Monday, November 8, 2010

Making Peace with the Past


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I'd spent 17 years in America's mental health system, my history of trauma and abuse neglected and dismissed as unimportant. Yet it was only upon leaving this system that had denied my life experiences as having any impact on my life that I began to find healing and make peace with the past. I began to explore and understand the role of emotions in healing from the pain of the past and all that goes with it in human emotional pain and the physical response to cognitive distress. 


I knew I was making progress in my healing journey as I began to move from wanting and needing the  comfort of another and became able to finally sit with my own pain instead of striving to avoid it. 


Was this an easy thing to do?


Very simply...


Hell no. 


I was taught early on that my thoughts, feelings and choices were wrong and that to have an original thought or feeling of my own, to take any self initiated action would result in somehow being minimized and discredited, abused and left to understand that I was


unimportant.


So no; it was not easy to learn to sit with and face my past and the reality of what was my truth.


It was not easy to realize that no matter how hard I tried I could not create the perfect world today for myself where I was valuable and honored by striving to finally be accepted as good enough or that I had finally done something...anything...right enough.


It was not easy to fully face the reality that there was no 


quick fix


no magic pill 


to take away my pain


but that 


to heal from the loss of all that should have been and
that which will never be
is to embrace that which was
and is.
~


Today I Cried

~



12 comments:

Becky Murphy said...

Susan,
Wow! You are awesome! What a gift it has been to have you in my life. I am so inspired by you and feel so connected to you. The journey that you are on is so like my own, and I am glad you share it with me. Love, Becky

mary said...

Thanks Susan, what an amazing post to read for my birthday! love it and the way you write.
Love and support,
Mary.x.

Mary Maddock said...

Thanks Susan, what an amazing post to read for my birthday! love it and the way you write.
Love and support,
Mary.x.

mary said...

Thanks Susan, what an amazing post to read for my birthday! love it and the way you write.
Love and support,
Mary.x.

Susan said...

HI Becky! Isn't it amazing how those of us who find our way often find each other?! I feel the same way Becky and thank you for being a part of my journey too!

Susan said...

Mary - Happy Birthday! Thank you for you kind words! I feel grateful for your support!

Michelle said...

Susan,
Your words are so powerful and touching, that reach in touch my soul.I am greatful that I have come across your blog...don't know how I stumbled across it...maybe its just faith. As I read this blog I am struggling with myself on this healing journey and many tears fall, but what you do is give me strength that one day I will get to the top of that mountain.Thank you for sharing your experience it is empowering and lets me know that I'm not alone.

A hug from me to you.
Cheers Michelle

Susan said...

I'm grateful that you have chosen to join me on my journey and share yours as well Michelle. And I'm grateful to know that my posts give you some hope and encouragement to continue on your own path. Be blessed today as you find your way; the grief can seem overwhelming at first and in time it lessons as it resolves our pain; the freedom to live beyond the past comes from this part of the process I've found for myself. We are not alone:)

Many hugs:)

kevin blumer said...

i think part of the healing process is when you are ready when you want to help your self not when other people want to help you im the samei only started healing when i was ready

Susan said...

Hi Kevin...and welcome to A Journey! Thank you for your note and yes....it is being ready and willing to do the work. Beginning to seek out my answers for myself about "how" to heal is where I found the power to "do" the work:)

IAmEchad said...

I've been back in therapy for 4 years or so now, but really dealing with this "stuff" for maybe 3 years. The difference is that I'm dealing head on with it. It's easier now having a female therapist. But what caught my attention was that you said instead of seeking comfort you sat with it. I've been finding a place in the middle. I sit with it but also know there are others close by shall I need them to sit WITH me. It's somewhat Biblical, but I've found we do more as a society when we help each other carry the burden. I am only speaking of myself and where I am at in my journey today. But that journey is ever evolving.

Susan said...

Agreed IamEchad....a society that is supportive of survivors would indeed be ideal.

I think the point I was trying to make in this post about being able to sit with my pain vs seeking comfort was related to that dependence on others to make me feel better.

There is much to be said about supportive comfort and having our experiences and pain validated by another. And I see healthy support and comfort as separate from learning that I could have these intense and deep feelings and still be ok on my own. Perhaps that is that "middle" you describe? :)