As I sit here writing, putting words to this blog, it feels weird as I haven’t written in so long – – but at the same time it feels familiar.
I took a backseat to my writing and many other things this past year, but the one thing I didn’t take a backseat to was my healing, and continuing to fight and put one foot in front of the other.
For the past year or so, I went through emotional and physical isolation, I pushed away my writing, I pushed away people who I was once close to, I pushed away things that really defined who I was.
I pushed away out of fear – – but what I have learned the most these past couple of months is, those things I pushed away and backed away from, never went away – that my writing, and those people who love and care for me are right here waiting as I continue to take steps forward and out.
My therapist and I have worked so incredibly hard this past year, and continue to work hard to help me put one foot in front of the other as I took, and continue to take steps out to find my way back – and for him and this journey I am so grateful. I am so grateful that he helped me find my steps, and even sat with me in the moments of still.
The one thing I have learned the most about myself in this past year is, no matter what steps I took whether it was steps back, to the side, steps paused out of fear, or even moments of sitting still, I was always going forward even when I didn’t see it or feel it.
The funny thing about healing is, no matter how hard things get, you can move forward in the hard. You can move forward even in the pauses, you can even move forward when you take no steps at all. I have really come to understand that – which is what gave me the courage to write this blog today.
I have missed writing so much! I have missed connecting with others on this journey to healing. I have missed putting words to this blog and really connecting with those who also know what this journey is about for me, and for them. . . . . so that is why today – TODAY – I have decided to take another step and let the words be seen; let this journey be seen thru my writing and thru the steps forward.
Even as I sat here writing this blog, there were moments of pause, moments of not being sure if I wanted to continue to write to post it, even moments of deleting some words and putting them back – but all of those moments is what makes THIS step what it is.
I look forward to sharing thru my words what the healing process has been for me this past year, so I can connect with others and create more steps not only for me, but hopefully for others like I once did.
I am truly blessed for finding my way back to this blog and many others things that I isolated from.
There is this quote that I have really embraced as I have taken steps and that quote is
“healing doesn’t completely eliminate a person’s pain. It removes the fear of entering into the pain“
I have learned to enter “into” the fear and “into” the pain – – as a way to move out of it
This month, this week, this year marks 9 years on this amazing journey of therapy and healing. This is my place of healing, the room that holds the story, the pain, the joy, the truth of so many things I kept hidden inside me for 30+ years.
This is a photo of my therapy room, the room I stepped into 9 years ago and began my healing journey with an amazing therapist who has guided me into the life I never thought I could live.
9 years ago I began this journey with one foot out the door out of fear, and today I claim this room as the place of my healing and the place that has changed my life, and has healed so many open wounds.
I have sat in every chair in this room – made my way around the room in anger, tears, laughter, joy, excitement and many other feelings and emotions that I have had through the years!
As I sat in session yesterday, There was a moment I made a strong eye contact with my therapist when he asked me a hard question, and in that moment I felt a trust I have never felt even in the 8 1/2 years I have worked with my therapist on this healing journey.
I felt this newness in me, I felt like the young part (in that moment) let go of all the old messages and all the old fears and just allowed TRUST to be present and I felt heard, and I felt supported, and I felt a letting go in that moment – another change on this journey.
There have been so many changes going on inside of me the past couple of months. Some are noticeable, and some are only ones that can be felt and seen by me’ changes that only I can experience that have no words to explain.
One of the biggest changes is the work in therapy and the connection I have been able to hold onto – even from the younger part side of me that holds all those old messages from the past. I feel CONNECTED even in the hard days. I feel the old me fading and the new me emerging – but it doesn’t go without a fight to keep this going. It takes work, it takes trust, it takes consistency.
My therapist has used this quote to me the past couple weeks and that is “Nothing changes and yet everything changes” .. meaning as he said to me – “as you move through the many changes going on inside of you on this new path you are walking through, nothing changes in our work together, nothing changes in the support, care and love for you in this work, nothing changes in the connection and trust in our work together, and yet everything changes in such a good connecting way as I seek new ways this path is moving for you”
So, what has changed? For me what I have noticed the most is the ability to trust the connection outside of therapy without disengaging out of safety and protection for self. Before I would create a wall outside of therapy out of fear of depending on the process of therapy an my therapist – making it really hard when I had my next session because we had to re-connect all over again, and the work became about connection and not healing.
I have/had this HUGE fear of dependency for such a long long time, and now for the first time ever, I am allowing myself to be connected even outside of therapy, to the process, to myself, and to the connection our work holds inside and outside.
