breaking thru the waves of therapy

A lot of people have asked me how I have managed to move through the hardest part of therapy to where I am today 10 years later?

My answer has always been “It’s almost like pushing past the hardest parts of the waves in the ocean – to the other side where the calm waters are.

I have read so many blogs written by people who are in therapy who struggle with the process of healing, and struggle with feeling worse than actually feeling better! when I see that, I smile and say “yes, but that is normal, and it will get better!”

I myself used to be one of those people who really struggled with the process of therapy that it became sometimes unbearable at times.

I used to struggle with the times in between therapy sessions much like you all write about today. I used to struggle with feeling as if therapy was making me worse instead of better! I used to struggle with the feelings of wanting to quit and give up therapy many many times!

I have been through all those same emotions that others have written and talked about when talking about the therapy experience, and just how hard it can be. I have been there, and at times never thought it would get better – but trust me – it DID and I have – and there is healing on the other side of that struggle.

The best way that I can explain to those reading this and going through the tough process of therapy: therapy is like breaking thru the crest of ocean waves, to the other side to where there are calm waters of peace and healing.

Those waves are rough, and they are hard, and they are overwhelming at times, and sometimes they are so strong they push you under and send you back to shore to start over! Those waves can be mean and they can be frustrating and sometimes darn-right atrocious – but they can be defeated! That’s what healing is like! That’s what therapy is like!

Have you ever seen the movie “Cast Away” – after being stuck on the island for 4 years, he finally was given a sail, that sail got him to move past the toughest crests of waves until he finally made it over the toughest wave to the other side of the calm waters – – and when he finally made it over, he looked back at the island of where he was for 4 years – – – that’s what therapy is – therapy is about finding that “sail” to move you into the life that God created you to be in!

Healing is a process of waves! Healing is the fight to get to a place of calm and peace!

In my experience, I have been in therapy with the same therapist for “10 years and 3 months” now. The first year of therapy was brutal! It was the hardest because I didn’t understand the process of being in a room with someone I didn’t even know or trust at the time, opening up about my past and talking about the sexual abuse I endured – that same abuse that was voodoo to talk about in the past.

In the beginning of my process of therapy, I went through most of my sessions with one foot out the door wanting to run out of the room halfway through the session. I literally sat in the chair closest to the door, so that I could get up and run at any moment.

As the years went on, I began to trust the process of therapy … I began to trust my therapist, and I began to trust the therapy room more. I now sit with both feet planted firmly on the floor, and not only that, but I now sit on the couch alongside my therapist who sits with me (sometimes shoulder to shoulder)- – – but it didn’t go without really struggling with each session to get there. It took a lot of work, it took a lot of fight within me to move in that place of vulnerability.

In the beginning process of therapy I really struggled with the off times between session days, and in that struggle, I hated myself for struggling with that space in between sessions thinking I was dependent on therapy or my therapist. (which is one of my biggest fears). My biggest fear from the very beginning of therapy was thinking my therapist would think I was dependent on him or therapy. So when I struggled with that space in between session, it scared me to the core!

There were times in the beginning years of my therapy that I would be in this “heavy funk” after sessions. That funk where you can’t think, or be without thinking about therapy or the process of the things I was talking about. That funk where you can’t eat or do anything outside of just being alone with your thoughts around therapy and the process – It was like opening very old wounds and bleeding without having any control of that bleeding or pain (I used to call it the in between) – that space between therapy and my life outside of therapy.

Honestly? It was brutal, and I don’t think I ever told my therapist just how hard that was in the beginning of our work because I had this deep fear of being dependent on him or therapy, or even worst, him thinking I was dependent on him or therapy.

The funny thing is, when I first began therapy I said to my therapist right off, I said “Andy, the day I become dependent on therapy or you is the day I leave here and never come back” ha ha I can still recall the look on his face when I said it …. and here I am, 10 years later and we still laugh about that today.

My therapist and I connected a lot outside of therapy with emails and texts back then – – but I was very very careful about that because of that huge fear of dependency, so I was very diligent about leaning into my therapist outside of my sessions, until I could finally accept my worth around that realizing that connecting was healing, and there was nothing dependent about that.

