My mind literally formed around the idea that the pain and crap my parents were serving me was good love. I have had to do a lot of work to tolerate understanding that their 'love' was completely toxic. As Christopher stated: "Their love was toxic; a nuclear meltdown."
When I got my medical records last month I started to have a lot more clarity in my mind about the reality of my past. It was an 88 page document reaffirming so many things I had both always known about and also lived trying to block out. But really living and blocking out the truth about reality is an impossible task.
I had come so far in my work to tell the truth- yet I was terrified to really go all of the way. I kept wanting to slip back- back to dissociating and back to wishing that none of the abuse had ever really happened. But the very thing that had saved my mind and life was far from protecting me anymore. The dissociation and wishing the abuse had never happened had saved me, but now it was now keeping me as a prisoner of the past. I was unable to fully live in the present or to think about a future.
So I started working on fully accepting the painful truth about my past. I started to try to accept it FULLY. I started working to not slip into a place where I was pretending the abuse had not happened. At first it was totally and completely awful. I kept wanting to run and hide from the painful thoughts I could not 'catch a break from'. But as I started to feel more present I started knowing it what it was like to not be living a life running on old pain from the past. I started tolerating the pain of the truth, the pain of the memories and when I wanted to go back to my old ways of hurting myself in order to cover the original pain- I just sat- and I let the painful thoughts pass. And they do. The painful memories pass. I have to keep reminding myself of it now- but it is working. I am starting to finally be able to not hate myself, to take better care of myself and to be more in the present.
One of the many great things I have come to understand in the wake of the enormous grief I have been having is that what my abusers did to me was not powerful. There is nothing powerful about hurting a child. I had always viewed my abusers as very powerful. One of the things that has helped me a lot is to keep remembering: THERE IS NOTHING POWERFUL ABOUT HURTING A CHILD. That thought has helped me a lot.
My friend Eve has been helping me a lot and a lot by being honest about her own life and pain. You can read her great blog here.
Eve and I have been reading from the 12 steps for Survivors of Incest and something I read in there last night is what I keep thinking of today: If we survived the abuse, we can survive remembering it.
I have come to see I am able to stay safe and to take good care of my mind and my body when I am fully honest about the past. I can live with the past; I can not change it but I can accept it. When I accept the truth about the past I become free to live my life fully in the present and I can begin to dream of my future.