Sometimes I need a little perspective in life to see how far I’ve come. That’s just human nature though, to be able to put things into perspective. We can’t always see that when we’re right in the thick of healing, deep in the trenches of the battle between our past and our future.
When I first started dealing with my past, in January 2015, I started out working through just life in general and picking up the pieces from my second divorce. J and I worked on that for about 7 months or so before the trajectory of the work was altered towards the childhood sexual abuse.
While I was neck deep in divorce recovery and trying to figure out how to get through each day as a single guy again, in my 40’s, I thought I was going to be eternally stuck. I wasn’t feeling any better and each week seemed to just bring about more frustration about my life and circumstances.
However, when we moved into the Childhood Sexual Abuse aspect of my trauma, I put that relationship stuff on the back burner. It wasn’t so much an intentional transition but more of a natural progression. As it turns out, it was just what the doctor ordered.
In J’s wisdom, I’m sure she knew that this transition was coming at the right time and would be very beneficial. However, I had no clue this it would offer so much retrospective insight into how far I’ve come.
The more I focused on my childhood sexual abuse recovery, I was able to look back from time to time and see the progress I made in the relationship department. It’s not that I suddenly found someone new to be with, but rather it was a degree of acceptance of what happened, and a growing confidence that I could indeed make it day by day.
My life no longer revolved around a 24/7 mindset of thinking about my former wife, and what we had as a family. What I lost still hurts to this day, make no mistake, but it doesn’t dominate my daily thinking and existence like it used too.
The same holds true for the sexual abuse I endured around the ages of 5-10. When I was in the thick of that work in therapy, I saw no way out. I felt stuck as all hell, like I was never going to feel better. I was never going to stop blaming myself. I would never be able to go a day, now that I dug these memories out of the closet in my mind, and not think about that abuse.
I was having flashbacks most every morning, physical feelings of pain and emotional feelings of anxiety. I would dissociate every time I had a flashback, and would get constant memories of the room I was in. The shed, the garden, the mini bikes, all of it was hitting me like a championship fighter that smelled blood and was going in for the knockout blow.
J would keep telling me how much progress I was making, but I couldn’t see it. Again because I had no perspective since I was in the trenches of this battle.
As fate would have it, again through a writing assignment, that CSA work morphed into the Narcissistic Abuse recovery work. Which brings us to this present moment.
It’s all I’ve thought about, most of what I’ve written about in recent months, either directly or indirectly. Everything is revolving around the memories of the invalidation and lack of emotional support I lived through as a child in my home.
Looking back at the sexual abuse now, I can see some decent progress. While I know I’m not in a thriving place yet in that area, I can admit I’m further along than what I ever thought before.
I can see glimmer of light ahead. I can see the potential of being able to cast more blame on that kid up the street, rather than the innocent, vulnerable child inside me. For me to even be able to imagine that as being possible is just HUGE. I mean it really is.
So now it’s time to take the next step, and put the Narcissistic stuff on the back burner for a bit. To put down that heavy ball of the Mother Wounds, and pick up the CSA ball again. As I wrote before, I’m just not good at multi-tasking at all, much less multi-tasking trauma.
So since I realize that, I’m OK with changing focus in my recovery for awhile, and in fact I’m somewhat looking forward to it. I’ll take any type of inspiration and encouragement I can get, and wholeheartedly try and use it to my advantage.
Gaining perspective on what we’ve been through and how far we’ve come, can give us the confidence to keep moving forward and spearhead the next leg of our journey.
If you’ve suffered multiple different types of trauma in your life, trying to juggle them all at once can be totally frustrating and counter productive.
Be cognizant of how your healing journey goes and don’t afraid to put down one ball and pick up a different one for a while. When you’re ready, put down that ball and pick up another one again. In time, and there’s never a rush, the benefits of working through each in their own time, will come together into an amazing healing experience.
That’s what I have to keep believing and what I will continue to focus on.
image courtesy of www.tes.com