Do you want to know something even bigger? Today, I can lean in and connect and not feel ashamed or guilty for it as I realize just how worthy I am of that connection – – – – and it took me a long time to get to that acceptance and realization.

As the years went on with all these struggles and working through the process of therapy, there was a moment to where I finally broke thru that last BIG wave … that last big crashing wave to where I was finally on the other side to the calm waters and that was about a year and a half ago when my healing journey took a turn from hard to calming!

to be honest, those waves of therapy thru the years were hard – VERY HARD!, but they got easier and easier for me to navigate as I worked through the struggles and the fear behind the painful truths of my past!

That last big wave was the one that REALLY changed me; the one that got me over the top to the calmer waters where I could heal freely. I found myself being able to trust more. I found myself being able to be open more.

That wave I broke thru changed me.

Breaking through the last big wave led me to a place of where I can be more open without feeling so raw that I can’t move. That last big wave I endured got me thru to acceptance and allowing myself to feel emotions and not punish myself for having them. Emotions have always been the absolute hardest for me to show, feel, or be with – – I am feeling more now and that is leading me to a whole new place of healing.

My therapist and I today have such a great relationship, and I now embrace the time in between sessions without being in that “funk” or fear of being dependent or forgotten. I love my time in between sessions. I embrace the time for ME and my life with my husband and my now 3 adult boys.

My therapist and I still email in between sessions, but it’s more for connection and good energy before a session rather than doing it because the trust is fading or the connection is fading – – – the connection to therapy and my therapist doesn’t fade anymore! We have such a great routine and connection that feels healing and accepting on so many levels.

I am thankful that my therapist has helped me get to the place I am in today.

Since I crashed through that big wave that I hit a year and a half ago, I have changed in the way of talking about my past and being open about the thoughts I sit with. I am still struggling with my crying wake ups (which I will write more about in the upcoming weeks) – but I believe that the inner child is finally healing and allowing me to be with that part of me more.

So, for those who are still in the rough waves of therapy – those crashing hard waves to where you struggle in between sessions, to where you are in this deep funk while trying to heal your wounds of the past? IT – GETS – BETTER! It gets easier – – give yourself the time you need to learn how to navigate and swim thru the waves coming at you. Give yourself the time to learn how to push thru the harder parts of therapy. It will get better. You will get to the other side where the calm waters are – I KNOW it happened for me.

The place of calm is not so much a place of rest, but a place of healing on a new level. To where you can see more, feel more, endure more with a stronger inner self.

I went through a really hard time about 4-5 years ago to where I almost gave up and swam all the way back thru the waves to the shore! .. but I didn’t give up, I kept going until I pushed to the other side.

You will have moments to where you wonder if therapy is worth it. You will wonder if you will be able to make it through the “in between” times where you’re living your life / being in therapy. Talk about it with your therapist, be open about it, talk to him/her about the waves and how hard they are for you to move thru. Sometimes having someone there with a buoy to float on will help you keep afloat when you need a break.

So for those reading this who are navigating the waves of therapy – – you are healing! You are moving thru the hardest waves of your healing – but it will get better if you keep trying and setting your eyes on the calmer waters beyond the waves .. I know, I am there and still healing on such a different level – YOU are worth it and YOU are not alone!

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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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a letter to my past

I cannot stand the way you control my thoughts and feelings!

Many times you have protected me, but at the same time you have suffocated me.

You have forced me to see things your way; but maybe now I want to see things my way.

You turn the words “you are loved” into “whats the catch?” When people say they care and support me, you make me think it’s for a price. When someone says “trust me” you make me second guess – always.

When people want to support me, you make it hard to accept, and if I do accept, you fill me with shame, guilt and regret.

You never let me have anything, without reminding me of what was behind it. It’s only when I see then, am I allowed to finally see now.

You choose what I hear, vs what I need or want. You shut down my emotions before I even have a chance to fully understand them.

You make all the decisions in my life, when all I want is the freedom to take those chances myself; without the what if, and or buts.

When I want to reach out to people in hard times, you make me feel dependent or needy. You make me believe that the only person I can depend on is myself, and sometimes that becomes too overwhelming.

No matter where I turn, you are there – right there! every minute of the day, every moment I shut my eyes, even when I sleep.