One of the things my therapist says to me at the end of every session in a gentle way is – – “if you need any reminding or you need any support outside of session, lean in, all ways of connecting are here for you”
Before – I would completely disconnect myself from that out of fear it meant I was dependent, and if I DID lean in, or reach out outside of therapy, there was such guilt and shame that it would disconnect me and we would have to work hard to re-build that connection
Now – I feel a new kind of acceptance, I feel I can now reach out anytime I need to and accept that it doesn’t mean dependency, it means I am struggling and its OK to ask for help, and nothing changes, because I am still my “independent self”. I have learned that a part of independence, is allowing myself good healthy attachment, connection and support, and the difference is, when I come back into therapy the day after, or after I lean in outside of session, there is no disconnection or shame – connection is already present.
This is a HUGE step for me; even writing about it is a huge acceptance to change and letting others see this change.
This is probably one of the biggest changes, because from day 1 in therapy – almost 9 years ago – the first thing I said to Andy my therapist was “The day I depend on you, is the day I quit this therapy” hahaha I remember the look on his face even today. I said to him “I am NOT dependent on you nor will I ever be, I am my OWN person!”
To this day, we still laugh when we talk about that, because it’s the one thing I truly feared the most. It’s an old message from my past – I was feared into depending on those who abused me and since then I feared ever going through that again.
This fear of dependency got in the way a lot in our work in therapy when I needed to lean on his support or accept talking about really hard things. It created a lot of projection in our work as well. We called it the “D” word! Didn’t even want to say the word Dependent!
“Healing is a process that takes time”
Now, I am not going to say its easy.. it takes work to continue with these new changes.. some days are harder than others. I still struggle with a battle going on inside of me between the young beliefs and the new beliefs. Some days the old messages from the past are louder than the truths I know today, But it’s here and I am working so hard to continue holding this newness in acceptance.
There are so many changes going on within me as I continue to work with the younger little me who holds the pain and wounds and old messages that get in the way of living the way I want to live, and its a process! but as I work with these changes, its allowing me to seek these deep wounds and feelings I have never been able to reach because of those old barriers!
Emotions is another change for me. I am beginning to FEEL emotions for the first time and yet I am noticing there are some things I am NUMB to – but the difference is, I know when I am feeling and I now know when I am numb – where before I would disconnect and project those feelings on others. I feel present to all the things going on inside of me. I can’t say emotions is something I accept as I still struggle with that, but I can feel and understand what it is I am feeling now.
I am still struggling with isolation that I have been stuck in for a couple of years now, but I truly believe as these changes emerge within me, I will continue to take more steps out of that . . . .
The work between my therapist and I have been amazing, and I am truly blessed to have a wonderful therapist who is open and patient to all these changes emerging within me. He has really inspired me to find the trust in this journey, in the process, and in him. I don’t even have the words to express what a good kind-hearted person he is! Truly a blessing that God has placed on my path to healing.
I have always said this through the years of writing in my blog about my healing journey and around therapy and the work I do with my therapist and that is “healing is a process that takes time“, there are surface wounds, and then there are deep deep wounds that take a long time to get to, and its a process of getting there, and in that process comes changes – changes both good and hard, scary at times, painful and hardening – yet all those are healing!
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As I look back on this past year, it was a very hard year for me on so many levels! But it has also been one of the most connecting and self changing years on my healing journey.
It began with the death of my mom last January 6th 2015, which set the stage for the beginning of a very hard year for me.
I was already struggling with self isolation from many things that happened a couple of years ago, and in that hard work of trying to move out of the isolation, adding my moms death was just another reason to pull back even more.
But then there is my healing journey, my work in therapy and the amazing work my therapist and I have done this past year has been absolutely amazing!
As we sat in therapy Tuesday, my therapist and I did a lot of reflecting back and forth about the good work we have done, and how blessed we both are for each other and the strong bond we re-built over this past year, and for that I am blessed that I can walk this amazing journey with so much trust, connection and acceptance.
As I look back on this hard hard year, I have seen where the hardness has changed me! I have seen the changes and for the first time in almost 9 years of therapy now, I can see how much I have changed and how connection to self, the work, and to my therapist has grown to a new acceptance.
My moms death opened my eyes to a new acceptance and healing for me. The self isolation made me see the places I can go and where I am stuck.
My therapist and I have re-created what “connection” means and what that looks like in our work! I have learned to accept connection more and when there is acceptance, there is healing, and in the healing I have learned to accept my worth!
