Trauma Recovery – A Work in Progress
Most people who know me, but don’t know me enough to ‘know’ me and my background, wouldn’t know that for the past 15+ years I have been a work in progress. I have purposely and with full awareness worked on the parts of me I didn’t like, which I knew were a direct result of my upbringing. I’ve worked on changing beliefs I thought were ‘true’ because of my childhood. I’ve worked on learning about how the world works and did everything I could to change my perspective when I knew it wasn’t helping me and knew it didn’t serve me anymore. I’ve worked hard to find a new reference and build new and healthy associations for love, self-worth and value.
Behind closed doors, I have cried too many tears to count. I have wondered in agony at whether I would ever feel good enough and happy enough to keep on living. I wondered many times over and many nights in solitude whether there was ever going to be an end to the constant suffering I felt.
In public view, in the company of many, I had countless inner conversations with myself, about how I was going to speak up, or how I was going to look past my own shit and speak to someone and look confident at the same time. Or try and have fun, like many of my friends were having, when fun was the last thing I wanted or felt like having. Or how I would try and be brave enough just to show up, just so it looked liked I was okay, but inside I was barely hanging on.
Many times over I had to learn to stop using my ‘abuse story’ as a pawn to getting my own way or manipulating my husband, because it’s ‘not my fault’, or ‘it’s just who I am’. Using my abuse story to excuse the many ways I behaved or treated other people because I simply knew no other way.
The work to process each and every single layer that I had in front of me, was daily. It got hard, and then harder before it ever became easy.
What I want to make very clear is that for anyone who is struggling to deal with their trauma, or is too afraid to, or hopes for a quick and easy path to recovery (we would all wish for that one), that the journey is long. It is hard. It is at times unbearable. You get angry because it’s not fair, that you have to do all the work when it wasn’t your fault to begin with. I was the one left with the damage and now I had to pick up the pieces and try and figure out how they all go back together? You get tired of being tired from constantly having to deal with the emotions that come to the surface. It’s exhausting work and draining mentally. The work involved is hard and it’s long.
Trauma recovery is a long road, but, as much as there is pain along the path, there is many joys also. You begin to see things in yourself that you’d never noticed before. You begin to recognise the value in yourself, that was never visible. The resources that are within you, begin to come up to the surface and be employed in your life without anyone telling you how, they just begin to appear. The journey reveals just how beautiful life is and how remarkable you really are. The journey reveals, the strength you have, the courage you have to keep going. Even acknowledging that despite everything you’re still here is a moment that I’ll never forget, yet it says so much about you and what you’re capable of.
But here’s the thing, the one thing I learned; if you never take that first step to recovery, you’ll never find that out these things about yourself, about life, unless you begin, no matter how many people tell you how are worthy you are, or tell you how wonderful you are, you wont believe them, until you find it out for yourself. You wont discover it until you see it for yourself.
And there’s no other way, than to begin the path to recovery.
I believe we’re all capable and brave enough to take that step. But we first need the realisation, the understanding that you can do this.
Where I am right now, is where I wanted to be; trauma is not a part of my life anymore. I still have the memories, but they don’t hurt, they don’t debilitate me, they no longer interfere with how I want to live my life. How I want to be present as a wife, mother, person and friend. But I would not be here, as I am now, without taking that first step. Without the resolve of knowing that each time I dealt with a layer, it’s done and I can move onto a another layer. I wouldn’t be here now, without understanding that the pain would lessen each time I confronted it. Each time I looked a little deeper at what my pain was telling me.
Now that I’m here, in this state of peace, love and joy, I cannot put into words how truly wonderful the reward is when you finally discover just how beautiful and worthy you are.
A Trauma Recovery Tip:
When deciding to take that first step, get help. Recovery takes a lot of support. Find people who are either in your life that are supportive and want to be there for you. Or find someone completely objective and can assist you, either professionally, or someone you look up to, admire and trust.
Follow me on Facebook to learn more about my story, my strategies. https://www.facebook.com/IBECKThompson/
Lifeline is an amazing resource, available 24/7 in Australia Ph 13 111 4