You remind me of the pain, the abandonment, the disappointments, the betrayal, the fear, the sadness and the hate!

You don’t allow me to accept anything; therefor I go without, sitting in the sadness of a deep want and need that you won’t let me have.

You make me believe that the only safe place to be is in your beliefs – which is the lies and the pain.

what about what I want?

Maybe I want to reach out for a hug and see what it feels like without numbing myself. Maybe for once I would like to get a hug without being forced to believe it’s for the other person, and not possibly for me.

maybe I want to trust the people I love without you making me think twice.

Maybe I want to reach out whenever I want to just because, without feeling an ounce of guilt, or there having to be a reason.

Maybe I want to be with my emotions without you reminding of the fear. maybe I just want to be me, without you being there at all.

Maybe I want to accept all the love, care and support around me, without feeling as if I have to do something in return.

You are a blessing and a curse. You hold me back from experiencing many things in life that I feel i deserve.

I realize you are there to protect me, but you also keep me from going forward towards the people I want to trust, and the safe things in life.

Everyday you control my thoughts and feelings, and maybe today I want to control my own thoughts and feelings.

Maybe it’s okay to cry? did you ever think about that?

Maybe it’s ok to be angry? what could possibly be the harm in that? don’t you think I have the right to angry after all this time?

Maybe its okay to accept, maybe it’s okay to just BE, maybe it’s ok to feel a hug, maybe I need to feel a hug.

I cannot stand the way you keep me from the things in life I could possibly enjoy, and how will I ever know if I am constantly behind your walls?

You force me to pull me away from the people I want to be with because you make me believe that being alone is the only safe option.

You wont allow me to trust the people I want to trust – not everyone is out to hurt me you know!

Although you have kept me safe at times, it’s time for me to take control over you now. No matter how much time that takes, I will find a way to accept, reach out, have emotions, trust, and be the way I want to be, think the way I want to think, and feel the way I want to feel.

It’s not easy living with you inside of me. It’s painful and it’s hard, and I have to find a way to talk you out of me!

And although you may never completely go away, I can surely push you aside.

Today I will accept, I will have emotions, I will walk towards, I will talk about, I will allow myself to be loved, and I will connect without you telling me that I can’t or it’s not safe.

Yes it may be scary, and yes it may be hard, but let me decide if it’s a risk I want to take, because after-all, it’s my life – right here, right now.

So maybe you are still here, and maybe at times you will be needed, and I am sure I will fall short and lean back on you in scary times… but right now, I am bigger than you are, and you are nothing but something that just stands in the way.

I want to go forward –  by my choice, not yours.

– A letter to my past.

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My Life, Living With 2 O’clock. . .

One of the things that I had promised myself when starting this blog over a year ago was that I was going to open up as much as I could about what it is I go through in this journey called “healing”.

My main focus at first was to slowly introduce my thoughts on many different things in life, and then slowly open up about my past, and then move into talking about my healing in therapy, and through connection.

In the past month, I have been opening up more and more here in my blog. I have also been reading my blog entries with my therapist in sessions during the week. I read and speak it out to the room! It has truly moved me through a whole different direction in my healing, along with the great work that I do in working with the timeline.

I have found that the more and more I am writing, sharing and being with them, the more I am getting to the core of some really hard things that I deal with, and that I feel I can open up about, and being vulnerable and open towards healing.

It all started yesterday, I was on a website that I am a member of called “after the silence”, and some woman asked a question to everyone and said “does the pain ever end?”.

I saw that question and had an immediate reaction to it, it was sadness. Those are the moments I want to reach through the computer and just give this person a hug. Her question broke my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I couldn’t sleep, because I hold something that I go through everyday, and I know what pain feels like.

I thought about it more, and more, and thought about it in church this morning, and decided that I was going to open up in this blog about something that is truly the hardest to talk about, and something I still deal with on a daily basis. This has truly been the hardest thing to over-come in my life, and I still struggle with it daily.

I am hoping that by sharing it, it may not only bring relief to me to open up about it, but to bring some light to others. I may not have an answer or a resolution to this, but by opening up about it, it may help others to know that “you are not alone”.

Since as far back as I can remember (age 5).. I go through this bout of emotions that we call 2 O’clock. We call it 2 O’clock because it’s around the time of the day that I was abused daily as a child (after school).

