – the money I put towards my healing – is about a healthy financial part of this therapy process that honors me and my therapist.

I began to hear being told many times that no price spent, no amount of session time, no amount of years in therapy equals to the value of who I truly am – – – realizing that money was something others did to control me in my past, but this was about my worth and the worth of the time of my therapist in a healthy caring supporting way.

They were also right about something else .. the past IS the past, and how this process of healing has helped me and the young parts of me to see that the past is no longer here, and those who hurt me can’t hurt me anymore! The past IS the past, and boy how therapy has helped me to define the difference in a whole new way!

Therapy isn’t only about healing wounds of the past, but also about finding my true self under the wounds of the past. I found that I don’t have to be the person others expect me to be, or want me to be, that I am my own true person and she is still healing every day – every step – on my terms.

I won’t lie, when I first started therapy, I feared that I would be “seen” to be dependent on the process of therapy, or better yet, fear my therapist would feel I was dependent on him (like others did in my past) – – but what I really learned the most in these past 10 years is, I am the one who is in charge of my healing, and my therapist is the one that helps to guide me each step of the way.

Therapy and this process of healing is not a time frame, but a process of movement, and each day I continue to move and change, and continue taking steps out of the much-needed hole that I dug 10 years ago into my past, so that I could take steps into what lies before me.

SO when people wonder or ask “are you still in therapy? are you still on this journey to healing? I proudly respond “YES I am”, and I will continue to take these steps until the steps turn more into the steps of the life God intended for me, and only I will know when those steps change from a process of healing, to a process of being whole, and I feel it happening EVERY DAY”.

No one can do that for me but ME.

So YES I have changed, and yet I am also still the same person in many ways, only now I continue to find freedom from the wounds and the past by giving myself the voice I never had;only now I know I have the choice to move where I want to move, and how far and how long.

Truthfully speaking, In this process of therapy and healing I have struggled, and I have celebrated, and I have cried, and I have laughed!I have had moments of wanting to give up, and I have had moments of big changes and wanting to continue this amazing path of goodness! I have been through all of it, and that is what healing is! it’s ALL of it – the hard and the good!

I have found the locked up wounded self inside, and I have become a person I never thought I could become, and yet there is still the same sparkle of me inside as well –  It’s there – for those who truly know me, I’m still here.

Therapy is not just a process of the past, but the process of the now and how to live in the new life uncovered. Remember that if anyone ever wonders about your process of healing.

When I was 8 years old, I sat in my closet night after night and prayed to God that he would find someone I could talk to about what I was holding inside.

I needed someone other than God who could hear me and help me make sense of the confusion and pain I was holding. A voice I could hear back saying “Its OK Karen, I hear you and your OK, you didn’t do anything wrong” I longed for that, I longed to no longer hold this pain and secrets I held for so long.

I was a little girl all alone scared of what was going on, and I had no one to talk to about it. I prayed about this every night! So you see, I did hand this over to God, and he sent me into this process of healing 10 years ago – he knew I was ready, this was my time and God has walked along side of this journey with me every single day since.

God sent me on this journey with a bag filled of uncertainties and fear, and a whole lot of pain and stories to be told, and I couldn’t have done this without my amazing therapist Andy who has gently helped me  to unpack that bag in a healthy, caring and supporting way. Thank you ANDY, thank you so much for being the wisdom and the ears to my voice.

My therapist who has walked this journey with me almost 10 years now is the kindest most caring person. He is truly an amazing person inside and out. I thank God every day for him and his guidance and wisdom.

He has shown me what safe and healthy connection is, and he has walked this journey with me in the struggles and the celebrations.

Thank you Andy for being a part of this journey along side of me and God.

So you see – there are a lot of things people were right about – but they were right in their OWN beliefs without asking me first what this journey is TRULY about – – this journey that I took and continue to take –

Yes the past is the past, but you can’t live in the now or the future without taking a step back and healing what keeps you from going forward.

You can hand everything over to God, but what he hands back to you is just as important, this is what God handed back to me – the ability to heal and use my voice not only to live the life God intended for me, but to help others in the process.

This is my journey …. my journey to healing …. changes and all.

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