Dwelling, processing, healing memories

Some people(my husband) have expressed the opinion that these blogs are not healthy, and only promote dwelling in the hurtful past. (Those people have been figuratively socked in the nuts and won’t say that again)

I completely disagree, and so does my therapist. There was a time, when my past was my present, and I had no future. I was stuck, unable to see a life without pain. I had no hope. But now, I live in the present, and look forward to the future. To me, these blogs are affirmations of who I am, where I was, what I survived. A testament to the strength of the human spirit.

It feels good to write, to share secrets I can not tell in mixed company. It feels good to think I am not alone in my journey, and that others, even if they keep silent, may read this and also feel not so alone.

I want to be clear though. I have already processed all of these thoughts and memories with a most amazing therapist, over many many years. The benefits of a good therapist, trained in cognitive behavior therapy, can not be said loud enough.

Some people shove the past in the past, in the closet, or sweep under the rug. Like if they don’t talk about it, it never happened. Growth and healing can not happen without the processing stage. Abuse survivors are often emotionally underdeveloped, don’t have proper coping skills for common everyday stresses, and are often highly sensitive in many ways.

I believe everyone is on a lifelong journey, just some people were nurtured and encouraged to fly when they were young, where others were tormented and encouraged to shut up. But it doesn’t mean we can’t all be the great person we want to be. It just means that some of us need to nuture ourselves, encourage ourselves to fly. Once we love ourself fully, as our parents should have done, only then can we move on and learn to fly.

I have my wings, but I have not taken off quite off. My wings are flapping, and getting warm in the sun. I am not afraid and I can see where I want to go.

It is a feeling I keep in my heart, even on the darkest days now, to show the way and to hold on.

One day I will take off, feel the wind beneath my wings, and soar to the places in my dreams.

My future is good. Because I am going to make it be good.


7 thoughts on “Dwelling, processing, healing memories

  1. Like you, I’ve found blogs to be helpful, which isn’t to say everyone will. There are those who will be stuck in their past because it’s safer, comfortable. Reading the journey others are taking helps me to know I’m not alone, but more important, I think, is I’ve learned from perspectives other than my own. Things I thought were no big deal, I now realize are, so I approach them differently. Things I didn’t even recognize as a problem finally made sense, and I’ve tackled them. The more I face my past, without trying to pretend everything was fine, the more I see what needs changing and because others are able to overcome the insanity, I believe it’s possible for me to do the same. You’re also right about the need for a good counselor. Over the years, I was blessed with three. Before you know it, you’ll realize you are flying. 🙂

    • Yes that is exactly how I feel. Other people can openly discuss investing, career choices, fitness, but when it comes to healing from abuse, there is not much discussion. Gaining perspective is incredibly helpful. And when you recognize a part of yourself in others, it can shed light into perplexing issues.

  2. I completely disagree with your husband. Writing is therapeutic. There is something very nourishing to the soul about writing about your feelings so open and honestly. Writing has allowed me an outlet. It must be so difficult with the judgments but you persevere because I love you writing and I think you are so brave and inspiring.

      • I understand your words about feeling a weight lift off you when you write. I am at a different place in my life than you, in that I’m over fifty, and yet still struggle with the residual effects of having endured years of abuse by my father. I have blogged under various formats for years, and have found it to be helpful. I also underwent many years of therapy during my parenting years, which I found to be one of the healthiest periods in my life.

        Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t blog now because even though I believe in the idea of our writing being a testament to not being alone in this journey of survival, I feel obligated to be telling a better story about my success, instead of showing the reality that I am still struggling. I wrestle with whether I should speak up and show that the struggle still exists, or if the better thing to do is to shut up about the struggle, and try to shine a light on all the ways different things worked for me during the good years. One part of me only wants to inspire others, and one part of me still has the need to tell my stories, like somehow the very telling of them gives them less power in my life. It’s a constant struggle between the two places.

        I didn’t come here to whine about my struggles, though. I wanted to say that I like the way you write, and I appreciate that you shared the link for http://www.bandbacktogether.com in another post. I expect I will be exploring that site, and yours, on those days that I need to connect with someone, but can’t bring myself to write anything. I appreciate the value of any connection, because we really are not alone, no matter what messages we sometimes tell ourselves when we are stuck in the midst of a difficult day. Thanks for sharing the link.

      • Aww, I think I understand that struggle a bit. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Everyone’s journey is unique. I think part of healing is accepting where you are in your journey. I also feel I should not be struggling so much, and I imagine that feeling will grow through the years if I am not yet where I want to be. I also want to provide hope and inspiration and am tempted to only share positive news. But I feel that sharing the struggle, the journey, the process, is so important, and also provides inspiration, as it allows us to suffer. So many people don’t understand how the simplest tasks can become difficult with depression. I have found that those that find my blog, are not doing so to judge me, but to share a connection. I’m losing my point I fear, but mainly wanted to to reply and thank you. And we all have to define success. For me right now, a successful day is not the same as someone else. If I take care of basic needs, feeding and clothing us, and making my children feel loved and supported, even for a moment, a quick hug will do, I have had a very successful day. I worry that they worry about me. It is obvious I have no energy. “Mom is tired again” I hear from their little mouths. As they get bigger, I will either be better, or will explain why I get so tired. But I always make sure they know it isn’t their fault. And I guess that is what I hope to share in this blog, strategies for surviving the struggle.

  3. Pingback: WHO AM I?: The Wind Beneath My Wings « Live Like It's Heaven On Earth

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