I was talking to the therapist at length tonight. We shared ideas on what one can do to mentally love the self. Part of this entails redirecting joy and happiness inward towards self. This struck me as an interesting idea considering I spent a good part of my near-50 years in this life redirecting anger, hurt, shame, etc inward towards self.
Healing has taught me over the years that these messages can indeed be replaced with healthy, positive messages. The "old tapes" can be rendered obsolete as the survivor reconnects with some lost positive feelings of the past. It takes time to learn once more what we used to know: it's ok to feel unashamed ,or it's ok to feel secure in the self, or it's ok to trust, or whatever that connection was which was lost in surviving from abuse.
We all can relate to nicely-wrapped presents. As I discovered the possibilities of reconnection, I told the therapist it's like having a bunch of unopened presents of varying sizes and colors, which have been waiting a long time to be opened. Amidst the anticipated pain and fright of recovery, we can have those good reconnections as well. Recovery, in this case, is recovering the connections to those lost emotions that were hidden away in order to ensure survival.
Time to open some presents?