Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Abuse: Healing Through Honest Acceptance

I will begin this post with something of a disclaimer, or a warning; the following post will be personal, intimate, painful, and raw. If you are not in a good place energetically, I suggest you stop here.

I am about to share with you a part of me, my childhood, and my life, which is the hardest thing to share, and though I will not go into details, or even name names, it is going to be hard for me to write, and I can only guess how difficult it may be for you to read.

When I was younger, in my teens, I began to drink, and do drugs, as my home life was unbearable. I was growing up in an alcoholic environment, and there was abuse which taught me to run away, avoid, always be one step ahead of calamity. I drank heavily into my mid twenties, until i no longer desired that kind of life, and stopped. Full stop.

And I knew depression, heavy and deep depression, all encompassing pain which would well up inside of me, and bring me to my knees. Every year in the fall I would become sullen, empty, and eventually learned about seasonal depression, and this "explained" my depression.

I knew, from an early age, that somewhere in my past there had been a moment, in which my innocence had been violently stripped from me. I was not sure where it originated, or by whom, but I always knew, somewhere between foster care, adoption, and a life of so little control as a young girl, that someone had violated my innocence and taken something very dear, and indeed sacred to me.

I went through my life avoiding and running away from adversity, and I learned to use food, drugs, and alcohol to numb my pain. Though I eventually turned away from drinking and drugs, food remained my addiction, my source of comfort. I have lived with this addiction since i was about 9 or 10 years old. And now I completely understand why.

I understand everything now; in looking back with true clarity for the first time today, I see how my life all hinged on the axis of this one particular night, when I was so young, when someone who I trusted, who should have been my protector, turned into my molester. One autumn night, timing, and poor choices led to someone I trust hurting me in a way no child ever deserves to be hurt.

The next day, this person knew I was sad, confused, feeling shamed and raw, and they took me to McDonald's to cheer me up. And this was the day I learned how to use food to sooth myself.

I received my level 1 Reiki certification yesterday, and have been performing self-healing on myself for about a week or two now. I knew on some deep level within me that allowing this powerful healing into myself was going to open certain floodgates; memories I have never felt ready for were going to surface. And yet, the faith I have within me was sure that all would happen in it's perfection, and I would be ready.

Today I woke up feeling ill, and supposed it was just another fibromyalgia day. How many days have I lost to the phantom flu-like symptoms of this nervous system disorder? I was prepared to be rendered fairly inadequate for the day, so I showered, took my medication and went to lay down again. And my mind was going back down certain lanes of my memory which I did not feel good about. Any time my mind has traveled those paths, I have fought it, and changed my thoughts, and decided consciously just not to "go there". And it's happened often enough in my life, where I have begun to connect to those memories, and those pains, and have decided that I was not ready, and so closed myself off from it completely.

Yet today, I knew I had to go with it. I said "i am not ready" and yet knew, I could no longer fight my history.

You see, something horrible happened to me when I was too young to know how horrible it truly was, and the next few decades of my life were spent in a cliche attempt to forget, numb the pain, disassociate from it, and try to be happy. But ignoring the past does not change it.

I opened myself to Reiki as I lay in bed, and began to work with my hands, and my chakra's, and began to have flashes of my childhood, good ones, and then confusing ones, and I knew... I knew it was coming, brimming so close to the surface, and so I finally surrendered.

And I remembered. Somebody I loved, indeed still do love very much, made a very selfish and stupid decision, and changed the course of both of our futures that night. This person did something vile to someone who they had sworn to protect, and cherish, and then instead of trying to make the situation right, they did what so many people often do when they disappoint themselves; they fell into a pattern of abuse, neglect, and anger. This person became a heavy drinker, and never let me feel safe around them again. This person transformed over the following years, going from my Knight in shining armor, to my greatest fear; this person punished me, every day from that point on, for their mistake.

I am forty-two years old, remembering a poignantly painful thing which happened over thirty years ago, and in looking back I can now, for the first time ever in my adult life, completely understand who I have become, in light of that violation. After that night, when my innocence was shattered, I began to change, began to become rebellious, depressed, scared, and confused. I was lost. And I have been mostly lost since then. For three more decades; most of the choices I made in my life were spun on the dime of that one petty selfish act.

