My Journey Through Abuse Transformed My Life For The Better: Pain can be the greatest teacher. Pain can teach you things you could’ve never imagined. Pain can turn you into someone you didn’t even realize you ever could be.
The gut-wrenching emotional pain you feel inside as a result of years of abuse from your parents, lovers and even your shadow self can break you to the point of no return. And that is exactly when you realize the potential you have inside to be a better, stronger and happier person. That is exactly when you free yourself from the pain.
“Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar.” – Samuel Griswold Goodrich
Helping others is the best way for me to overcome my own demons.
One of the things I have come to appreciate about myself is my willingness to continue to learn, grow and to heal my wounds. I don’t see how I can ask my clients to go into their dark places if I’m not willing to go into my own.
Even with all my education, training and skills, when I work with someone, I need to be able to meet them with my heart in order to help them. If I’m resisting my own emotions, I can’t help them feel theirs. If we don’t feel, we don’t heal. That journey into the darkness where our hurts lurk is a difficult one and most don’t or won’t take it.
We live in a culture that worships the rational mind, but without the heart, the rational mind is irrational.
All that said, I’ve recently revisited a part of myself where residual hurt and anger lay. It was triggered by recent stories in my area of a woman killed by her boyfriend. Though the horror of that story seemed unimaginable, I grew up knowing that such abusive relationships were possible.
A frog in a pot of water on the stove feels warm and safe — before the heat is turned up. That is an apt description of my very early childhood years. Yet as my childhood went on and the temperature of the water rose, before I knew it, just like the frog, I was boiling to death.
My only hope was not receiving more pain from those who said they loved me (I understand they had their own demons, but that’s another story of forgiveness and redemption).
As I entered the world of friends, girl scouts and school, I became more confused than ever because I expected everyone else to treat me the way my parents did. That didn’t happen and I started to realize that I was not some evil thing doomed to hell.
“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” – Herbert Ward
It was through those many others that I reconnected to parts of my body, heart, and soul. Their influence added to my conditioning and though confusing at times, those experiences saved my life because they provided me with a template for care, compassion, and love.
I began to feel someday that I would be free of the terrors of my stepdad by night and emotional rejection by my mother by day.
Then one day, my knight showed up. We met in high school and when our eyes met everyone and everything else disappeared. I know that sounds cliché. Nonetheless, it was true.
We had an on-again-off-again relationship, which was mostly off for about two years. Eventually, I moved on and found another very loving, giving and romantically sweet man. We were talking about marriage when I graduated from high school.
No one, including me, understood what happened next.
The off-again man re-entered my life and wanted me. I was caught and gave into what my mind said instead of listening to my heart. I ended my other relationship very badly through a letter and married the knight.
The night we were married I was 17 and had two more months before graduation. It was raining. He did his marital duties and fell asleep. I looked out the window and cried.
A part of me knew I had made a terrible mistake and wanted to run away. But a stronger part said, “You’ve made your bed now, lay in it.”