No matter what I am doing, what mood I am in, who I am with, where I am or what time of the day it is – I go through this chain of emotions that hijack me out of nowhere. There is no warning, no “bracing for it”,  it just shows up!

The emotions that take over me are – sadness, loneliness, a sense of worthlessness, and fear, feelings that I did something wrong, feelings of need and want but not knowing what I need or want. I even have a feeling of hate towards myself.

Sometimes the sadness will bring me to complete tears where I have to stop anything I am doing and go home and just be alone in it, or there are times when I just shut down and disconnect from anyone around me. When this happens it’s almost as if I am not present with anyone around me, it feels THAT bad.

There have been people in my life that have seen this happen to me on a daily basis since I was a child (my sister being one of the main people). My sister for the longest time could never understand why once a day, I would get in this “funk” she called it, to where she couldn’t even reach me. I was blank, and almost non responsive.

She would explain it as me being deaf and not being able to hear her no matter how many times she would try and talk to me. The feelings that I was going through in those moments were that powerful and that horrible, that I couldn’t even hear anyone around me. I guess you could pretty much say I checked out internally.

I have lost friends because of it in the past, because I couldn’t function when I was around them when this happened to me, and they thought it had something to do with them. When this happened I would want to go home and be alone with these feelings that would overcome me. It was truly hard to be around anyone when these feelings came on, and today I still struggle with being around people for a long amount of time in fear that it will happen.

It doesn’t last all day, and sometimes it’s very brief, but it’s never brief enough. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to hours. Whatever the case may be, anytime with this, is too long, especially where I have lived in these feelings my whole life.

When 2 O’clock ends, it’s a feeling of relief – you can imagine that is how I felt as a child, when the sexual abuse was over for “that day”.

There was a time just a year ago that I tried to cover the feelings of 2 O’clock up by taking pain pills. (hydrocodone, oxycodone) getting them from my doctor; faking pain that I never had. As we all know, those are only temporary relievers, and no matter how many pain pills I took to cover it, the problem was still there. What I learned was, the pain medicine was fake feelings, and I needed to honor the real feelings to heal!

I manged to walk away from that short-term addiction (thank you God for that strength), and turned towards something more healing and that is – talking about it, and honoring it. I turned towards opening up about 2 O’clock, and facing it, rather than covering it or running from it.

Today, it’ a little easier to deal with, because I now know what it is. These feelings are the same feelings I would have as a child before the abuse would happen. For some reason it has carried inside of me all these years, and even now today, I still go through these chain of emotions.

I have learned to handle and work with them a lot easier than before, and I feel today I have more control over it. When I am going through 2 O’clock, I reach out. I reach out instead of going inward.

When I am going through 2 O’clock today, I write an email to my support, or, I will send just a simple text saying “2 o’clock”, or I will call any one of my support and leave a voicemail saying “going through 2, and I am reaching out”. I have actually gone through 2 O’clock in therapy, and we were able to work with it, and understand it more.

One day I was so frustrated with it, that I decided instead of letting it hijack me everyday, I was going to use it as “information”. I was going to talk to it and say “OK what are you trying to tell me, and how can I honor these emotions?”. Instead of letting it be a fear, I welcomed it as something I can work with, instead of against it.

Have you ever gone to the ocean and tried to walk against the current? it’s a lot harder to walk against it, than to turn around and walk with it. So when 2 O’clock comes, I try and walk with it, and honor the feelings it’s trying to tell me.

I have found that by walking with it, it’s less powerful, and I am finding that I am having more and more control over it each day. No, it’s not easy to honor something that makes you feel horrible inside, or feelings that bring back emotions you had as a child before and during the abuse, but I can either let it define me, or walk “with” it.

I dont have an answer as to what will make these feelings go away, but what I do know is that, I am healing through it, and I am not alone. I am trying to tell myself everyday that these feelings I feel, are just information; a piece of my past that I need to honor and understand instead of letting it take over me, and disconnect me.

I dont know why I had the childhood I had, I dont know why I went through all the torture I went through, I dont know why 2 O’clock shows up everyday in my life. I dont know alot of things, but what I do know is that, I am healing, I am walking towards my true self, I am talking about the story from me, and I have the most amazing, loving and caring support I could ever ask for!

