This is part 2 of a series on the 5 stages of grieving, and how it feels to a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and narcissistic abuse. My hope is to share the feelings that I have experienced in the wake of my past trauma, and validate as many as possible who also have gone through abuse.
We go from, “there’s no way this happened to me” to “why in the hell did this happen to me?!”
Why was I dealt this hand, what did I do to deserve this?! I didn’t ask to be born into a life of sexual abuse, domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, or any other type of trauma.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this to myself, both in the past and as my healing journey continues. Before I started seeking help and confronting all of these memories, I would ask myself those questions simply because I didn’t understand that I was a survivor.
I just felt like I was life’s personal whipping boy, or being bullied by Karma for something I must have done in the past.
Once I realized I was a survivor of abuse, I still asked myself these questions. To be honest I don’t have all of the answers. I do know the answer to one though, it’s not Karma deciding to make an example out of me.
It can be so hard to accept that we didn’t deserve to be abused, trafficked, mistreated, starved, or anything else. Part of that acceptance of realizing what we went through means that we have to sit with the anger for a time.
Once we come to the realization that something bad did happen to us, or that we lost someone special to us *insert any experience you can relate too here*, we can use Anger as a bridge to healing.
We can’t be mad at something if we don’t accept that it happened to us right? Now that we accept it, it’s time to get pissed off about it for a while.
Who in the hell does that kid up the street think he is; preying on a young elementary school aged kid?! How sadistic and disgusting do you have to be to want to touch and force yourself on a little child!
I’m sorry, but no matter what happened to him in his life or what he was subjected too that got him to this point; that’s no excuse. He’ll get no such relief from me!
He screwed up my life before it ever had a chance to ever get started and help set the tone for a lifetime of invalidation and emotional struggle.
Because he took my innocence and my ability to speak up, away from me, I wasn’t able to stand up to the bullies in school who constantly beat me to an emotional pulp. It was all I could do to keep from crying in school all too often.
I saved that crying for when I got home, hoping to find relief from my parents. The one place that we should all be able to feel safe and cared for and validated.
No such luck all too often for so many survivors though.
I’ve covered the mother wounds or mama drama, as it were, many times here on the blog. I encourage you to check out some of those posts on my experiences with narcissistic abuse.
So am I mad at mom for how I was treated and raised?
You bet I am! I have ever right to be angry at her for that. You have every right to be angry for what happened to you too.
If we don’t sit with and feel the emotion of anger in a healthy way, how can we expect to keep moving forward in our healing? Moving forward towards the life we dream of, and deserve?
I’m not advocating that we become violent and hurtful towards ourselves or others. That’s not expressing this emotion in a healthy way and likely will only lead to more turmoil for ourselves and those around us.
Set those healthy boundaries, keep clear of those you who hurt you. There’s nothing wrong with telling the person who hurt you that you are angry and you need time and distance to deal with your feelings.
You don’t have to get sucked into an argument or some invalidating conversation where blame gets turned back on you.
Write in a journal about how pissed off you are. Write a song about it. Do some artwork or crafts. Whatever coping skills you have in your toolbox, get those bad boys out and use them regularly.
Let it out, feel your feels. Talk it out, write it out, sing it out, “art” it out!
Don’t be afraid to cry those tears of hurt and anger either. How cleansing is it when we have a good cry, or multiple good cries?
I wish I could say I have a lot of experience in the crying part of healing, but alas I am still a work in progress. The few times I’ve been able to connect with it or speak with others who have, it’s been a tremendous relief.
I so encourage you to speak to a professional if you have access to one, and allow them to help you through this and every stage of grieving our past. If you can’t do that, then at least speak with a trusted friend, one that understands you, won’t judge you, and won’t encourage unhealthy actions during this time in your life.
You friend, you fellow survivor, you are validated in being angry.
Feel it as you need to and let yourself “get it all out” in whatever healthy way you can.
In time you’ll be crossing that bridge onto the next phase of healing. On your own timetable.
Feature image courtesy of http://hnzyzb.com/