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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31 Days {Day 24} breaking the silence

originalWhen I saw that the 31 day “WORD” for the Five Minute Friday challenge month was “silence” I just had to use the word as a part of my writing today!

Breaking the Silence is what I stand for! I am a CASA for ATLANTA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

I am a court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.

I AM FOR CHILD! I am the voice for the children who don’t have a voice, or anyone to stand for their voice.

Not only do I work for CASA, but I work hard in my own healing by “breaking the silence” every day by using my voice to connect and talk about the wounds that once isolated me to silence!

I am all about “breaking the silence”

I stand for those who tell their story against those who abused and hurt them! I stand for those who have the courage to write their story and let their vulnerable self be seen so that others out there will not feel alone in their fight for freedom for internal peace!

I am proud to be a CASA, I wish I had a CASA when I was a little girl who needed a voice to stand for the abuse I was enduring. I was sexually abused from the age 5 until I was 10 right under the nose of those who”knew” it was going on, but never did a thing to stop it! I never had a voice, and I wish I did back then.

I can’t change what happened when I was little, but what I can do is, use my voice today as a way to heal the wounds. Talking about my abuse and telling my story is breaking the silence and letting those wounds AIR and HEAL; no longer laying dormant in the dark getting infected!

Shedding light on the dark everyday!

For those out there who still sit in silence – you are NOT alone! your voice matters! Your story is important! Your wounds are cared for by those who want to help heal them with you! YOU are WORTHY of being seen and supported!

it took me a long long time to really get that! Years of work with my therapist who still reminds me of the good work I am doing, I finally have learned to accept it and believe in my voice.

If you ever have doubt, just know that you are not alone to speak that voice and letting the light shine on the darkness of the lies and silence!

BREAK the SILENCE! YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

 

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giving myself voice..

When I first started this blog last year, it began in little thoughts. I started off using the “photo” to tell the story of what I was writing, and then slowly it became writing the story, and finding a photo to help tell the story.

As I continued to write and be inspired by a couple of people, I noticed more and more that my voice was being heard, and my stories were longer and more authentic to how I was feeling inside.

In the past 2 months I have noticed that my voice is getting stronger and stronger. My feelings are sitting at the surface and I am using that as a tool to put my voice out there to be heard.

Today’s blog writing I am inspired by one of my mentors “Keith Jennings” who’s blog topic was “finding your voice”.

Today in session I had small emotions here and there, but today was about talking. Today was about talking through my heart and my soul – just like I write.

Today I talked for 2 hours and had a good conversation – I was giving myself voice. It was a conversation of understanding, compassion, my feelings, some joys, some sorrows, thoughts, wonder, laughter, fears, problem solving, and much more!

I found that giving myself voice today, was just as healing as giving myself emotions yesterday.

I never ever had a voice growing up. I was silenced from the age of 5. Everything was a secret. Everything was hush to keep quiet. Everything was black and dark.

Anything that I did give voice to; was on paper inside the closet. I had no one to talk to, I had no outlet. The only outlet I had was within me, or the paper I created my thoughts on – to be hidden behind the walls in the closet.

When I was 9 years old, I taped my voice and thoughts on this little plastic fisher price tape recorder that I had gotten for my birthday from Mrs. Bell. I would talk into it, save the tapes by hiding them as well in the walls of my closet. I saved those tapes and put them in a lock box when I was 18 years old. I held onto her voice all these years.

6 months ago, I took those tapes out of the lock box, and I shared them in therapy. I was finally ready to take that risk and take them out of the dark. We both had racing hearts at the thought of opening her voice up to be heard.

We sat and listened to that 9 year old on those tapes, as we both sat there in tears hearing my voice finally being heard after all these years. Finally giving her voice; the little girl we have been healing for years and years.

I had no idea what was on those tapes, but to hear that little girls pain (me at 9) – was heart breaking! It was so hard to hear, that we had to take breaks between listen to each tape. We needed to take breaks and talk about the depth of her cry for help; a little girl only wanting to be heard.

One of the greatest joys that came out of listening to those tapes was “GIVING HER VOICE”. She was finally heard, and today, I am being heard. I am blogging my healing, I am reaching out to others; I am reading my blogs in therapy, along with working through my timeline.

All of my healing today is about “giving myself voice” – something I never had before. My voice was caught behind the lies and the darkness, and today just as we did 6 months ago, when listening to the tapes of that 9 year old – today I am giving myself voice, and finding ways to heal through it.

Having a voice also comes with its consequences and risks. You see and feel everything you never saw or felt before. You realize what was under that darkness and silence. You hear things you never knew you felt; you hear your own pain as you are crying the tears.

I working on my timeline in this journey is a part of that (voice being heard). It’s a part of being with the hard, but opening the wound and shutting it with truth.

Every day when I sit to write in my blog, I am giving myself voice. When I sit down to write my blog, the VERY first thing I think about is “she would be so happy that she is being heard”; that 9 year old that longed for a voice to be heard.

It’s hard, it’s good, it’s healing, and I am honored to share it with everyone who reads this. My hope is that my healing, my hurt, and my pain are also helping others through their own healing – through “my voice” and my “truth”.

 

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