My therapist told me a quote a long time ago that I have held onto, but didn’t quite find it in my heart to accept quite yet, and tonight as I write this, this quote finally found a place in my heart and that is “God is there for you in minimum protection, but maximum support”.

I have Gods strength everyday to help guide me to where I see light in my path. God could not control what happened to me, but he sure could give me strength to get through it!

Those are all powerful things that 2 O’clock can never overcome, and everyday I try and remind myself of those very things.

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Grieving The Past

One of the things that has been most confusing for me in this healing process, is being told “you are grieving your past” and “you need to grieve the past to heal”.

Why would I grieve something that was painful? Why would I grieve something that I wish never happened to me? Why would I grieve something that was so horrific?

I have lost someone very very special to me, my Nana. She was one of the only people in my life that truly loved me unconditionally. Losing her I knew what it felt like in that loss. It was sad and heart breaking, because I had that close bond with her, she was the only one I had a close bond with that was safe, and I loved her back just as much… but why would I grieve pain and suffering?

When we grieve our past it’s grieving what should have been, or could have been. For me right now I am grieving the mom I never had. I had a mom, but she was not a mom. My mother was always “sick” in bed, bed ridden, house bound for 16+ years, and when she wasn’t sick or in bed just sleeping, she neglected me; put her needs first.

I spent most of my childhood only knowing my mom as being in bed, always sleeping. I have this horrible memory of me when I was 8 years old, throwing up on the floor, and my mom handing me the towel telling me to clean it up, because she was in bed sleeping and didn’t want to get up to care for me, so I learned to take care of myself, comfort myself, love myself.

I today as an adult grieve the “want and need” to have a relationship with “a mom”. I am grieving that childhood I never had. I am grieving that trust, and the love that I should have had. I am grieving that a mom would sit with me while I was sick, throwing up, and rub my back, and put me to bed with hugs and kisses.

Through this process of healing and honoring that story of what happened, you start to open yourself up to allow the grieving to happen. Right now I am going through that in my timeline. I think one of the reason we decided to do the timeline was to honor what I should have felt, what I never could feel, or could never say.

Part of that work is talking about how I felt then, and how I feel now. A Lot of my feelings now are wishing I had what I never had – a moms love, support, comfort, and all the things a child should have had, and even today what an adult should have; loving parents who put their children before anyone else. When I was younger, I only knew to survive, I never had feelings about it, I wasn’t allowed to have feelings about it.

Some people may say “well if you never had it, why would you grieve something you never had?”. We are all humans in need of love, support, connection, care, and tenderness. We as humans all have that connection inside of us that needs personal relationships. God created us to be in relationship, and be love and be loved; it’s an internal gift given to us by God.

Me being a victim of abuse, I never trusted the love or support, but I still wanted it. I have had to learn how to accept any support and love I have today. It has taken me years to accept that. It has taken me years to allow my support to hug me – and now that I know what it feels like, I am grieving what I should have had in my life; a mom who loves and put’s her daughter first, a dad who loves and doesn’t use the belt to beat me, and brothers who protect their sister; not sexually abused her.

I am at a point in my life right now that having a mom is something I deeply need. I have sat in therapy many times over and over  saying, “I need a mom, I want a mom in my life” “WHERE IS SHE NOW? yeah I know, She’s STILL SLEEPING!”.  This breaks my heart! I have tears right now writing this.

My childhood was about surviving, and taking care of myself, I am tired and exhausted. When I am asked, “what do you need?”.. it’s always “I need a mom, I want more than anything to leave this room, and go meet a mom for lunch, or go cuddle on the couch with a mom who will hug me and ask me all about my joys or sadness”. When I am asked “what do you need” it hurts to be asked that question, because I cannot have what I need and want.

Me being a mom of 3 boys, I have nothing but unconditional love for them, it’s hard for me to understand how I never had that. My children are my life, they come first, I could never hurt them, how is it that I did not have the same? WHY? Why is it that my mom and dad had nice things, but yet I went to school with holes in my shoes, and clothes twice my size? Why is it that I feared coming home everyday from school, knowing sexual abuse was waiting for me, instead of going home to a safe and loving family with open arms? I dont get it, and I never will – so I grieve.

