Finding The Grace Again . . . .

Its been quite a while since I have written in my blog – I am reminded of that every day when I see all those who still read my blog, and ask me “when are you going to write more about your therapy process and healing?”It warms my heart to know people out there miss reading the process of my journey.

Well I have decided to take that step again and begin writing again as I continue this amazing journey of healing I am still on. It will take a while to step back into the routine of writing about all that I have walked thru this year – the good, the hard, the struggles and yes, even the grace!

I thought I would begin with a small step back into it and see where the words lead me as I make this a part of my routine like it used to be. I have to admit, its vulnerable to step back into what was once my comfort.

For those who have asked, YES I am still in therapy and blessed to be so. I am still working along-side Andy, and have been now for 11 years. The journey in therapy has only gotten better – more trust, more openness, and the best part – more acceptance! I am truly blessed for all the wisdom and support and connection he brings to me and our work together! He has truly helped me thru many struggles this year (which I will share as I continue to write more in the coming days and weeks ahead).

I am finally at a place in my healing in therapy where I am open to the inner child within and working hard on her now that I accept that part of me is here. As you all know from my past writings It took me a long time to really accept that part of me. Andy has truly helped me to embrace that part of my healing and using that in all places of this healing journey, not only emotionally, but physically.

Go to where the silence is and say something

So for those who have asked how I am doing in my journey of healing, my answer to that is “its good, its hard, but its rewarding in many ways”.

I do have to say, taking a step back into the writing has been a huge challenge for me over the past year, so taking this step is (as my therapist would say) “A BIG DAMN DEAL”  – so I hope this first step is what pushes me to share more of what I have been working thru, and how I have over-come many challenges and struggles I was faced with ion the past year or so.

My writing and this blog has truly helped me along the healing journey for many years, and I hope that I can continue to find the grace to do that, and to connect with others which has always been such a blessing.

So, as the subject line says, I am “Finding The Grace Again” .

Continue Reading

finding new light and darkness

“I stopped looking for the light and decided to become the light instead.”

This quote is so true to what I feel is going on inside this past month.

Even as I sit here and write this blog, it feels different – there is a newness of this writing and the process of being open with where I am.

Like I shared with my therapist in session last week, “this past month has been the most healing in all the years of being in therapy.” I look forward to what this new light will bring to me as I continue to take steps; allowing myself to be the light, rather than finding the light to lead the way.

One of my biggest struggles in the 10 years I have been in therapy is being open and truthful when I am really going through a hard time, or really struggling with something! Well, doesn’t that sound contradicting seeing that therapy is “made” for helping when you are struggling and going through hard times?

Well, for me, as far back as I can remember, I have only allowed myself to be open about whatever struggles I am going through if I have come up with how to fix it or make it better, and then I ask for support and help as I move through it.

I have always had this fear that if I allow myself to be seen struggling, that I will be rejected or I will be punished or pay consequences for talking about how I feel.

I am a FIGHTER, and I like to show that side of me – not the side that struggles or needs help.

When my therapist and I work together in therapy, we work TOGETHER! I rarely allow myself to say “I need help, and I don’t have it figured out.”

This past month I came to this realization that there is more light in allowing myself to be who I am “in the moment” and allowing others to see me in that light.

I made a decision this past month that allows me to be authentic to the moment instead of always raising a wall to the hard and only allowing the wall to come down once its OK enough to be seen.

The same goes for my writing, a lot of times I wouldn’t write a blog unless there was a resolve or an understanding of something. I would write a blog about positive things that I have overcome rather than letting people know “HEY, I have struggled and I don’t have it all figured out and hey that’s OK.”

What I have come to realize is that, healing happens even in the moments that are not fixed, or don’t feel better. Healing can happen in the hardest of all struggles, and its OK to ask for support in that. I don’t have just to be supported when I have figured it all out – that I am loved, cared for “SEEN” in the darkness.

The past couple of weeks in therapy have been the most healing, the most supporting, the most open, and the most vulnerable I have ever experienced because I have allowed myself to be in both light and dark.

I am finally seeing myself taking steps back into the things that once used to be a huge part of my life. Like the church, writing more, being around my once close friends, and not because I have found the light, but because I have allowed myself to see the dark, and heal in the dark.

I am open to what is next. I am hoping that I am going to write more by allowing others to see not just the good healing steps in my life or the good healing steps in therapy, but being open to the struggles it took to take those steps. Even in the moments of saying “this is where I am, and I don’t have it figured out, and that is OK because I am supported.”

This is such a HUGE step for me because I never allowed myself to be fully seen or supported without me putting up a partition wall to the struggles until It was ok for others to see. This is such a new space for me and I look forward to seeing how it brings me to the places I long to be.

