Saturday, January 7, 2017

Making It Through Painful Moments

I was asked what it was like when I walked away from my family in order to survive.  How did I make it through the painful moment.  Much of this applies to how survivors of childhood sexual abuse and other trauma deal with making it through painful moments.

Walking away from my family was the only way I could make it because the family was so toxic, that in order for me to heal and make it, I had to let go. It was not easy.  They didn't just go away quietly either.

It was extremely difficult to walk away.  I struggled hard with that. I had anxiety attacks just to go get my mail out of the mailbox.  It was a time in my life that I had to let go of things that held me down.  These painful moments were difficult beyond comprehension.

Far too many people have told me that you create your own family.  While that is true, there is a biological connection that can never be replaced (well, it seems that way in my mind).  When you fought your entire life growing up to just be a part of the family and have those that are supposedly there for you, abuse you - then family is just one messed up and tangled mess.  It isn't as easy to create a family unit as many people try to tell you that it is.

Sometimes I get to the moment that I want to reunite with them, but then I hear stories from others and it is a caution to me to tread carefully into those treacherous waters.  I choose to not swim in the swamp, especially after hearing these stories.  Holidays usually bring that up front and center to me, even though I try to flee from it as fast as I can.

My head swirled for days...

After the incident where a relative asked me If I wanted to come to their house when a family member was in the area, my head swirled for hours, days from the anxiety… heck I don’t know when it stopped.  I won’t say it was easy.  I won’t say it magically was all better the next day.  The only thing I know is that I was stronger at that moment than I was in the past.  In the past, I made it through this, so if I’m stronger – I knew I would make it through this moment.  It is what I had to hold on to at that point.  That’s healing.  Yet, it was doused with anxiety and pain.

Yes, we often feel like we have dropped back so many steps and we’re in a deficit, but in many ways – we’re still further ahead.  We make it though somehow.  We live to fight another day somehow.  Sometimes, that’s all that matters in the moment.  We’re making it.  We’re living to fight another day.

Where we are in that moment...

It's okay if we find ourselves on the floor, struggling and hurting and wondering if we’ll ever make it.  It’s okay because in that moment, because that’s where we are.  That is what it is in that moment.  It is from that where we find our footing again and our way forward.  Only this time, we are more full of power and energy and strength because we’ve made it this far already.  We've got another sword in our supply closet and more tools in our toolbox.

When I laid in the hospital bed wondering if I would ever walk again, it took me to the point of utter despair where I screamed out – am I okay with this?  Am I comfortable with being a vegetable – unable to walk, talk, take care of myself.  It was in that moment that I found my footing.  It was in that moment that I started to move forward, not even realizing I was doing this and not even knowing how to move forward.  Sometimes in that moment, that is more than enough.  The rest will come.  The rest will fall into place.

I wasn't supposed to walk again...

I wasn’t supposed to walk again.  I wasn’t supposed to work or function like most people.  I was not expected to make it out of the conversion disorder.  No one could tell me the way out.  No one could show me the way out.  I had to fight, and kick, and scream every step of the way walking into the blindness of the fog that was before me.  It was in those dark moments that my journey of healing was already happening.

Yes, there are the voices.  Yes, they get loud.  They try hard to hold me down.  They fight against me telling me that I can't make it through this. They tell me I'm not good enough.  They tell me I'm not worthy.  They tell me I will not make it.   I just tell them to rot in hell…    And if they keep coming back up, I just repeat the previous statement.

We’re making it… we really are.  We’re moving into deeper layers and further awareness even if it is hard to comprehend what that means in that moment.

I know you are making it – because I’ve walked similar roads and I still remember what the shoes feel like when walking in them.

Find whatever it is that helps shift you from all that you’re struggling against – and push the gas pedal to the floor.  Call on your angels or God or the universe or whoever it is you believe in – just ask for them (it) to be there.  Just know that you’re not alone.  Call on your support network and your friends.  Be close to your pets and animals.  These things will help hold you while you find the strength to keep going.

Know that making it through painful moments may not be easy, but you can do this.  We're all in this together and together we help one another along.  Grab the hand out in front of you because it is someone that knows where the path leads.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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  1. I'm glad you survived, and I'm so sorry you experienced those awful things.

    1. Thank you so much. It is one of the reasons I write, to help others who are going through similar experiences






Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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