I look back and I can’t believe how different I feel inside around connection and acceptance and learning how to “feel” my emotions and not be afraid of them – BECAUSE of that acceptance, BECAUSE of that connection I can finally feel worthy of.
Just a couple of years ago, connection was hard for me to accept, because I felt if I accepted connection like (leaning in for support, writing an email, or sending a text or whatever it was) it meant I was dependent or “too much” .. well I don’t feel that way anymore, when I lean in and connect, I feel a new acceptance that “I am worthy of being in connection” and that has made such a HUGE difference in my healing this year.
That has been the biggest change this past year, and because of this new found acceptance, it has made the bond between my therapist and I stronger, and that has made the healing take a really good turn on so many levels!
Looking forward I can see how this new acceptance is going to open doors for me to take more steps out of this self isolation! When I say self isolation that means “going back to church” “going out more without fearing things” “being open to being in the company of friends again like I used to” .. and then there are others things I am not ready to be open around this yet, but that time will come.
The self isolation also touches on many of my past hurts and triggers and that is also something else I am working so hard with – and will continue to as I take steps into the new year.
Emotions have always been a huge struggle for me, I am finally learning how to “FEEL” for the first time, really feel and that has opened many new healing paths for me as I talk about the hurt I still hold.
So, as I look back, there are many things that were HARD about this past year around the self isolation and self inner struggles and yet at the same time, this past year has been the year of learning to accept and trust the healing relationship and the healing journey!
As I look forward, I am scared and yet so excited to see what is next on this path to healing! not only are changes happening here at home for the good, but I am really looking forward to what my therapist and I are working so hard on in helping me out of this self isolation and more accepting support, love and care while learning to work with my emotions and feeling them more.
Someday I will be able to tell the story of what began this self isolation – but for now it’s good enough to just say “this is where I was, this is where I am, and this is where I look forward to being!
You will see a lot more writing from this year as I plan to take this new found acceptance and start writing more about my journey and not fear writing about it. I look forward to the connections I make in that.
I hope all of you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I love you all and thank you for the support this past year in my journey of both HARD and HEALING!
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I have always viewed my healing journey, my healing path as a road that goes forward with a few detours on the side.
There are times I am going straight on the path, and there have been times when out of no-where, I was detoured off my path – and OH how frustrating can that be!
Or maybe it doesn’t have to be a frustrating struggle; rather seen and looked at as a path less traveled to heal bigger wounds.
Maybe instead of seeing these struggles as detours, maybe its more of a temporary path to – where I can breathe a little; getting to understand my footpath a little better.
The past week or so I have really struggled with connection and feeling grounded to self and those around me and I have felt so frustrated about it. “Why am I projecting?” “why am I struggling to be connected to those around me?” “why do I feel so disconnected?” .. I haven’t felt like this in such a long time and boy does it feel horrible!
But as I worked through my struggles today in not feeling so connected, I realized something! I realized that maybe this is the temporary path – not a detour. Maybe this is where God is telling me “hey, take this path for a while, you have been working so hard on this one path for months and months now, its time to take this path less traveled, take a seat on the rock and give yourself some time to breath and understand what is here, because for some reason, it’s here and it’s important to understand its presence.
If I don’t stop to pay attention to what is here, I may miss out on something so very important to heal.
As my therapist would say, this is where we slow down, pay attention, take time to really be with what is here – don’t run past it because it’s a struggle, slow down and look at the struggle.
Normally when we are up against a struggle or feel troubled, we are eager to run past it as fast as we can, because no one likes to feel disconnected – no one likes to feel troubled inside, so we do all we can to run past it as quick as we can to move to a more tangible feeling that we can handle.
But maybe that is where the wounds don’t heal. Maybe running past these moments of struggle and disconnection only makes them come back even stronger!
The one thing I do know from being on this journey for 8 1/2 years now is, no matter how many detours or hard obstacles I have come up against on this journey, I have always met the path on the other side! The road I began will always continue to be there, me going off the path to a path less traveled doesn’t mean I am lost or have fallen off my path, it just means that somewhere in the healing, I will meet the path back up where I will be stronger and more knowing of the struggle that I faced.
So, as I sit here this evening feeling a little disconnected and frustrated that I don’t understand why I am feeling this disconnect I have been feeling the past week or so, I will look at this as the temporary path – the path that God paved for me so that I can slow down and heal whatever is here – a slower path to where I can gain some strength and understanding so that I can meet up and continue with the road I have ben journeying or so long!
These side roads are needed …. and I think I am finally beginning to understand that. Just because I had to take a side road off my path, doesn’t mean the path my journey is on has stopped, it continues just like me and this amazing road I continue to travel.
