Stop looking for that person you were in the past. She has changed. Look for the person she has grown into. She is wiser and stronger than than ever before. Don't go back to who you were. Cherish who you are. --Without a Voice by Chris Pepple
There is a moment in our healing journey when our denial crumbles; we realize our experience and it's continued effects on us won't just go away. That's our breakthrough moment. It's the sun coming out to warm the seeds of hope so they can grow our personal garden of empowerment.
In spite of the horror, in spite of the tragedy, in spite of the weeks of sleepless nights, I'm finally alive. I'm not pretending. I feel real. I'm not playing charades anymore. I wouldn't go back to the way I was for anything. I'm really like a different person. I'm where I am, and I'm making the most of it. I know I'm courageous now. I found out I had it in me to face this. — Barbara
There are people that damage you for life. The day they walked into your life will forever be a turning point you will use to label and count your years with... Your own BC and AD.
When shame is met with compassion and not received as conﬁrmation of our guilt, we can begin to see how slant a lens it has had us looking through. That awareness lets us step back far enough to see that if we can let it go, we will see ourselves as clean where we once thought we were dirty. We will remember our innocence. We will see how our shame supported a system in which the perpetrators were protected and we bore the brunt of their offense — first in its actuality, then again in carrying their shame for it.If the method we chose to try to beat out shame was perfectionism, we can relax now, shake the burden off our shoulders, and give ourselves a chance to loosen up and make some errors. Hallelujah! Our freedom will not come from tireless effort and getting it all exactly right.
The beauty of being shattered is how the shards become our character and our marks of distinction. This is how we are refined by our pain. When the storm rips you to pieces, you get to decide how to put yourself back together again. The storm gives us the gift of our defining choices. You will be a different person after the storm, because the storm will heal you from your perfection. People who stay perfect and unblemished never really get to live fully or deeply. You will not be the same after the storms of life; you will be stronger, wiser and more alive than ever before!
For change to occur in us, we must be willing to enter the wilderness of the unknown and to wander in unfamiliar territory, directionless and often in the darkness....We do not need to keep every little thing under control. In fact, we find ourselves only by allowing some falling apart to happen.
Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity.Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed---faith, decency, courage---is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality...
Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.
Healing isn’t just about pain. It’s about learning to love yourself. As you move from feeling like a victim to being a proud survivor, you will have glimmers of hope, pride and satisfaction. Those are natural by-products of healing.
Her eyes bled from venomous anger...Her flower had been gruesomely deflowered...Her life had slowly turned into a blunder...There was no more thinking further....She would rather become a Foetus murderer Than end up a hopeless mother....Of course, she found peace in the formerUntil later years of emotional traumaOh, the foetus hunt was forever!The only thing you should abort is the thought of aborting your baby. Stop the hate and violence against innocent children.
The true test of a warrior is how your 'stance' holds up after any 'circumstance'. Meaning, even after the stormiest weather, a true warrior will still reflect the brilliant rays of the magnificent sun through both his or her eyes. You may get hit by sudden lightning or take severe beatings from the cruel wind, but you will always get back up and stand strong on your feet again, soak in the sunlight, and be prepared to get hit by even the most merciless hail - time and time again.
A short poem from my new book, The Lost Journal of my Second Trip to Pergatory, Thorny CrownsOf course the gold one was for special occasions, weddings, etc,silver for family reunions, office-casual type affairs.Bronze was a everyday choice; during yard work its burnished surface shone in sunlight.There were various colors and holiday appropriate ones.I could never find the hatboxes they were stored in.But the wooden one was reserved for the long suffering caused by family.Stevie’s funeral, my hospital trips and sister’s rebellion rated real wood. One tip filed extra sharp produced a fine and dramatic line of blood droplets on her brow.
Since her time in the necromancer’s clutches, she was still recovering lost memories from the quicksand of her mind. They’d drop like nuclear bombs, freezing her at the worst time as visuals which should’ve stayed forever buried bubbled to the surface.
In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful. It leads to increased intimacy and closer bonds. When a healthy person realizes that he or she hurt you, they feel remorse and they make amends. It’s safe to be honest. In an abusive system, vulnerability is dangerous. It’s considered a weakness, which acts as an invitation for more mistreatment. Abusive people feel a surge of power when they discover a weakness. They exploit it, using it to gain more power. Crying or complaining confirms that they’ve poked you in the right spot.
