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.

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letting {fear} write the script – no more

d46dadfa4eb678318ca9db801a7ae7b1I saw this quote last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since!

This quote really opened my heart and my mind to so many things around me; especially looking back on this hard year I have had.

The quote was this:

“Our eyes are not just viewers they are also projectors that are running a 2nd story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time! Fear is writing that script, and the working title is “I will never be enough”.

When I read that quote it was like something huge shifted inside of me; something that I have never felt before. Something changed, I changed, my feelings changed, my outlook changed!

If you really read the quote, it tells us that no matter what we have going on in front of us, there is always a 2nd story being written over what is really here! FEAR writes the script of what it is that is really here and that fear gets in the way at times, and most of the time that script is telling us “I am not enough”.

This quote has defined exactly what the past couple of years has been for me.

As readers of my blog, I know you have read many different versions of what I am going through. Sometimes I feel on top of hope, and other times I am not so sure. I have written about the REALLY hard, and the REALLY good. I have had moments where I thought I was going through a really good shift, but then realized later it was false hope.

This time, it feels SO different! I feel SO different!

Something shifted over thanksgiving break and I have never felt a sense of movement like I do now. I have never felt so connected as I do now.

Over thanksgiving break I took a step out of my head and really got clear about what was going on around me. I told my therapist that I wanted the week of Thanksgiving break to be time for me to get out of my head and time for me. I didn’t want to connect over break; that I trusted the really good connection we have.

It was a great break for me to get out of my head, away from the healing, and really get curious and clear about where I am! it was amazing!

This past year has been about not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy enough, not feeling good about myself causing me to be in this place of isolation… but what was really going on inside of me? What was causing this isolation?

What 2nd story was being played out in front of what was real? I realized, it was FEAR .. and knowing that now gives me hope of what I need to do next! In fact, I am changing hope to faith – because faith holds more promise than hope.

Coming back into my healing after the Thanksgiving break was nothing short of amazing connection! This past week was the best week I have ever had in therapy! I am more connected now than I have ever been – ever!

My therapist and I are both so excited about the path going forward! So many thoughts and ideas I have about what caused this isolation and what is really here in front of me that needs a place to be placed.

Today my therapist and I were talking about this big shift and he was glowing with excitement! He slid over to me and gave me the biggest hug of connection telling me how proud he was of me and just how DIFFERENT he see’s this shift to be and how there is big opportunity here in this big shift! It’s EXCITING!

I plan to share some of these steps with you all. I know I haven’t written much in the past week and a half, but I took a small week or so break from writing so I could really get clear about this new shift and path I am on. I didn’t want to jump ahead too quickly before I really knew what God was showing me.

I have come to realize that FEAR is the script that got in the way of where I was going this past year, and more so the past COUPLE of years. I let outside circumstances really steer the course of my healing path and it got the best of me, and now I am here writing my OWN script to my healing … no longer letting fear take control over what I want, and what I need going forward!

Fear is a huge obstacle that can get in the way of many things! That quote was right on .. there will always be a 2nd story over the truth of what is really in front of us if we let Fear control the story. WE HAVE a choice! I HAVE A CHOICE, an I know that now.

A part of the healing is realizing what that 2nd story is telling us, and how to focus on the truth of what is real vs what is not.

I hear and know that loud and clearly!

I am excited! It will be some work moving through some of the things I need to move through, but I am ready to face whatever it is I need to do to re-write the script fear has forced upon me the past couple of years!

This place I have been in is no place for me … isolation and feelings of unworthiness is not the place God would want me to be, thats not the story God has written for me or my path.

One step at a time is what is needed … however big or small – at least it’s a step “out” and not a step “in”.

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the grace in letting go

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It’s not easy to let go of something; especially when I feel so strongly about my convictions!

It took me years of therapy and a lot of work to learn how to stand to something that is right and true when I have been wronged or hurt.

I never knew how to stand up for my rights, or to anyone in my life before. I never knew how to allow myself anger when I felt anger. I never knew how to allow myself emotions when something has hurt me- and I did!

Learning how to own all of these things is just as hard as letting it go. It’s learning that it’s not a step back, it’s a step forward.

Learning how to let go of something once we grab a hold of it is extremely hard, because we want so much to keep standing in that empowerment – but there is a time to when you have to let go in the truth you stand by and let that be enough.

Today in session I allowed myself to let go of something and realized how much room it made for something else. When I allowed myself to let go of what has been holding me down for a year, there was something beautiful on the other side –  a path in front of me, and a hand to hold, and ears to hear.

My therapist said “lets go! lets go down the path together, all you have to do is accept” .. and I realized in order to take his hand and go down the path that is made for me and my healing – I needed to let go of what’s been sitting me down.

It took a while to understand the beauty of just letting go”

My therapist and I took a small walk on that new path today, and I found how more open I was to hear, feel, and be. I found myself having tears that came out of nowhere and for the first time in almost a year, the tears were around understanding and meaning vs something that just didn’t make sense.

Just as hard as it was to learn to own my feelings, it was just as hard to know when to let go of the things that need letting go of. When you have done all you can do and you are standing in that truth, sometimes you just have to let that be enough.

Let it be enough that you have people who support you and love you. Let it be enough that the things that don’t have an answer – don’t need an answer, it just needs letting go. Once I was able to see that, it became clearer, I became open, and even felt lighter in my self.

I have also learned that letting go doesn’t mean you have given up, it doesn’t mean it holds any less meaning, or change any of the truth – it just means that that it’s enough to be where you are, an to let it go – and I have.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”  Ann Landers

So today I took a path not into the unknown, but a path to what I do know; a path I have always known and been on – but I just got a little lost for a while.

I came home from session today, kicked off my shoes, threw my hair up, put on some jeans and a sweater and plopped myself on the couch and decided that in this letting go, there is also time for me. I have sat here now for 3 hours doing nothing but allowing myself to be open for new things (even giving myself time when I need time to just be).

I am so grateful that my therapist held out his hand today and said “lets just GO, lets go down the path” .. I just needed to accept it – and I did!

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