Part of the healing process is sharing with people who care. I have been so fortunate in my lifetime to meet some amazing people on my journey. It’s not selfish to work on you, it’s not selfish to talk about how you feel. It is selfish to not allow yourself to talk, share and heal.
Growing and healing beyond the emotional and physical scars of childhood or even adulthood can be a challenge for many, it can be one of the most vulnerable things you do. It is one of the hardest endeavors you will dive into. The emotions, memories and pain sometimes bring back some of the worst of memories and the feeling of shame which is fucking painful. Shame can lead us to feel as though our whole self is flawed, bad, or subject to exclusion, it motivates us to hide or to do something to save face. So it is no wonder that shame avoidance can lead to withdrawal or to addictions that attempt to mask its impact. Shame holds one back from healing.
If you were a victim of childhood abuse or neglect, you know about shame. You have likely been plagued by it all your life without identifying it as shame. You may feel shame because you blame yourself for the abuse itself (“My father wouldn’t have hit me if I had minded him”) or because you felt such humiliation at having been abused (“I feel like such a wimp for not defending myself”).Shame is contagious if you take on the lethal projections of shame from a partner–especially one who is abusive. In this same way, shame is especially difficult, if not toxic. I was in this type of relationship. I felt shame for every move I made. I didn’t text enough, I didn’t call enough, I was never enough. Yes, these are words that were said to me, but due to my deep rooted childhood abuse, I started to believe I was in the wrong ALL THE TIME. I allowed this verbal abuse into my life, because I believed it. It led to a very toxic relationship and it led me to behaviors I am forever not proud of. I reacted because I wasn’t healed inside. I reacted because the verbal cut downs were too much of an unhealed past that I didn’t realize I wasn’t healed from. I can say my partner wasn’t healed from her past either. Her words were of her upbringing and my reactions were of my upbringing. It ended in a very toxic relationship. It bought out much pain, and so much anger and sadness that I had no clue still lived inside of me. I had to face the demons of my past along with some unfinished healing. I became that “wounded child” with-in my adult self.
What is really fucking hard is knowing you are a professional adult, successful, helping many people daily, being a teacher, a life coach, the motivator, yet you are the one that fell down. That took me some time to digest. I have learned from this process. I am a leader, the motivator, but I am also a human who survived some shit. Without that shit, I wouldn’t have become a teacher, a life/fitness coach and I wouldn’t be sitting her vulnerable writing parts of my story to help you! I feel thankful for my past. I feel thankful that my gut was stronger than my mind at times. I feel thankful that for some reason I had a “I can do better than this” push with-in me. You have that push too. Sometimes it is just buried deep, but trust me, it is there.
Recognizing you are not healed and what you are in is toxic, is so important. Sometimes hitting rock bottom, as I call it “the deep black hole” is what it takes.
I AM A SURVIVOR.
It took me years to be able to say that. I felt if I used the word “survivor” then I had to fully admit I wasn’t fully healed and worst of all for me, I had to admit that I was a victim. Each stage of my life has lead to a different kind of healing. IT is okay to heal in stages. There is no quick fix to years of abuse, no matter the type of abuse. There is no time limit, no set amount of counseling or life coaching. The time is with-in you, and you only. It’s your journey, your process and how you can grow with-in yourself with your experiences. How can you turn your shit into a positive?
I AM A SURVIVOR!
Those are not words I use lightly.
During my healing journey, I wrote a letter to my child self from my adult self of today. I will warn you, it is pretty damn deep of emotions, and it took me 2 months to write. I couldn’t understand the assignment I was given to write to my child self….but once I started to write I couldn’t stop. It was amazing. The weight that fell off of me when I signed my name was unbelievable.
My journey has been long. It will forever be a journey, but forever a journey in the right direction. Healing, understanding and knowing I will never fall into a deep black hole again is a feeling of accomplishment. My journey has taught me much! Understanding triggers and walking away from toxic things has been a lesson. I feel empowered.
EMPOWERMENT is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. Empowerment feels like, FREEDOM and INSPIRATION to me.
The number of people that suffer in silence, continues to grow. Healing from trauma may be uncomfortable and painstaking at times; no one said it was easy. But once you embark on your healing journey, you’ll realize how exciting and rewarding it can be to reconnect with the beautiful intricacies that make you, you.
KNOW THAT YOU ARE MEANT TO SURVIVE THROUGH YOUR TRAUMA AS WELL.
Becky Shaffer/ Author/ Educator /Life Coach-Adult/Adolescent/ Fitness Coach