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.

7 comments

  1. Karen – I wish every one of my clients could read this – I am tickled pink to read this AMAZING affirmation of what therapy has been for you and for those of your past to see what therapy is for you and only you. You write fondly of your therapist Andy, but I will say, your therapist is lucky to have a wonderful person to work along side as well. You have worked so hard and vigilantly on this journey, its proof in this blog post. Thank you for sharing the truth of what therapy IS and. should be for many.

    Mary

    1. {blush} wow thanks Mary . . . . this is something I needed to write today … I have struggled with some things around this the past couple of weeks – people of my past wondering why I am still in therapy – well this is why — I am on a journey, not a time frame – MY JOURNEY :) thank you for your kind words ..

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. It is so inspiration and just the one line about financial. I have struggled with that. But finding my true self is the goal. I will read this a few more times today. I needed it!

    1. awwww Thanks Bethany … that means a lot to me that you connected with this. You say yu have struggled with the financial part.. I think a lot of people may struggle with that a little, but I have learned that its an honoring process, not one that most people see it to be. It took me a long time to get there around that …. :) I am glad my post helps ..

  3. I am inspired by the vigor of the case you make for stepping into your past. As I’ve investigated my insecurity, I’ve learned there are different kinds of memories: the explicit ones we’re aware of and can interact with, and the implicit ones we’re unaware of, that are ‘locked in’ to our body’s nervous system. These implicit ones can be good, like knowing how to stay upright on a bike while it’s moving. Implicit memories can be horrible, like knowing we were alone and helpless while harm was happening to us. Explicit memories get a date stamp, where the past is the past and we know it. Implicit memories are ‘buried’ alive in our bodies, without a date stamp, even if we have some recall. This is incredibly helpful when you get back on a bike after twenty years and find you still know how to ride it. But it’s incredibly scary and destabilizing when frightful experiences, buried alive, are tapped into. I believe it is the ultimate act of responsible love to go deep inside to where they live, alone and scared, and provide them someone tender to latch onto, who will carry them to safety and restore their pleasure in life.

    Well, maybe naysayers can’t appreciate what isn’t explicit. It sounds to me, like you appreciate both implicit and explicit. Lucky little girl inside you!! I’m proud of you, Karen Beth.

  4. I appreciate this post – it does such a good job countering all the negative stereotypes you inevitably hear from people who don’t know anything about therapy. Really, everything they say to you is a reflection of their own fears: their fears of being seen, of revealing secrets and the shame they feel around them, of honestly examining the past and its effect on them, of the emotional dependence that does sometimes arise on the road to independence and responsibility for our own well-being.

    Doing those things can be scary and sometimes immensely painful, but they also open the possibility of very deep healing. I have also been in therapy for many years with the same person, and I have grown so much.

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!