A post I read on another blog made me stop and think. Do I sound too optimistic here? As if it’s easy to get past the effects of abuse? I hope not because it wasn’t easy to get to this point in my life. And even now there are times when I have bad moments, when old fears trigger panic or old messages tell me I’m not good enough and never will be.
The key is that these are MOMENTS. I know they are echoes of the past and that all I have to do is face them to tame them, to uncover the old mistaken assumptions, and let them go.
As Emily said in her blog, (http://doingitallagain.blogspot.com/) know that this is a bad moment and it will pass and I won’t always feel this way. I can also look at the situation triggering these feelings and ask myself: What good could come out of this? And these days, I actually get an answer. Something good always does come out of the situation.
Every human being has these moments. I don’t know anyone—abuse victim or not—who doesn’t sometimes feel self-doubt or overwhelmed.
The key, again as Emily pointed out in her post Black Pit Survival is recognizing that things won’t always be bad. Abuse teaches us to believe otherwise which is why so often I post here the tools that helped and continue to help me recognize I won’t always feel the way I do when I’m scared or unhappy. For me, the most important tools were and are:
1) Creating a list of past times I’ve succeeded.
2) Reminding myself that something that has already happened can’t be changed but I can focus on what to do differently in the future and/or ask myself what good could come out of the situation.
3) Reminding myself of people who believe in me.
4) Reminding myself of all the times I have been able to make changes in my life to make it better.
5) Looking at my list of things that make me smile and do something from that list.
No, it isn’t easy overcoming the long term (or short term) impact of abuse. It isn’t easy learning to believe in ourselves and replace pain with the ability to laugh and be happy again. I don’t ever want to imply that it is! But it IS possible and we need to know that because there are too many people (including “experts”) out there who will tell us it isn’t. I post to share the tools that helped me get to where I am now.
In a couple of days I think I’ll post about a recent “victory” over past conditioning. About assumptions I discovered were wrong that I didn’t even know I had. Because we need to know our lives truly can get better and better and better.
Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),