healing me forward

The past couple of months have been filled with movement and healing in ways that I have not felt healing and movement before in all the 10+ years I have been in therapy with my therapist.

Friday in session, my therapist and I were reflecting just how much the past couple of months have changed so much for me in the way of “healing”, “understanding”, and more so trusting the “young part” in me to take bigger steps on this journey I have been on for over 10 years now.

Healing is not a destination or a place to arrive. Healing is not something you see, but rather something you feel deep within. There is this quote that I saw that helped me to write this blog today and the quote reads:

“Healing doesn’t change you, it reveals you“

That is what this past couple of months have been for me – revealing moments that I can connect to – revealing images of my past that help me to come closer to the young parts voice that has laid dormant for so long; only showing up in the vulnerable places of my sleep.

I began therapy over 10 years ago, April 21st of 2007 to be exact – and each time I reflect back on that, there is something new to understand about this journey.

Honestly? I didn’t think that I would be on this journey for as long as I have, in fact, I thought it would be a quick fix “talk about my memories, tell my story, work through them, and I am healed” OH no no no! Boy was I wrong! – that is the furthest from the reality of what healing really is about. Healing is a state of being and becoming who we were intended to be. Not the abused version of what I have been through.

Therapy isn’t an “event”, therapy is the process of being me, I am healing wounds to create more movement in the life that God created for me to be. I am in this process of movement and healing old wounds held by the young part of me that has been stuck in the old memories and wounds – to finally being released as I allow her to be present.

The past 5 years for me were hard – really hard. I went through a lot of hard things that caused me to really go inward and isolate for a long long time. I could sit here and write about all the reasons why and what happened, but that’s not important, what IS important is facing and accepting where I am now and what I am moving towards; realizing that the isolated place I was in the past couple of years was just a stuck place – almost like purgatory while I worked hard internally to heal myself into movement.

I literally had to heal myself into movement, and it took a long long time to get out of the funk of isolation and depression I was in these past 5 years! The isolation to where I had pushed everything and everyone away from me.

I stopped going to church, I stopped going out with friends, I completely shut myself out and away from all the things I loved; even my family. I went internal to the young part and clung onto the old fears and old stories of my past and Is at there for a while until I could really see what was going on and where I was.

I allowed the actions of another in the past to dictate my place of being, and that caused me so much pain and suffering! But one day, I woke up! I came to realize that the actions of another are just what It is “the action of another” and it has nothing to do with me or who I am, or where I want to go. Those same childhood fears are not repeating themselves – they are simply showing up so that I can say NO to it, and turn my face to the things that really matter like connection, friends, writing, the things I love – even GOD!

This past year, (especially the past couple of months) I have finally come out of the hard shell of isolation I was in. I finally accepted where I was and why I was in that place in order to move out, and heal forward.

When we truly accept that place of where we were and where we are now – that is when we truly heal forward.

I have come to a place in my healing in therapy where I am allowing the “Young Part” of me to NOT pull me IN, but rather allow me to open UP and allow myself to see and feel what I have been through not only the past 5 years that led me to isolation, and depression but my whole life as an abused neglected hurt child who holds more wounds than anyone should ever hold.

I have never felt healing the way I have felt it these past couple months. I see things I haven’t seen in such a long time. I am finally moving back into things in life I love like friends, church, family, writing, photography.. all of it! I feel like the numb parts of my life are finally gaining feeling and color.

What I do know about healing forward is, as with anything it takes time, care and love! this is a new place, a new place of being, and that deserves space, time and healing.

One of the things I have awoken to again is my writing and this blog. I have had so many people asking me if I could write about my therapy journey again and how much they missed reading about this journey and how much It has helped them. Well, today is the first step back into that part of my journey and although it’s vulnerable and scary, it feels connecting and healing.

My therapist and I were just talking about this in session Friday on how much I have changed and how different my healing is in the way I can talk about things in ways I have never been able to talk about or feel it before. I am blessed for my therapist Andy and all he has done for me and walked with me through on this journey. he is the most caring and compassionate person I have ever met. he knows my story, he knows me and the young part inside, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to hold my story with care, trust and love just as he does. He is such a wonderful person – – – – So Andy, if you’re reading this, or shall I say WHEN you read this :) thank you for this amazing journey thus far!

So, as I wrap up the end of this blog writing, I want to say to all those who connect with my journey and writing – “I look forward to sharing more of what is next on this part of the journey of where I am and where I am looking toward (hard and good) I look forward to sharing and connecting more of the “Healing Forward”! not only in the healing work but in life and through my writing! It’s vulnerable but SO hopeful!!

