One of the things that I have a difficult time with, is trying to control my recovery journey too much. Being mindful of what’s on my mind at any given time, and exploring that openly can be quite difficult.
As survivors, we often times try to control our situations as much as possible. A big reason for this is because we likely had very little control over ourselves or our environment when we were younger, or whenever our abuse occurred.
As children we relied on our parents, guardians, and family to take care of us and keep us safe. If we were abused, we likely felt very little of the safety we so needed in our formative years. Since children have little control over their surroundings as it is, the situation is magnified when our safe place ends up being anything but.
Is it any wonder that often times we swing to the total opposite of the spectrum as we get older, and try to do everything in our power to keep our lives on a short leash? If we aren’t vulnerable, and keep everything stuffed away in our minds, we are less likely to get hurt.
The problem with trying to control our recovery journey is that we sometimes fail to realize that everything is interconnected. So when we deal with one issue, we see that eventually it comes back to what happened with our abuse.
Case in point, as I noted before, I’m taking a break dealing with all of the Narcissistic abuse ,here on the blog. I really want to focus on healing from the childhood sexual abuse, because I feel there is so much that I still need to uncover.
I have too many puzzle pieces that are missing or that just don’t fit together yet.
In fact I made the same conscious effort in my weekly sessions, to verbalize my desire to focus on the CSA and take a break from the Mother stuff.
As was pointed out to me however, while it’s OK to take a break to gain some perspective, we can’t force recovery to go in the direction we want it too.
If we try to do that, it can set off an anxiety rush, and be an additional source of stress. Let’s be honest, we don’t exactly need any more stress than we already have in our lives, especially as survivors.
So what do we do?
We give ourselves permission to sit with whatever is on our mind. If our thoughts are dwelling a particular part of our past, then it’s OK to let that be a focus in our healing. Stuffing it aside in favor of a different memory that we keep trying to figure out, just isn’t going to help long term.
By working through what our minds bring to the forefront of our conscious thought, we can focus our full attention on working through that situation or memory. While doing so, we will very likely see how that memory is tied into other parts of our past.
In my case, the invalidation and religious abuse I suffered at home, absolutely contributed to the bullying, my lack of self esteem, and zero self confidence. All of those issues are tied to what that teenager up the street did to me so long ago.
Because I was sexually abused as a child, I was groomed to not reach out for help. I didn’t reach out for help when I was bullied either, and of course I couldn’t reach out for help at home.
So allow yourself to feel, embrace, and sit with your memories as they come. Validate them, give yourself permission to work though them at your own pace. When you need a break, or you need to focus on a different part of your past, you will know it.
Trust your minds judgment and don’t force the issue.
When those light bulb moments hit and you realize that by working through scenario A…scenario B, C, and D always start to come into focus more…you just might find yourself healing faster and more efficiently than you thought.