I continued using food to numb my pain, and learned to punish my self, and my body, for the shame I felt so deeply inside of myself. I always knew, and remembered, so close to the surface of my consciousness what had happened, and yet stuffed it down, not wanting to really truly remember, because I was afraid that if I let the memories in, I would go completely crazy. Literally.

Well I remember, and I am not crazy. I have not fallen apart today. I want you to know, that even though I have remembered who... I am alright. I spoke with my husband for a couple of hours, and he loved me unconditionally through my tears, my recollections, and we talked about now, and moving forward, and healing from this trauma. And I know I am blessed to be loved by this man, who would never hurt me, or our child, or anybody; he is gentle, and kind, and noble. I am thankful that he is in my life, especially now, at this time while this memory surfaces, because his love is a great part of what will help me heal and move on.

I forgive the person who hurt me. Truly; I know it sounds cliche, but I cannot be angry at them. That person led a very empty sad life from that night onward, and punished themselves in ways I could never, and I feel pity, and even compassion for them.

Yet a small part of me, I guess the very human part of me can't help but feel shame, as though this were somehow my fault. I know it couldn't be, I did not ask to be violated, I did not want to be hurt. Yet I can't help but feel just a small amount of guilt, which leads to feelings of being dirty, unworthy, and repugnant.

I guess anyone who has been sexually abused by a trusted adult would understand this feeling.

I know that working with Reiki energy is going to open me up to further pain that I have locked up deeply inside of myself. That's ok, I think I am finally ready at this point in my life, to withstand reliving those pains, in order to free myself. Finally.

Because to be honest, I've really done very little but punish myself since that night. I didn't realize it until today; I have done a lot of things to hurt myself, to compound that pain, because I was so young when it happened, it simply didn't make sense, I felt deeply in my heart I must have done something bad to deserve it. I know this is foolishness of course, but some part of my inner child has lived with that precise guilt for over 30 years - I must have done something horrible to deserve to be hurt in that manner, by a person who I loved so deeply.

So now that I've faced it, acknowledged it, I guess I have no choice but to start accepting it, and letting it go. I am not good at letting go; I have never been good at letting myself off the hook. I am hard on myself, and punish myself so often, never living up to my lofty expectations of myself. And yet, I know I am a good person, a kind and empathetic woman, who tries to help others in ways she has never truly tried to help herself. If I gave myself an ounce of the compassion, guidance, and love that I give my Tarot clients, my spiritual seekers... this has to be the next step; beginning to give to myself what I have with held for so long; forgiveness.

I will have to find a support group, or see a therapist, as this is something I'm going to have to work out on various levels within me. Writing it here is a beginning, a first step, yet I know this pain is so raw inside of me that i will have to administer doses of healing upon it, and if I keep it locked up within me then I am punishing myself, all over again. To hide it is to be ashamed of it, and I've been ashamed for a very long time.

But I didn't ask to be molested. No one does. And while I continued to love my abuser, and can forgive them now, aspects of my inner child need help, guidance, direction regarding how to let this go.

I am thankful to Reiki, and to all who have encouraged me to follow this path in life, I know I have to finally let go of the hurts I've held on to at a cellular level. I am ready to stop punishing myself, for someone else's very poor choice.

I think a lot of us have been violated in this way; by someone we trusted, and we have hurt ourselves because we didn't really understand that it wasn't our fault. And if you can relate to this in some way, then I urge you to do some deep introspecting, meditating, and realizing that this isn't your fault. None of us ever ask to be hurt, abused, misused, molested, beaten, mistreated.

That someone would do so to another person is a sign of their own sickness, and lack of understanding of love. To hold that pain within ourselves, and hold ourselves responsible for the actions of someone else, well it's to basically keep letting that abuse happen, again and again, and again...

Right now, in this moment, I am exhausted, yet relieved. I don't know how I will feel in five minutes, or five days, but in this moment, I am ok.

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