I don’t know if I can adequately thank everyone who shared The Secret Keepers on social media, reblogged or emailed it to their friends and loved ones. The post was shared hundreds of times and the response was amazing. You are my heroes and you very well may have helped to change someone’s life. If you wanted to share the post but just weren’t able to, I appreciate and thank you too. Support doesn’t always have to be done publicly to make a difference. It’s the love and care that we show in our daily lives that makes the biggest impact.
For those who left comments, either on this blog or on the hundreds of Facebook shares, thank you for your bravery. I know how hard it is to share personal stories and how vulnerable it makes us feel. It made my palms sweat to post the link on my personal Facebook page.
When I wrote the post, I knew it would be a double-edged sword for some people. It feels so good to take a stand and to say that we’re not going to let the abuse rule our lives anymore but the actual work it takes to make that statement a reality is hard. It’s gut wrenching and painful. After the adrenaline rush of an “aha” moment ends, the pain comes in a different way. We may have lived with the pain all our lives but the certainty that we can’t go on the way we have, that we don’t want to feel this way anymore, can make the abuse feel like it happened yesterday. And when that pain doesn’t go away quickly, it’s natural to want to bury it again.
About a year and a half ago, I suddenly began to have flashbacks from my childhood. It’s not like I had ever forgotten but I thought that I had “dealt with it” already. I was caught off guard because I was in a pretty good place in my life. I had been on an emotional growth spurt for 2 years, I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol in almost that long and I felt strong and solid. I wrote in my journal:
“I suspect this is coming up for me because I’m healthy enough to cope, even if I don’t feel particularly healthy right now. I feel undone. My heart hurts and I feel like someone died. I thought I had worked through all this and I never expected to feel like this again. It’s like I’m feeling things that I never got to feel back then. When I look at my precious children, I see what innocence looks like and I don’t know if I was ever like them. I need to know that I was always innocent, even when I felt tainted, even when I was violated.”
It was my “aha” moment and this time there was no turning back. For me, that meant reaching out to a professional who could guide me so that I could work through what happened with a fresh perspective. The idea of traditional therapy didn’t interest me so I sought out different options. I chose to work with a coach whose specialty was sobriety but I trusted her and knew that she could help me break through what was holding me back. The fact that her coaching was done via email appealed to me because as a writer, I process thoughts and emotions as I write.
If you’ve had an “aha” moment and you realize that you have a lot of healing to do, it’s important to understand that we all need support and none of us can do it alone. Traditional therapy, art therapy, online courses, equine therapy, weekend retreats, blogging – find what feels right for you. Just don’t isolate yourself and bury it all again. When I think back on how I was feeling a year and a half ago, what I remember most is the sense relief and release. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen.
Here’s a fantastic post by Cissy White and the link to the Trigger Points Anthology Facebook page:
So, so much love to all of you.