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.
Power is confusing for us, perhaps even terrifying, because our relationship with it had an unfortunate beginning. Someone in a position of power over us used and abused us…It seems as if power were something to be wielded, always at someone’s expense, usually our own.
When we first begin to take power more directly, after long having kept our relationship to it underground...it is natural that we experience anxiety, even guilt, at putting ourselves first. These feeling let us know we are taking action; they do not need to stop us.
Instead of saying, I'm damaged, I'm broken, I have trust issues say I'm healing, I'm rediscovering myself, I'm starting over.
Abusive relationships exist because they provide enough rations of warmth, laughter, and affection to clutch onto like a security blanket in the heap of degradation. The good times are the initial euphoria that keeps addicts draining their wallets for toxic substances to inject into their veins. Scraps of love are food for an abusive relationship.
Invalidating someone else is not merely disagreeing with something that the other person said. It is a process in which individuals communicate to another that the opinions and emotions of the target are invalid, irrational, selfish, uncaring, stupid, most likely insane, and wrong, wrong, wrong. Invalidators let it be known directly or indirectly that their targets views and feelings do not count for anything to anybody at any time or in any way.
Admitting the need for help may also compound the survivor's sense of defeat. The therapists Inger Agger and Soren Jensen, who work with political refugees, describe the case of K, a torture survivor with severe post-traumatic symptoms who adamantly insisted that he had no psychological problems: K...did not understand why he was to talk with a therapist. His problems were medical: the reason why he did not sleep at night was due to the pain in his legs and feet. He was asked by the therapist...about his political background, and K told him that he was a Marxist and that he had read about Freud and he did not believe in any of that stuff: how could his pain go away by talking to a therapist?
There is a means to every end. A root to any cause. Sometimes the root is more evil than any cause, though it's the cause that is usually most vilified.
The abuser’s mood changes are especially perplexing. He can be a different person from day to day, or even from hour to hour. At times he is aggressive and intimidating, his tone harsh, insults spewing from his mouth, ridicule dripping from him like oil from a drum. When he’s in this mode, nothing she says seems to have any impact on him, except to make him even angrier. Her side of the argument counts for nothing in his eyes, and everything is her fault. He twists her words around so that she always ends up on the defensive. As so many partners of my clients have said to me, “I just can’t seem to do anything right.”At other moments, he sounds wounded and lost, hungering for love and for someone to take care of him. When this side of him emerges, he appears open and ready to heal. He seems to let down his guard, his hard exterior softens, and he may take on the quality of a hurt child, difficult and frustrating but lovable. Looking at him in this deflated state, his partner has trouble imagining that the abuser inside of him will ever be back. The beast that takes him over at other times looks completely unrelated to the tender person she now sees. Sooner or later, though, the shadow comes back over him, as if it had a life of its own. Weeks of peace may go by, but eventually she finds herself under assault once again. Then her head spins with the arduous effort of untangling the many threads of his character, until she begins to wonder whether she is the one whose head isn’t quite right.
He was a pitiful thing. He had always been a pitiful thing. Why had she never seen that before? There was a hollow place inside her where her fear had been.
We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some good will indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.
Survivors who don’t stand up for themselves often develop physical and emotional illnesses. Many become depressed because they feel so hopeless and helpless about being able to change their lives. They turn their anger inward and become prone to headaches, muscle tension, nervous conditions and insomnia.
In healthy development, trust evolves. How do we decide whether to trust? We share a feeling with someone and watch their reaction; if the response feels safe, if it is caring, noncritical, non-abusive, the first step of trust has developed. For trust to grow, this positive response must become part of a relatively reliable pattern… Trust develops with consistency over time.
You have the right to set ground rules. This means deciding if, when, and how you want to see the people in your family. Many survivors feel that if they open up the channels at all, they have to open them up all the way. When you were a child you had two options—to trust or not to trust. Your options are broader now.
Some survivors can be wary of most people, yet blinded by compassion toward fellow survivors or others who suffer — or who pretend to suffer, or exaggerate their sufferings, in order to take advantage of the survivor. Some survivors overidentify with other survivors, not realizing that even if someone was traumatized or suffers in a similar way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that person is honest. Being either overly suspicious or overly trusting can create problems with a partner who is able to judge the sincerity of others more realistically.