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This 10 Year Journey

10 years ago I took a step into the beginning of my healing journey – the beginning of finding my voice, the beginning to unfolding the many little pieces of pain and secrets I held onto since I was as little as 5 years old.

10 years ago I took a step into the beginning of finding what safe connection was – what a safe person to talk to was about, and realizing just how important my truth was, and still is.

This journey has been about unfolding every piece of a secret kept for years that I held onto – and finding my voice right in the middle of it all.

10 years ago I met this wonderful inspiring wisdom filled person – my therapist Andy – who has taught me that not every connection is a painful one – that my voice matters – and that I am cared enough about to be heard and believed in.

My therapist is one kindest – most wisdom filled person I have ever met, and one of the most trusting people I have ever met – and because of who he is – he has allowed me to trust this healing journey and take these steps into finding the voice that would tell the painful stories I was never allowed to tell.

Today in session we celebrated this amazing journey of 10 years – we talked about what we were most proud of, and what we still work hard on together today! We even had a few laughs about our phone tag we played in the beginning 10 years ago trying to make our first appointment – – This is what makes my therapist the wonderful person he is, he wanted to carve out space to celebrate the 10 year journey today, and found this milestone of my healing important enough to celebrate.

We had such a good talk today – and even in these moments of talking about the journey – healing happens, and something is learned.

What I have come to realize this past year is that, healing happens in moments of struggle just as much as moments of good! I used to think that healing only happened when I have over-come something hard – well I have learned is that healing also happens in moments I don’t over-come, because in those moments I am still healing, because I am learning to accept those moments of hard struggle, and in that struggle I heal.

This journey has really helped me to accept the young parts of me inside that need healing, and that has probably been the biggest realization for me these past couple of months. My therapist never judged me for having a wounded little child inside of me – and he has helped me to accept her, and to bring her out from behind the wall to be seen, heard and mostly accepted and loved.

This has been such a hard hard journey, but a rewarding one each day and each step. I never thought it was possible to bring my voice, my story, and my truth to someone who would hear it, hold it and believe in it.

I am a changed person because of this healing journey – – I have seen a whole new me, and I continue to see this new person because I am starting see and accept the little parts inside of me that need just as much love and healing as I do.

Its because of that little part inside of me, I am becoming me

I truly have hope for the steps I continue to make, and see a life that God has intended for me! I am taking steps every day more and more out into the light of the life I really want to live in, and I am thankful everyday for this journey God has put me on.

If I were to say something to my therapist in this moment as I write these words to this blog, and as he reads it – – –  I would say “Andy, thank you for listening” – “thank you for helping me take steps out from behind the wall, and giving me a safe place to speak my voice and tell my story” – “thank you for being patient and understanding to the moments of struggle” – “thank you for believing in me, and finding me to be an important enough person to walk this journey with” –  –  like I have said before, you are one of my favorite people.”

10 years on this amazing journey thus far and I wouldn’t take a moment back, because each moment whether its been good or hard, sad or happy, frustrating or elating – – I have found healing and strength to take another step in front of me.

As I continue this path ahead –  I am finding myself more and more into the life God intended for me, and less in the pain and hurt I was put in!

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therapy helped me find my true self

When I began therapy almost 10 years ago, I was scared! I was vulnerable, I was unsure of what the process would be. I was afraid to let someone else into the part of my life I had locked up deep within for a very long time.

But I took that step 10 years ago, and I took that step because it was something I needed to do for me for that scared locked up little girl inside that never had a voice to speak without consequences.

I was told by “other people of my past” that going to therapy wasn’t going to help – that all therapy was about was paying someone to listen to my problems, and that talking about my past would be digging myself a hole I would never be able to get out of.

I was even told that I would be abandoned in the process, and if I took this step, no one would be there for me if I came back.

I was told that once I took that step into therapy, I would have to become dependent on the process; dependent on my therapist and change into a different person.

I was told that it wasn’t a good idea to open old wounds, that life is about handing everything over to God, and old wounds belong in the past.

The phrase “the past is the past“, yep I was told that time and time again by many – –  “the past belongs to the past” – –  “you can’t change what happened!” oh and let it go Karen.” – I have heard it all.

Well, they were right about some of those things – – –

I did change – I changed in ways that I never thought was possible. I found a voice inside that even I didn’t know I had. I changed – I changed into the person I always wanted to become – a person who can speak and use my voice in so many ways.

They were also right about something else – I did dig a hole, a big one, and in that hole what I found was a way to release the pain, and the hurt, and that lost little child inside who was silenced for way too long.