I look forward to writing and connecting with others more in this space and seeing what it does for me and how it heals and meds and where it leads me.

I look forward to writing the blogs that say “I am having a hard day, and ITS OK” or showing up in my life no matter where it is open to the dark, and not just the light knowing healing can happen in both.

So I hope you will all walk with me in both the light and dark and both Good and Hard as I continue to take steps on this amazingly un-perfect journey.

Continue Reading

awaken memories

The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing very strong, vivid dreams and memories of my past when I was a little child, and it’s been incredibly hard to sit with these memories that have come to me in my sleep.

I have written before about “crying wake up’s” that I experience once in a while – dreaming and then waking up crying out of my sleep. Well, its happening again only now it’s happening along with very vivid and strong memories of my past.

The moment I wake up with a dream like this, I try and grab my phone’s notepad app to write down whatever I can remember to capture as much as I can! If I fall back asleep without writing the dream down, I will forget details.

I have had crying wake up’s before! I had had bad dreams before, but this is different, this is vivid, and they are strong and painful even. These dreams have been effecting me and my personal life and connection to self.

My therapist and I have been talking about them more in session and the meaning behind them and what the dreams/memories may be trying to tell me. We have spoken about it, I have written about it, I even talked with someone who knew a lot about dreams from those abused in the past, or from abuse survivors.

The dreams and the wake up’s are the inner young child’s way of telling a story she holds! Sometimes when we work on healing for so long, the inner child begins to trust more, she begins to step away from the wall just enough to let images be visible from the young child’s perspective. My inner child is telling me a story of the past that needs my voice, needs healing, needs to be spoken for her to move on, and grow up to be the adult I am today.

I have been told many times that the inner child is stuck inside, and sometimes it takes years and years for the young inner child inside to finally be free and ready to accept the endured abuse and pain, and the story she holds to be told, to be felt, to be trusted!

I have been in therapy for ten years, and in these ten years, I have talked about my story many times in different ways. I have worked through a lot of the pain! I have worked through a lot of the images and the story behind my past. I have painfully stepped into my past.

But it’s different this time; I feel a different shift happening inside of me to where the young part of me feels present; particularly through these vivid, horrific, painful dreams.

These dreams feel so real like it’s happening all over again! It’s the closest I have been to the abuse since it has happened, and it’s scary and painful in ways I cannot describe.

So what do I do with this? At times I am afraid to shut my eyes to sleep at night. My therapist knows what “I had a crying wake up” means and just how hard that is for me – – but that doesn’t even touch just how painful these wake up’s are or have been these past couple weeks.

My husband has even experienced me struggling in my sleep many times this past month, and he has seen just how horrible it has been for me. The crying wake up’s, the wincing in my sleep, the struggle to get out of the situation I am in during these dreams.

What I have come to realize and understand is, this is not something to hurt me all over again, but more so a way for the young inner child within me to speak and show me what she holds. It’s her way of saying “this is what I hold, this is what I remember – and she looks for healing.

But what about all the years I have talked about my past? What about all the hard work I have done so far in working with the images and stories of my past? I thought I was healing? Why is this happening now? Well, This IS the healing! This is the young part of me healing!

Finally, she has trusted to come out of the dark shadows within and show me, to use my voice to talk about “her” feelings and “her” pain.

We all have an inner child! For those abused as a child, that inner child is “stuck” and “silenced” and driven to fear out of being told for many years that she is not allowed to talk about it!

Me as the adult I am today, I have told the story! I have re-lived the old images of the past- but the young inner child wasn’t ready yet, she stayed dormant to the healing until trust could build just enough to come out from behind the walls.

As the healing has happened within me over the years, the young inner child has finally become awaken to my truth, to the trust of my therapist who holds the story. I have spent ten years showing up and showing her trust, love, and connection. The young inner child has awakened to that healing I have worked so hard through – and now that young wounded child is here – listening and ready to heal.

A physical wound heals from the inside out – An emotional wound heals from the outside in! Think about it, emotional healing begins on the outside and works its way inward, and deep within is that wounded, scared little child stuck, now ready to heal and speak and talk and even feel, and that is what I have realized is happening inside of me.

I spoke with someone recently who specializes in healing the inner child, and she said to me “Karen, you are healing, the dreams and the wakeups are not there to hurt you, but to show you.”

Difficult to think about isn’t it? Doesn’t make it any easier to shut my eyes before bed knowing I could be shown yet another image of my past that is painful or hard to see – – but if I can heal another wound on the little girl inside of me, it’s worth going through the pain again.

It took me years and years to believe that I have an inner child. I didn’t want to believe it! I struggled with the thought that if I admitted to having an inner child, that something was wrong with me. I feel differently now – I welcome this journey, and I embrace whatever the inner child wants to show me, because I know, from the outside in, she is healing.

