Hey everyone just wanted to share FIVE STEPS that have been crucial to my personal healing process! Hope this helps you heal and progress forward.
1.Accepting the Past
For me, accepting the fact that the abuse happened was the most difficult aspect of healing from my abuse. I spent years feeling like the abuse was my fault. I felt like there was something about me that made my abuser think that I wanted the abuse. Admittedly, there were times during the molestation that I would physically respond so feeling betrayed by my own body I begin to wonder if I was abused or if I was an active participant. Even after I was raped, I begin to blame myself wondering why I had put myself in such a position of vulnerability.
Once I accepted the abuse and the rape for what they were, I could finally heal. It was hard to consider myself a victim, but I needed to go back to that place and revisit the child that was abused and the teen that was raped. I needed to be honest about my emotions with myself and come to terms with that happened and how huge of an imprint it left on my life and my personality.
2.Celebrating Your Survival
Once I accepted that I had indeed survived the sexual abuse, I needed to celebrate my survival. Often coming to terms with the abuse can lead to some very dark internal places so focusing on my triumphs helped restore a level of joy to my life. Realizing I suffered post-traumatic stress and how the abuse affected and shaped my personality was a bit depressing. The mountain of issues related to the abuse seemed insurmountable so I was sure to celebrate every step along the climb to the other side. I celebrated the fact that it didnít destroy me and as I begin to progress and heal I took time to reflect and celebrate my milestones. If you are in therapy or seeking any sort of religious or professional assistance, celebrate all of the triumphs (big and small) along the way. You are on a journey to finding yourself so be your own biggest cheerleader!
3.Telling Your Story
As an upcoming author, I do realize that everyone will not be like me and feel the unction to share their story publicly. It is important, however, to find some medium to tell your personal story. There is a little boy, girl or maybe even an adult that has been abused and taken advantage of inside you. There inside you this being screams to be heard, to be seen and to be helped. So whether you are blogging, telling a close friend, sharing with a therapist, counseling with a minister or keeping a private journal itís important to tell your story and give the inner you a voice. Let every word of your truth lead you deeper down the road of liberation.
4.Freeing Yourself and Others
Some people donít feel that forgiveness is an important aspect of healing. As stated before in previous blogs, I have found that forgiveness had broken the chains of the past that bound me and prevented me from living fully in the present. Un-forgiveness festers and becomes bitterness which obviously leaves the person caring the bitterness in an extremely un-healthy place. The truth is that many of our abusers will never be sorry for what they have done and even with sorrow they will rarely fully understand the effect their actions had on our lives. Forgiveness is not a gift to the abuser; in fact, it has nothing to do with the abuser at all. Forgiveness is about the victim deciding to make the steps towards being as healthy as possible. I understand the desire to make them pay or hold them guilty but forgiveness does not diminish their guilt. Forgiveness frees you from the anger and bitterness so you can feel the love and joy that surrounds your life. Free your abuser and free yourself!
5.Living in the Present
One of my favorite movies is ďThe Color PurpleĒ. One of the most tremendously unrecognized scenes in the movie is when the main character Celie walks through a bed of purple flowers and realizes how often we walk pass miracles like purple flowers, humming birds, quiet streams, etc. and get so distracted by tribulation that we hardly notice the beauty around us. Likewise, the shadow of our past abuse can prevent us from embracing the love, support and joy that comprises our lives. There are endless resources and support groups for victims of abuse so truly we are not alone. That in itself is amazing! We can only embrace the joy of the present and realize that we are not the person who was abused if we learn to live in the present. This is a progressive process but it begins with deciding to make an active pursuit to stay in the present by accepting the past, celebrating our survival and progress, forgiving and freeing ourselves perpetually and focusing on the positive.