In that hole I dug I found a light – a light to healing; a light to a place where my voice would heal the hurt and the pain I held.

I found that the hole I dug, the hole I worked HARD to dig, also had something on the other side, a way out into a whole different life that I never knew was there for me. A life with connection, a life with healthy boundaries, a life where I could connect with god and people in ways I could trust.

They were Also right about being dependent – only what I learned in this process of therapy is that, the only person I would become dependent on was myself in a good healthy healing way; a way to where I could finally accept support from others without me having to give anything in return.

I learned that the therapist listening to my truth and supporting me through it, was there for me freely – no consequences or hurt – but to help me find myself behind the wall pf pain and hurt.

They were also right about something else … I am paying someone – but not for the reasons they believe, because what I also learned on this journey thus far is that, the financial part of therapy – the money I put towards my healing – is about a healthy financial part of this therapy process that honors me and my therapist.

I began to hear being told many times that no price spent, no amount of session time, no amount of years in therapy equals to the value of who I truly am – – – realizing that money was something others did to control me in my past, but this was about my worth and the worth of the time of my therapist in a healthy caring supporting way.

They were also right about something else .. the past IS the past, and how this process of healing has helped me and the young parts of me to see that the past is no longer here, and those who hurt me can’t hurt me anymore! The past IS the past, and boy how therapy has helped me to define the difference in a whole new way!

Therapy isn’t only about healing wounds of the past, but also about finding my true self under the wounds of the past. I found that I don’t have to be the person others expect me to be, or want me to be, that I am my own true person and she is still healing every day – every step – on my terms.

I won’t lie, when I first started therapy, I feared that I would be “seen” to be dependent on the process of therapy, or better yet, fear my therapist would feel I was dependent on him (like others did in my past) – – but what I really learned the most in these past 10 years is, I am the one who is in charge of my healing, and my therapist is the one that helps to guide me each step of the way.

Therapy and this process of healing is not a time frame, but a process of movement, and each day I continue to move and change, and continue taking steps out of the much-needed hole that I dug 10 years ago into my past, so that I could take steps into what lies before me.

SO when people wonder or ask “are you still in therapy? are you still on this journey to healing? I proudly respond “YES I am”, and I will continue to take these steps until the steps turn more into the steps of the life God intended for me, and only I will know when those steps change from a process of healing, to a process of being whole, and I feel it happening EVERY DAY”.

No one can do that for me but ME.

So YES I have changed, and yet I am also still the same person in many ways, only now I continue to find freedom from the wounds and the past by giving myself the voice I never had;only now I know I have the choice to move where I want to move, and how far and how long.

Truthfully speaking, In this process of therapy and healing I have struggled, and I have celebrated, and I have cried, and I have laughed!I have had moments of wanting to give up, and I have had moments of big changes and wanting to continue this amazing path of goodness! I have been through all of it, and that is what healing is! it’s ALL of it – the hard and the good!

I have found the locked up wounded self inside, and I have become a person I never thought I could become, and yet there is still the same sparkle of me inside as well –  It’s there – for those who truly know me, I’m still here.

Therapy is not just a process of the past, but the process of the now and how to live in the new life uncovered. Remember that if anyone ever wonders about your process of healing.

When I was 8 years old, I sat in my closet night after night and prayed to God that he would find someone I could talk to about what I was holding inside.

I needed someone other than God who could hear me and help me make sense of the confusion and pain I was holding. A voice I could hear back saying “Its OK Karen, I hear you and your OK, you didn’t do anything wrong” I longed for that, I longed to no longer hold this pain and secrets I held for so long.

I was a little girl all alone scared of what was going on, and I had no one to talk to about it. I prayed about this every night! So you see, I did hand this over to God, and he sent me into this process of healing 10 years ago – he knew I was ready, this was my time and God has walked along side of this journey with me every single day since.

God sent me on this journey with a bag filled of uncertainties and fear, and a whole lot of pain and stories to be told, and I couldn’t have done this without my amazing therapist Andy who has gently helped me  to unpack that bag in a healthy, caring and supporting way. Thank you ANDY, thank you so much for being the wisdom and the ears to my voice.

My therapist who has walked this journey with me almost 10 years now is the kindest most caring person. He is truly an amazing person inside and out. I thank God every day for him and his guidance and wisdom.

He has shown me what safe and healthy connection is, and he has walked this journey with me in the struggles and the celebrations.

Thank you Andy for being a part of this journey along side of me and God.