Continue Reading

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”

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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 [ . . . . . ]

Continue Reading

scattered memories – the healing process

MEMORI have read so many blogs and stories of others who have really struggled with the process of therapy, and how some people feel like therapy has made them feel “worse” than better!

I was one of those who struggled with that same thought years ago – until I realized why I was feeling the way I felt, and saw the process of healing actually working.

For the first couple of years in therapy for me it was like being thrown into a warp zone of vulnerability. I would leave therapy after a hard session, and I would struggled to do my every day tasks, and it was so hard to focus on anything else.

I struggled with being grounded or connected to anyone around me. I felt like I was in a constant fog, and would zone out during conversations with others not being able to concentrate because I felt so lost and raw feeling.

I too was one of those people who thought “is this making me worse? “how is this healing?” “Maybe I should quit, because this doesn’t feel very good and I don’t think I can continue this hard path“.

BUT  something deep inside told me to hold onto this, keep on going, keep on moving through this process. Keep trusting the process and trusting my therapist and the good work we were doing.

One of the things my therapist has helped me to see over the years is how memories work and why they are so hidden so deep within us; especially if the trauma happened at a young age.

For those traumatized at a young age, including myself, our brain scatters those memories over time, and those memories are scattered until we are able and ready to face those memories and face those moments that our brain hid deep deep within. It’s a protection within us . . . but not something that is healthy to keep hidden away.

Therapy is a process of pulling those scattered memories one by one and putting them together like  a puzzle, and the more we sit with the puzzle, the pieces get easier to fit.

I have been in therapy almost 9 years now. I began my journey April 2007 .. I started this journey scared, vulnerable, raw, and had so many walls up that you needed to climb walls just to see the walls. But I knew what my past held, and I knew something needed to be discovered and talked about, because how I felt inside, wasn’t how I wanted to live and be.

I hear of a lot of people who struggle to find the right therapist, and I will say, having the right therapist is so CRUCIAL, because this is your healing journey, this is your life, your voice, your truth, and its so important to feel safe and connected with someone who can walk this journey with you.

I was lucky, God really placed me on a path with an amazing therapist right from day 1. I knew within the first month that my therapist Andy was someone I could walk this journey with – he is warm, gentle, caring, open to hear and open to wisdom that I really needed to hear. I trust him more than I trust anyone else, and that is a big big deal for me, given what I have endured in my past.

Therapy and healing is a process . . . it’s not about covering up the wounds expecting it to scar over and feel better right away … it’s about digging into that wound and cleaning it out before you can cover it and heal from it. Therapy is not a band-aid .. it’s a process of true healing to what is going on inside of you – – those scattered memories from the past that need to be brought together and be told a story of truth.

It’s a painful yet rewarding process as you take those steps. Even today, after almost 9 years in this journey I still sit with hard things that take me out of my self – but because of the process I have taken, it has made those hard moments bearable. I no longer walk around in that fog of hopelessness, instead I process each session and talk through it and live my life the best I can on the outside.

When I read these blogs of those who want to quit or give up on their process of healing, it makes me sad, because I know what that feels like, and I know what is to come if you stay with it and trust the process – yes a painful process – but one that you will see changes you .. but you have to really want to make that change within! No one can do it for you – your therapist cannot do it for you – it’s a team effort and its about your wisdom and your process that takes you there.

There are things that I am still working through – some really hard things that surfaced out of a situation I was put in years ago … some of my close friends and family know about the hard times I have gone through the past couple of years – but I am trusting the same process and continue to work hard just as I have thus far.

I also have come to learn that not all wounds are ready to be healed .. and some heal faster than others. Some need to be covered up again until your ready to uncover and peel back the layers of skin, and although painful and raw, you will know when you are ready for that healing.

Some wounds take a long time to heal, and some remain raw and all you can do is learn how to adjust to that pain.. but you will and your life will feel livable with more hope and even happiness will shine through those wounds.

SO for those who are in the process of healing . . . stick through it, work through it, give the process of healing time .. you are worth it, your wounds are worth healing, your voice is worth hearing and your truth is worth believing – a process I am still learning to trust – one step at a time.

Continue Reading

walking thru many changes

bigstock-New-you-old-you-48073835-e1426973137874As I sat in session yesterday, There was a moment I made a strong eye contact with my therapist when he asked me a hard question, and in that moment I felt a trust I have never felt even in the 8 1/2 years I have worked with my therapist on this healing journey.

I felt this newness in me, I felt like the young part (in that moment) let go of all the old messages and all the old fears and just allowed TRUST to be present and I felt heard, and I felt supported, and I felt a letting go in that moment – another change on this journey.

There have been so many changes going on inside of me the past couple of months. Some are noticeable, and some are only ones that can be felt and seen by me’ changes that only I can experience that have no words to explain.

