I have recently begun pondering the idea of.. Is healing possible? When you have been beaten down, lied to, manipulated, abused, and neglected as I have, it changes you. There is this mythical thing called healing in which we are often told that it is possible to beat your captors, to overcome the pain they caused you, and to return to some sense of normality.
Although there is truth in this, what about for people with chronic trauma? If the majority of your experience with people has been bad, then how do you start recognizing that there is good? If your brain is geared to filtering your present through your past, how do you stop living through the ugly lens of bad people?
People often tell me to “just let go and move on.” Beyond wanting to scream “I’d love to” and feeling dismissed, I wish there was a way to tell my brain and body to just move on. A few weeks ago, I started wondering if it is possible to move on. As a therapist, I see the best and worst in people. I hear stories throughout the day of some of the worst human acts possible and then see some of the most resilient individuals try to conquer the pain and return to some sense of themselves.
Throughout it all, the most overwhelming issue I see for people who have been mistreated is a low self-esteem and a fear of vulnerability. It makes sense, right? How many times does a person touch the proverbial hot stove before they give up and realize that all stoves are hot? How many times does a person trust that this next person will be the one who won’t manipulate them, burn them, or be a devil with a preachers collar?
I do not have the answers, but this blog represents a journey to finding happiness, finding happiness beyond healing. I have been to therapy, I have waddled through my past, I have overcome everything that has been thrown at me and have achieved more than most people could ever dream of. I have the loving husband, the comfortable life, the respect of others. But what I do not have is happiness, joy, and passion. I thought when I “made it” and got all the things I thought I wanted I would feel different. But I don’t – I just feel an overwhelming sense of failure that I have it all and still don’t feel happy.
The truth is that deep inside, I am still that wounded little girl that nobody stood up for. That little sensitive girl that got shoved aside if she couldn’t be logical. That little girl that no matter how hard she tried, there was never a reaction that she wanted for her efforts. So she hid, she lied, and she found a way not to get let down.
This is my journey to finding that amazing, creative, fun, sensitive, love with all her might little girl and letting her come out again.