So you see – there are a lot of things people were right about – but they were right in their OWN beliefs without asking me first what this journey is TRULY about – – this journey that I took and continue to take –

Yes the past is the past, but you can’t live in the now or the future without taking a step back and healing what keeps you from going forward.

You can hand everything over to God, but what he hands back to you is just as important, this is what God handed back to me – the ability to heal and use my voice not only to live the life God intended for me, but to help others in the process.

This is my journey …. my journey to healing …. changes and all.

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learning to “heal” my inner child

“Your wounded inner child will never be healed by something from the outside but only by yourself, your own power and wisdom”

I have struggled for many years to even accept that I had an inner child. I struggled with the thought that the little girl I was still remains struck inside of me – wanting to be healed, loved and connected to.

I feared that if I accepted that part of me, that it would mean I was mentally ill, or I would be more damaged than I thought I would. I was afraid that I would be looked at weird by even mentioning “my inner child”.

It was a while back ago in therapy that my therapist shared with me that even he has an inner child – we all have an inner child. For some people their inner child is stuck in place – wounded – scared – filled with old messages that never allows the adult to grow in certain ways.

I have accepted and come to really embrace the inner child within – to learn and understand the difference between the old messages of the past vs. the truth of today.

The past couple of weeks, I have gently moved the child within forward with me – letting myself lead her to a new path of healing and understanding. Allowing her voice to be heard – but at the same time trusting my own self, my own voice, and my own wisdom – – showing her there is a trust and connection we can learn to accept without being hurt.

I have accepted to help bring forward and heal the younger me, not just accept that there is a younger me, but to help heal those wounds she holds and trust the process of letting myself lead, while understanding the hurts and fears that the younger child holds.

My therapist has really helped me to bring her forward so that I can help her – help me. Not pushing away her fears and feelings, but allowing them to be here. Allowing the hurts to tell a story and to heal from her voice.

I really came to understand something this past week (a week that was filled with a lot of hard things), that a part of taking steps out of this isolating place I have been in, is truly about allowing the inner young child to be here, let her be, let her voice be heard, let her fears be known, and allow myself to feel that.

It has changed me – allowing the young part to be present. It has changed me in a way that I am seeing things differently, and I am able to work through the fears I go through around many things – including taking steps when steps are needed.

I never realized just how much the inner child holds – the moment I accepted her, I could hear things a lot louder and clearer and understand why I am the way I am, because of her. . . . which helps me to understand what part of her needs healing.

EVERYONE has an inner child .. and like the quote says “Your wounded inner child will never be healed by something from the outside but only by yourself, your own power and wisdom

No one can heal the inner child but me, I can have support through it, and I can have help to love her, but only I can truly heal her wounds by loving her to healing and accepting who she is within.

“Be gentle, kind, and comforting to the inner child as we uncover and release the old negative messages within”

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continue; making my way back

As I sit here writing, putting words to this blog, it feels weird as I haven’t written in so long – – but at the same time it feels familiar.

I took a backseat to my writing and many other things this past year, but the one thing I didn’t take a backseat to was my healing, and continuing to fight and put one foot in front of the other.

For the past year or so, I went through emotional and physical isolation, I pushed away my writing, I pushed away people who I was once close to, I pushed away things that really defined who I was.

I pushed away out of fear – – but what I have learned the most these past couple of months is, those things I pushed away and backed away from, never went away – that my writing, and those people who love and care for me are right here waiting as I continue to take steps forward and out.

My therapist and I have worked so incredibly hard this past year, and continue to work hard to help me put one foot in front of the other as I took, and continue to take steps out to find my way back – and for him and this journey I am so grateful. I am so grateful that he helped me find my steps, and even sat with me in the moments of still.

The one thing I have learned the most about myself in this past year is, no matter what steps I took whether it was steps back, to the side, steps paused out of fear, or even moments of sitting still,  I was always going forward even when I didn’t see it or feel it.

The funny thing about healing is, no matter how hard things get, you can move forward in the hard. You can move forward even in the pauses, you can even move forward when you take no steps at all. I have really come to understand that – which is what gave me the courage to write this blog today.

I have missed writing so much! I have missed connecting with others on this journey to healing. I have missed putting words to this blog and really connecting with those who also know what this journey is about for me, and for them. . . . . so that is why today – TODAY – I have decided to take another step and let the words be seen; let this journey be seen thru my writing and thru the steps forward.

Even as I sat here writing this blog, there were moments of pause, moments of not being sure if I wanted to continue to write to post it, even moments of deleting some words and putting them back – but all of those moments is what makes THIS step what it is.

