They were cautious not to leave bruising where it was visible. I seriously doubt had anything been visible, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The welts and bruises left on my back, upper legs and buttocks were nothing compared to the deep bruising within – places no one could ever see and if they could, would it have changed the outcome? I don’t know the answer to that question. I just know what it felt like to be and walk around like me thinking this was normal. There was nothing to compare it to. Looking at other children who didn’t seem to have the same experiences, I felt it was me – it was my fault and therefore I deserved all the physical, sexual and emotional abuse coming to me.
Unless you’ve experienced the same and walked in our shoes, it is challenging for you to understand and see. As a matter of fact if you are walking with someone on their healing journey, it is very likely you will find it very frustrating at times as they experience healing from the trauma. Sometimes you just feel like walking away, but you don’t. Is it love that keeps you or a sense of obligation and responsibility? You are saying to yourself “that is the past – get over it”. You find yourself avoiding the person – the damage is great and the experience lacks joy. All that you are feeling and more is normal.
Imagine for a moment being a little child with a little child’s body and mind and emotions. Imagine how vulnerable you felt and how much you relied on your parents or other guardians to care and nurture you. Imagine being sexually assaulted as a child or having a belt strike your naked body arbitrarily and repeatedly, or coming home from being away and finding your family has gone one a family vacation and left you behind. Imagine how that felt from a child’s perspective and imagine how that stays with you the rest of your life. The damage is extensive internally and the mind is unable to process it because it was a child’s mind. The desire within to be loved and wanted and worthy and valued and cared about runs deep. The desire to trust the very person walking with you is strong and yet the fear and the experience are so deeply ingrained that it is difficult. It doesn’t matter how old a person is or how young a person is, those experiences have been memorized in a highly agitated state with adrenalin flying and the experience permeates throughout their being.
Even though you can imagine how it might feel, remember you have never had to walk in their shoes and experience the trauma and you will never truly know the depth of pain. With all the healing I’ve done, the recent EMDR experiences, and with my knowledge that it will turn out okay, I still have rough patches. My spiritual partner has walked through these past couple of years with me and has struggles with it. He pulls back, I push away. I’ve made a concerted effort to not be in close relationships as frankly I’ve sucked at them. It is in those close relationships that the worst of me seems to come out but is it any wonder given the multiple betrayals and experiences? It is a very normal response to an abnormal life. Letting my spiritual partner close to me was a challenge. I opened the core of me to him that has never been opened and let him see and hear and experience the chaos inside of me as I’ve moved through healing. I’ve become incredibly emotionally and spiritually vulnerable with him. That is no small feat for me!! So when something is challenged in the relationship, it creates a desire to withdraw and hide within. It is a lot better than it used to be but certainly not as good as he would like or for that matter I desire. However, my magic wand, seems to be out of magic and I just can’t make it all happen perfectly.
The relationship issues are one of the main reason I went to go through EMDR therapy to help heal the fragmented memories and to experience a more peaceful life within myself and with relationships. So that my relationship is particularly challenging right now is no surprise to me as I am dealing with very deep issues particularly around emotional abuse, rejection and abandonment which is also part of the physical and sexual abuse experience. I am doing amazingly well although it may not measure up to the expectations of others. Given that I am experiencing brain scramble, triggers (not as much this time), nightmares, lack of sleep and having to connect with an ex-boss who was abusive, I am doing remarkable well. Imperfect, challenged, disheartened at times but I know it is all for my highest good and the past don’t define me, my current relationships don’t define me.
But . . . . the experience doesn’t have to have the last word. It is tough for sure to have so much influence of the childhood in my present reality. It is hard for my Spiritual Partner as well. He is good on bringing into my conscious awareness the reality of the experience. Once known, what is my choice – to continue in the experience or change the experience? Not always simple as the behavior of hiding and withdrawing is natural to me and safe and interacting and standing open and vulnerable is tough.
How do you do it? You have to want to do it and then be willing to go against your programming which is strong and controlling as its purpose is to keep you imprisoned. It is a matter of moving from the head to the heart. The heart is the connection to your soul and therein lays the wisdom and the healing you need to move through the experience. My prayer is to open the eyes of my heart so I may see and experience through my heart rather than seeing and experiencing thru the eyes of a hurt child. I have special music that helps me when I am struggling with it. It overrides the programming and soothes the triggers. It is my heart and soul music that was created specifically for me. (When I remember the name of the creator of the music, I will share it with you.) The music is powerful and moves me through the experience. You don’t need music created specifically for you. Music is powerful and moves deeply within. I recommend instrumentals only and open and allow it to reach the heart. Ask your higher power whether that is God, Jesus, Allah, your higher self to help you ground. I close my eyes with the music and I feel energy flowing through me down deep into the center of the earth grounding me and then flowing up through me to spirit like a plumb line connecting me with both energies and it is so powerful. It is so grounding and centering and that is what is needed during these hard times. I write so I process every night and as I listen to the music I allow whatever words flow through my hands and see from my heart and soul and gain wisdom for living. It allows me to connect with others with love. I find love and acceptance within me for me and I deserve it as you do. Open the eyes of my heart God so I might see is powerful for me.
Be kind and compassionate with yourself. You are healing. We all have a choice and that choice is to remain a victim and thus a prisoner of our abuser’s choices or choose ourselves, our health, and our core. Moving from victim to victor means being willing to be open and transparent about the past and how it affects the present and be willing to be vulnerable. Find somebody in your life that has the strength to help you move past being a victim as I have found in my spiritual partner. The one thing that has been very important for me is that I am not coddled because I am damaged. I’ve been hurt but not defined by that hurt so being coddled doesn’t make sense to me. I am defined by my heart and soul – the essence of who I am and I am willing to do whatever it takes to live that essence.