One of the biggest changes is the work in therapy and the connection I have been able to hold onto – even from the younger part side of me that holds all those old messages from the past. I feel CONNECTED even in the hard days. I feel the old me fading and the new me emerging – but it doesn’t go without a fight to keep this going. It takes work, it takes trust, it takes consistency.

My therapist has used this quote to me the past couple weeks and that is “Nothing changes and yet everything changes” .. meaning as he said to me – “as you move through the many changes going on inside of you on this new path you are walking through, nothing changes in our work together, nothing changes in the support, care and love for you in this work, nothing changes in the connection and trust in our work together, and yet everything changes in such a good connecting way as I seek new ways this path is moving for you

So, what has changed? For me what I have noticed the most is the ability to trust the connection outside of therapy without disengaging out of safety and protection for self. Before I would create a wall outside of therapy out of fear of depending on the process of therapy an my therapist – making it really hard when I had my next session because we had to re-connect all over again, and the work became about connection and not healing.

I have/had this HUGE fear of dependency for such a long long time, and now for the first time ever, I am allowing myself to be connected even outside of therapy, to the process, to myself, and to the connection our work holds inside and outside.

One of the things my therapist says to me at the end of every session in a gentle way is – – “if you need any reminding or you need any support outside of session, lean in, all ways of connecting are here for you

Before – I would completely disconnect myself from that out of fear it meant I was dependent, and if I DID lean in, or reach out outside of therapy, there was such guilt and shame that it would disconnect me and we would have to work hard to re-build that connection

Now – I feel a new kind of acceptance, I feel I can now reach out anytime I need to and accept that it doesn’t mean dependency, it means I am struggling and its OK to ask for help, and nothing changes, because I am still my “independent self”. I have learned that a part of independence, is allowing myself good healthy attachment, connection and support, and the difference is, when I come back into therapy the day after, or after I lean in outside of session, there is no disconnection or shame – connection is already present.

This is a HUGE step for me; even writing about it is a huge acceptance to change and letting others see this change.

This is probably one of the biggest changes, because from day 1 in therapy – almost 9 years ago – the first thing I said to Andy my therapist was “The day I depend on you, is the day I quit this therapy” hahaha I remember the look on his face even today. I said to him “I am NOT dependent on you nor will I ever be, I am my OWN person!”

To this day, we still laugh when we talk about that, because it’s the one thing I truly feared the most. It’s an old message from my past – I was feared into depending on those who abused me and since then I feared ever going through that again.

This fear of dependency got in the way a lot in our work in therapy when I needed to lean on his support or accept talking about really hard things. It created a lot of projection in our work as well. We called it the “D” word! Didn’t even want to say the word Dependent!

“Healing is a process that takes time”

Now, I am not going to say its easy.. it takes work to continue with these new changes.. some days are harder than others. I still struggle with a battle going on inside of me between the young beliefs and the new beliefs. Some days the old messages from the past are louder than the truths I know today, But it’s here and I am working so hard to continue holding this newness in acceptance.

There are so many changes going on within me as I continue to work with the younger little me who holds the pain and wounds and old messages that  get in the way of living the way I want to live, and its a process! but as I work with these changes, its allowing me to seek these deep wounds and feelings I have never been able to reach because of those old barriers!

Emotions is another change for me. I am beginning to FEEL emotions for the first time and yet I am noticing there are some things I am NUMB to – but the difference is, I know when I am feeling and I now know when I am numb – where before I would disconnect and project those feelings on others. I feel present to all the things going on inside of me. I can’t say emotions is something I accept as I still struggle with that, but I can feel and understand what it is I am feeling now.

I am still struggling with isolation that I have been stuck in for a couple of years now, but I truly believe as these changes emerge within me, I will continue to take more steps out of that . . . .

The work between my therapist and I have been amazing, and I am truly blessed to have a wonderful therapist who is open and patient to all these changes emerging within me. He has really inspired me to find the trust in this journey, in the process, and in him. I don’t even have the words to express what a good kind-hearted person he is! Truly a blessing that God has placed on my path to healing.

I have always said this through the years of writing in my blog about my healing journey and around therapy and the work I do with my therapist and that is “healing is a process that takes time“, there are surface wounds, and then there are deep deep wounds that take a long time to get to, and its a process of getting there, and in that process comes changes – changes both good and hard, scary at times, painful and hardening – yet all those are healing!


 

** WORDPRESS.COM READERS ** if your reading this in the READER, you wont be able to respond with a comment unless you go to the link of my blog, I run a SELF HOSTED so you have to go to my blog to leave a comment .. go here to the link to read and leave a comment CLICK HERE TO COMMENT

Continue Reading
1 2 3 5