So I trust, and I gather my support with me along on this temporary path and I keep walking forward, slowing down to understand what is here and what needs to be healed, and allow myself to be the way I need to be on this path even if it means not being as strong – but being the ME I need to be.
Today was about accomplishment and celebration in my healing. Today was one of my favorite days in this journey I have been on; regardless of still feeling sad and weak.
For years in my healing, when I have gone through something hard to the point of feeling really weak and I don’t want to admit it – I tend to run off, hide and lick my own wounds.
Sometimes, I care so much about my damn independence that I won’t let people help when I feel REALLY weak.
I have gone into disconnection because of it in the past, and that sometimes leads to “tension” in my work, and the people around me.
I also tend to get very defensive when I am not feeling as strong. I will try and make people mad with me so that they won’t have to support me in my “rougher moments”.
I tend to feel guilty when I feel weak and have the need for support, so I run and rather take care of it on my own. The feeling of need scares me, and sometimes I run when I feel a need for help, or extra support.
I get defensive and start putting up my shields, so that I can run and tend to myself not having to worry about dragging anyone else into my misery that I am feeling at the moment.
Today, going into session on the heels of writing that very hard write about my mom last night, I was having a tough time. I had a rough night sleeping, I was feeling guilty for how hard of a time I have had this week. I felt horrible for exposing my mom as I did, but at the same time it’s my pain, and I need to heal, but it still hurt.
When I got there today, the energy in the room wasn’t good, I was picking up off energy all around me, I was defensive and hyper vigilant, expectations for both of us were not met that we both thought were there, and it caused a “tension”.
I was reminded today that tension is bound to happen when you work so long together and on very hard hard stuff, and this is some very hard stuff.
Normally when this happens, I would shut down, get quiet, swallow it, and disconnect and tend to my own wounds later – Today however was different. Today I made a change, today I chose “connection and support” over “disconnection and isolation”.
I stood up in my anger and defensiveness, he stood up in his frustrations of not knowing what was there and why, and the tension was broke! We both stood on the edge of disconnection, and decided to turn, talk, solve, and not allow disconnection to take me.
I finally allowed myself to say “I NEED SUPPORT” in this weak place! I did not run to the corner and lick my own wounds. I finally accepted that I can have people around me that love and support me and not run off to tend to the weakness and only be accepted in strength!
I AM WORTHY EVEN IN MY WEAKNESS!
We sat and talked about it for 90 minutes, found where the tension was, found why I was defending myself, figure it out, worked it through, I accepted, I cried, I found my voice, I read the blog from last night that I wrote, I figured out what I was trying to do, we connected, and I moved through it.
I realized today that I am worthy even in my weakness to those around me. I don’t always have to be this strong person who heals all the time. I dont have to be this person who has to SMILE when I dont feel like smiling! I realized today I am just as strong in this tough week I had, as I was strong a month ago.
I gave up my independence that I am so adimient about, and I allowed being dependent on someone today.
I said the words “I NEED SUPPORT”.. 3 words I hardly ever ask for.
Celebration and Accomplishment!
We laughed about our growlness! We got up and both did a dance together, it was actually pretty funny and embarrassing, but I felt happy in that moment!
Today I am sitting here with a smile on my face because now I don’t have to go run into a corner and lick my wounds in my independence. NOW I am accepting support from everyone around me – today is the first day I don’t feel guilty for “needing” support.
I may still feel sad about my mom and what I wrote last night, and I may still be at a tough patch right now with my emotions, but today is different because I am allowing myself to be OK with that, and allow and accept support in “connection”
When I first started this blog last year, it began in little thoughts. I started off using the “photo” to tell the story of what I was writing, and then slowly it became writing the story, and finding a photo to help tell the story.
As I continued to write and be inspired by a couple of people, I noticed more and more that my voice was being heard, and my stories were longer and more authentic to how I was feeling inside.
In the past 2 months I have noticed that my voice is getting stronger and stronger. My feelings are sitting at the surface and I am using that as a tool to put my voice out there to be heard.
Today’s blog writing I am inspired by one of my mentors “Keith Jennings” who’s blog topic was “finding your voice”.
Today in session I had small emotions here and there, but today was about talking. Today was about talking through my heart and my soul – just like I write.
Today I talked for 2 hours and had a good conversation – I was giving myself voice. It was a conversation of understanding, compassion, my feelings, some joys, some sorrows, thoughts, wonder, laughter, fears, problem solving, and much more!
I found that giving myself voice today, was just as healing as giving myself emotions yesterday.