I really do understand what it means to grieve the past, because right now, I am going through it, and the reason I understand it now, is because I am feeling like I never have before. I just need to find a way to gain strength from it to move forward. There are days that it seems easier than others, and then days where I am heart broken in tears, like right now at 4am.

Yes I have support, I have so much support at my fingertips whenever I need it. I have a wonderful husband, I have wonderful kids, I have a church community, I have dear friends, I have a wonderful therapist who I can reach out to at anytime, but the one relationship that I truly need, has never been, nor will ever be.

Grieving? It’s a process, a very hard process in this healing, but it’s a needed process. So I sit here and I grieve; I grieve so that I can fully heal and be at peace in knowing that I am loved and supported, but also need to honor that I wont have the past, I wont have the childhood, or the mom or the family I need. It hurts, it sometimes hurts so much that I cannot breathe, but I guess that is why they call it grieving.

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Living Life with PTSD

My entire life, up to this point, I have always thought deep within that “this is the way that I am, this is the way that I have always been, and this is the way that I will always be.

For the first time in my life, I can actually say, “this is why I am the way that I am, this is not how it’s always going to be, and the most important part? – “this is not my fault”.

I am a victim of child sexual abuse! The first part of healing, is admitting what happened to you as real, and true. You cannot heal from something you do not accept as happened to you. It has taken me 5 years in this journey of healing (therapy) with someone I trust, to help me understand that “this was done TO me, and this is NOT who I am”. I took the step 5 years ago, to go to someone and talk about my story from ME, and release the silence within – and I am thankful that I have that support to go forward in my journey.

Living with PTSD and trying to overcome it, has been the hardest work I have ever had to endure! I am still to this day working hard through it! There is not a day that goes go by, that I do not live with the ramifications of the abuse I endured as a child. People may say that “it’s the past, you have to let it go” .. but if you haven’t lived with it, or lived IN it, you will never understand it, or understand the demons it casts upon you.

Yes the abuse may no longer be happening now, but you never forget! You never forget how it made you feel, how it destroyed your self worth, or what it has done to you inside. The memories, the smells, the triggers, the thoughts – that at any given time on any day, an image can pop into your head uninvited, and you are immediately brought back to the situation that traumatized you. When those moments happen, you feel you have no control; as if you are being abused all over again! You feel as if you are back in the very moment it happened, and you feel defeated, you feel lost, and you feel alone – Imagine going through this process for 35+ years? I do not wish this life on ANYONE!

I have finally reached a place in my journey of healing, and came to realization, that this is NOT the way I am going to live, and this is NOT who I am, and this is NOT who I am going to be. I am finding my way out of the abuse by honoring what has happened to me in the past, telling my story for ME, doing a timeline of my story of  the abuse I endured, and facing it head on. I am slowly welcoming the memories as “information” and not “triggers“. I have found that the more I honor the feelings and the memories, the more I have control over them, and when I say THEM, I not only mean the memories; but the people who hurt me in the past.

It’s not easy to honor something that hurts, it’s not easy to face the memories head on and invite them in.. it’s painful, sad and it makes you angry, but what I have realized is that, the more I fought the triggers and the feelings, the more they had control over me every single day, and that is giving it another day of my life that “they” already took from me!

I go through this daily ritual, and have for the past 35+ years – a ritual that sends me right back into the abuse that makes me feel isolated, and ashamed, guilty and sad, worthless, and full of fear. I have taken that ritual and I have welcomed it! I have come to terms that I am no longer letting it ruin my life, but welcoming it as information that I need to heal from it. It’s a lot easier to walk WITH the current, than it is to walk against it.

Honoring is hard work, it takes a lot of strength, courage, and support!! – But I am taking control over the story and no longer being the person that lived in “their” silence. Each day that you take that trigger and feel it, and walk with it, instead of against it, it will eventually get weaker; to the point of you walking ahead of it, instead of IT walking your path for you!

I am, and always will be a victim of abuse, but how I choose to let it empower over me is my choice.. and the one thing that I now know in telling the story from me is that  -“this is why I am the way that I am, this is not how it’s always going to be, and the most important part? – this is NOT my fault.

 

 

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