Finding what we lost after coming out from the turmoil of a relationship with a sociopath can be daunting. Healing from these encounters takes time. Yet, we have a tendency to believe we should be able to get over it, be done, and finished with the hurting within a pre-determined schedule carefully marked on the calendar page. As if healing from an emotional rape has a timeline and can be accomplished by following the direct line from A to Z.
There is no alphabet encoded path to healing from these encounters. No step by step process that states do this and in 23 days you will be healed.
I used to hate the word, ‘organic’. As in, the process is organic. Since getting free from his abuse, I’ve learned to love it. Healing from abuse, any kind of abuse, is an organic process. It begins within me. It moves within me. It changes within me so that outside I can live the life I’ve always dreamed. The life I deserve.
One of the most difficult aspects of healing that I have encountered with many many people is embracing the belief, I deserve to heal.
So often, abuse leaves a trail of shame and self-blame. Like Hansel and Gretel looking for a way back through the forest, the abused drop grains of self-respect along the path leading to their abuser. Caught amidst the deceitful web the abuser must weave to keep the victim trapped within their embrace, the seeds marking the path back to self lie like fallow fields of grain, never to be reseeded as they get picked over by the carrion hovering above the dark cloud of the victim’s existence.
To heal, I had to believe I was worthy, deserving, able to heal. I had to choose to believe I could heal.
The wounds inflicted by an abuser run deep. They run wide. They run wild within our psyches. Choosing to believe I could heal was the first step to healing.
Taking action that supported me in healing was the next step. That included writing, therapy, exercise, healthy eating, loving self-care. I had to take positive actions that affirmed my belief I could heal. It was up to me.
One of my mantras in healing became, “Never say never.”
It is often instinctual to say, “I will never …. Heal. I will never trust another human being. I will never love again,” after an encounter with an abuser.
Truth is, we have no idea what the future holds in store. All we can do is our very best today. All we can do is be true to ourselves in this moment so that the next is a continuation of our very best.
When I say, “I will never trust again,” I am saying, “I choose to set myself up today so that I will not be trusting, or trustworthy in the future.”
When I say, “I will never love again,” I am saying, “I am terrified the past will repeat itself. I will avoid at all costs loving anyone — and that includes myself, because love hurts and I don’t want to hurt like this again.”
Saying ‘never’ is lethal in healing. Never is the dam holding us back from claiming our right to live the life of our dreams.
There is no straight line in healing. There is only the choice to do what is loving, caring, healing — or not. The path to well-being is winding and circuitous. Four+ years after that encounter, I still find corners of unease — not because of him, but rather because the tapes in my head fire off messages that undermine me, disturb my peace of mind, unsettle my well-being.
Those tapes were there before I met him. Some things haven’t changed! What has changed however is my awareness of them and my ability to navigate rough waters, to walk through rocky terrain, to be determined and convinced of my right to live my most beautiful life today.
I can’t unwind the tapes from the past. I can limit their playing continuously in my head today by living free of the belief I don’t deserve to heal, I don’t deserve a life of joy.
Truth is, I absolutely do deserve a life of joy and wonder. We all do.
It’s up to me to live it up and be magnificent! This is my one wild precious life. To live on purpose. With purpose. This is my one wild precious moment be be the star of my creation, shining light on the path of my healing. To map the wild and unexplored territory of my heart. To discover the hidden treasures within me as I explore life beyond the boundaires of my imagination. Passionate and free, I become the wild one, the fearless inspiration of my own design to become all that I am meant to be.
For each of us, this is our one and only life. May we all live it with fearless abandon, being the awesome human beings we saw ourselves to be when first we touched the fiery breath of their assertions that we are magnificent. We are. It was they who were blind. In healing, do not let the burning pain of his abuse destroy the truth — You are magnificent. An awesome human being on the journey of her lifetime. Life it up!