I never ever had a voice growing up. I was silenced from the age of 5. Everything was a secret. Everything was hush to keep quiet. Everything was black and dark.
Anything that I did give voice to; was on paper inside the closet. I had no one to talk to, I had no outlet. The only outlet I had was within me, or the paper I created my thoughts on – to be hidden behind the walls in the closet.
When I was 9 years old, I taped my voice and thoughts on this little plastic fisher price tape recorder that I had gotten for my birthday from Mrs. Bell. I would talk into it, save the tapes by hiding them as well in the walls of my closet. I saved those tapes and put them in a lock box when I was 18 years old. I held onto her voice all these years.
6 months ago, I took those tapes out of the lock box, and I shared them in therapy. I was finally ready to take that risk and take them out of the dark. We both had racing hearts at the thought of opening her voice up to be heard.
We sat and listened to that 9 year old on those tapes, as we both sat there in tears hearing my voice finally being heard after all these years. Finally giving her voice; the little girl we have been healing for years and years.
I had no idea what was on those tapes, but to hear that little girls pain (me at 9) – was heart breaking! It was so hard to hear, that we had to take breaks between listen to each tape. We needed to take breaks and talk about the depth of her cry for help; a little girl only wanting to be heard.
One of the greatest joys that came out of listening to those tapes was “GIVING HER VOICE”. She was finally heard, and today, I am being heard. I am blogging my healing, I am reaching out to others; I am reading my blogs in therapy, along with working through my timeline.
All of my healing today is about “giving myself voice” – something I never had before. My voice was caught behind the lies and the darkness, and today just as we did 6 months ago, when listening to the tapes of that 9 year old – today I am giving myself voice, and finding ways to heal through it.
Having a voice also comes with its consequences and risks. You see and feel everything you never saw or felt before. You realize what was under that darkness and silence. You hear things you never knew you felt; you hear your own pain as you are crying the tears.
I working on my timeline in this journey is a part of that (voice being heard). It’s a part of being with the hard, but opening the wound and shutting it with truth.
Every day when I sit to write in my blog, I am giving myself voice. When I sit down to write my blog, the VERY first thing I think about is “she would be so happy that she is being heard”; that 9 year old that longed for a voice to be heard.
It’s hard, it’s good, it’s healing, and I am honored to share it with everyone who reads this. My hope is that my healing, my hurt, and my pain are also helping others through their own healing – through “my voice” and my “truth”.
I love this quote. I love this quote because it stands out for those who are healing from their past. I love this quote because it’s strong and stands true! This isn’t only made to be said for woman, but men also!
I think about my own healing when I read this quote. It’s the same thing as “opening up a wound, and healing it closed with truth”. Each wound opened and healed, is another wound they no longer have control over.
People who suffer from trauma can take the bricks that were thrown at them, and build a stronger foundation with those bricks to move forward in your own path. Each one of those bricks is the way to your healing; to wholeness in finding your true self.
I got an email from someone yesterday and it has stuck with me all day today. It’s amazing how many people out there who suffer trauma from their past. It’s amazing how many people out there who are brave enough to take those bricks that were thrown at them, and build a stronger foundation; a foundation where you are saying “I am in control this time”. The person who emailed me, just took a brick and said “no more will I suffer alone”.
I guess you could take a few of those bricks and throw them back, but that is one less brick for you to have in your own path. I have never believed in an “eye for an eye”. I think there is more power in healing, than giving it back to those who hurt you. My healing is winning over their lies. each wound I open and close with truth, is one less piece of power they have over me.
I do alot of my path making in therapy, and I have an absolutely wonderful helper – someone I trust that has truly helped me build this path I have been on for years now. I am truly blessed beyond words!
Then there is my support system on the outside, people who have been by my side with open arms the whole time; helping me with each brick with understanding and care. I couldn’t ask for anything more!
I not only am building a path, but building a support system with those bricks as well; a support system of people who understand what it means to heal, and people who see the parts where you are kicked down and need help getting back up.
Then you have God, who stands over all of us, guiding us in the direction to build that path with hope and love, trust and connection.
It’s hard work, but good work. Some-days I feel like taking those bricks and CHUCKING them back with anger, and sometimes I actually do – but I always pick it back up and start working again. There are times I sit in sadness, and have a hard time working towards it.
There are times I want to give up, and just crawl into bed and have hope that someone is still building that path for me, even though I am not there doing the work. However, I still keep going with the wonderful support by my side who holds my hand at times in helping me gain the strength to keep going forward – wound by wound, brick by brick.