It’s been a year since I started a self-therapy journey after a bad experience with a therapist, the lack of another in town to take their place, and the struggle to find a therapist in my insurance list within 75 miles of my house. I knew, however, that I needed something to help me get through the days of wanting to end everything. I knew that I needed something to help me heal from the abuse, trauma, and anguish that I have been going through since I was a child.
And I found a course on DailyOm that had weekly prompts to contemplate, absorb, and to write about. There were some weeks when, after my “homework”, when I could barely be civil to the people around me because all the emotions were high and nearly unendurable. There were weeks when I kept my big headphones (Bose sound-cancelling) on with nothing playing through them, just for the silence they brought. There were nights when I replayed every strike, blow, bloody lip, swollen eye, electric cord welts, and worse. There were other nights when I remembered the shame and self-loathing I had felt over the years. I remembered every bit of coercion and manipulation, every moment of dread when others left the house and I was alone with the one who was supposed to care about me, every harsh look and sneer of derision. Every single moment of betrayal.
Am I “better”? Yes, but not in a way that I’m comfortable with and I’m not done healing. I still have a long way to go. My life has had some extremely shitty parts that most people can’t comprehend. That will NEVER change. What will change is how I move forward. Over most of my life I’d “been okay” with only brushing the surface of the hurts. Now, I’m digging into the darkness where everything is rotten. I am not a believer in the “everything will be okay” trope. That, in my opinion, leads straight down the road to toxic positivity. I’m not a light-bringer, I’m a shadow worker. Flames and darkness are where I get most of my work done, not roses and daisies. There isn’t anything wrong with daisies or roses, but they are not for me. At least not on a daily basis.
I’m also not a believer that this shit “made me stronger” because it didn’t. It made me harder and colder. It’s only by the grace of the Goddess that I’m as kind as I am. It’s through Her that I can still see beauty in the world around me. I do not have to forgive, since that isn’t my style anymore. But I can distance myself from the memories and pain and keep going on my journey. There are parts of me that will never be light again. I know this, I accept it, and I keep going. That’s life. This is my life.
Will I stumble? Of course. One of my abusers was part of my life for nearly 18 years. Another was in my life for nearly 13. One more was nearly 9 years. That’s 40 years of abuse and pain. I’m only 50 years old and have been single for 8 years. That’s a lot of time to get through and work my way past. But I’ll do it.