Over the last several weeks in this series on the 5 Stages of Grief, we’ve explored how survivors of abuse can often feel when going through the grieving process of our past.
We’ve sat with and explored the Denial, the Anger, the Bargaining, the Depression, and now it’s time to figure out how we move forward, with Acceptance and hope.
I’ve written about acceptance before, but it’s worth mentioning in this context, that it goes hand in hand with Radical Acceptance. In fact, as far I’m concerned, they are one in the same.
Radical Acceptance doesn’t suggest that we are OK with what happened, or that we approve of it, any more than it should tell us to try to minimize that trauma we suffered. Rather though, it’s all about realizing that something terrible and horrific did happen to us, but that we are not doomed to dwell on it forever.
It doesn’t have to dictate our future. We have control of our future…not the past.
There is Hope! Man, that’s a powerful statement isn’t it?! I mean sit back and really think about that word. Say it to yourself, and believe it about yourself, a few times right now.
Isn’t that what acceptance is all about? Having hope for a future we dream of even in light of a traumatic past?
Being able to focus on Hope and look forward to what life has in store for us because of the mindset we create for ourselves and the work we put in to heal; well that is just some amazing stuff right there! If you really embrace that you can feel yourself being empowered as you say those words.
Hope can be serious driving force in healing from grief. We can’t see it right away when we are denying that somebody sexually abused us. Or when we are mad as hell because our parents abandoned us.
We can possibly see some hope when we are bargaining with ourselves, or God, that if we do this or that, we’ll feel better. But its short-lived because coming to the realizing that we can’t bargain our way out of the past can lead to depression.
Surely, there is little chance of seeing any hope at all when we are neck-deep in depression and feeling there is no reason to go on. No reason to think our life can ever turn out like we once dreamed off as a child, or perhaps in high school when we had the future in the palm of our hands.
Once we sit with the depression for as long as we need too, and we start to work our way out of it, that light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem like the oncoming train that we once thought it was.
It’s a very powerful feeling when you can rationally look at what happened to you and say to yourself, “I’m not going to let these event(s) define who I am any longer.”
Yes what happened me to was quite possibly the worst thing anyone could imagine, but I have to find a way to overcome it, and I will! At this point it’s important to be able to say to yourself that you are no longer going to “try to heal, try to accept your past and move on”…it’s about actually doing it!
You wake up each day and go about your life, and any time you start of feel yourself sliding backwards and doubting your worth and abilities; you now know you have the power to combat those feelings.
To quote one of my favorite movies, “The world meets nobody half way.”
If you want to heal then you have to go after it, and not give up! You’ve been dealt a hand that nobody should have been dealt in life, but you are still here and you are an example of what it means to be a survivor!
Accept that your past wasn’t the peachy keen childhood you read about in story books; but know you are still worthy of every good thing in life just as much as anyone else. And go after it!
Of course there will be rough days, times when you want to tell your therapist to go jump in a lake. Times when you want to give up and just stay locked away in your room again, to feel depressed. Times when you will doubt your abilities.
Look at those feeling with wise mind, because you know that you have already survived so much and there’s nothing in life that you can’t overcome if you put your mind to it.
I hope this series has helped you in some way, and I’m so grateful that you have taken the time to read it! Remember, You Rock!
images courtesy of Pixabay.
I am so thankful to have found your blog. It is helpful to know I am not alone, while also feeling grief that you have been down in the pits, too. But, when we share our stories, it helps others! God bless you!!