I look forward to sharing thru my words what the healing process has been for me this past year, so I can connect with others and create more steps not only for me, but hopefully for others like I once did.

I am truly blessed for finding my way back to this blog and many others things that I isolated from.

There is this quote that I have really embraced as I have taken steps and that quote is

healing doesn’t completely eliminate a person’s pain. It removes the fear of entering into the pain

I have learned to enter “into” the fear and “into” the pain – – as a way to move out of it

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start where you are

Sometimes, when we are struggling, or going through a hard time, we long to move out of whatever we are going through to get back to how things were – “if only I can feel better”, “I wish I could go back to how I felt then when things felt easier“, “if only I could go back to that moment when . . . . “.

Sound familiar? I know we have all been there. We have all wished to take back a moment or a time, or to wish that we could go back to a particular good feeling, or a time when we felt a little more connected to others and ourselves.

I myself have gone through that many times – in fact I have gone through a really rough patch this past week with feeling something new, and wanting to go back to something that feels familiar, but I know if I just continue right where I am, that I will find myself right where I need to be.

Many many times I have wished to go back to a moment where I felt the most connected to myself and all my support – – but what I am learning and understanding is: by longing to go back, I am never truly going forward. I am learning that a part of the struggle – a part of the harder time I am going through is where I grow. Sometimes we need to get disconnected to re-connect to something better.

I am learning that being in the present moment of where I am (whether I am connected or not) is the place where I need to be; even if it feels absolutely horrible and unbearable. I can’t grow, or heal by going back, this journey is about going forward holding to whatever is here in this moment.

This past year I have really come to a clear understanding of being and honoring the place I am in – even if the moment is hard and painful. I am finally learning that emotions, and every tear shed is an untold story within trying to find its way out to be seen, felt and heard.

I am beginning to understand that emotions are not the enemy like I once thought them to be – only when I try to keep those emotions in does it become the enemy within me.

I have gone through many changes this year. I have gone through more changes this year, than I have in the whole 9 years of being in therapy and on this healing journey, and sometimes when so many big changes happen, it can be scary and vulnerable, and that is what this year has been for me so far.

In those changes, I am scrambling for something to feel familiar, and sometimes when we long to feel something familiar in the new, we want to go backwards to a time that feels more familiar. We long to feel something that once felt good and safe … but this journey is about finding the new familiar, the new comforts in the healing of going forward.

The healing journey and the work my therapist and I have done this past year has also been an amazing journey forward. My therapist has taught me so much about trusting the moment in front of me, and really honoring the emotions that I was once feared. It’s still a work in progress, but more and more, I am beginning to see that only when I honor the emotions and tears that show up – that they begin to heal, not hurt as the old messages would tell me.

When I sat down to write this blog, I thought to myself “I wish I could write the way I used to write” – well, maybe how I used to write isn’t the way I write now. The journey I have taken this year has changed me, and my writing will now serve a different purpose; a new purpose that will heal me forward, not backwards.

I will say this – I look forward to seeing where this continued forward path takes me. I am no longer going to focus on where I was or the moments that felt better –  but rather use where I was as a way to move forward to a new and better place within me.

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the cure to healing is pain

EnergyTherapyLast weekend I was triggered by a memory/image from my past, and this trigger was one of the worst I have had in a very long time; the kind of trigger that pulls you from the now and throws you into a tailspin of fear, emotions from the past.

Over time in my work in therapy I have learned that triggers and or memories are “information” not “emergencies” – that these feelings and thoughts are here to tell a story to heal, not to harm me.

This trigger was a pretty big one, and its been hard to be present and connected to the now, when I feel I was thrown into my past.

I have done a lot of praying around this as I haven’t felt much like myself since this trigger, and one of the things that I realized was – maybe sitting with this trigger, feeling this trigger, feeling my

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9 years – My Place of Healing

IMG_7677This month, this week, this year marks 9 years on this amazing journey of therapy and healing. This is my place of healing, the room that holds the story, the pain, the joy, the truth of so many things I kept hidden inside me for 30+ years.

This is a photo of my therapy room, the room I stepped into 9 years ago and began my healing journey with an amazing therapist who has guided me into the life I never thought I could live.

9 years ago I began this journey with one foot out the door out of fear, and today I claim this room as the place of my healing and the place that has changed my life, and has healed so many open wounds.

I have sat in every chair in this room – made my way around the room in anger, tears, laughter, joy, excitement and many other feelings and emotions that I have had through the years!

The room [ . . . . . ]

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