We sometimes get together with other people hoping their mood will elevate ours or, at least, soothe, energize, or distract us. In a way, we want to bring leftovers as our contribution to a potluck while hoping we’ll find apple pie to fill our plates. Experience shows us it doesn’t work that way. Energy explains why it can’t.
We do it so often… and so well. We think understanding why someone abused us diminishes its effect on us. This is a disempowering web for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Though it gives us the comfort of not upsetting other people, excusing our abuser because we understand them will keep us firmly trapped in our experience. Drinking, anger, exhaustion or depression can never, ever be an adequate reason for harming us. If our abuser was also a victim at one time, he/she needed to seek help rather than use our childhood vulnerability as an opportunity to violate us. Not ‘knowing what they were doing’ or ‘recognizing how much it affected us’ denies responsibility and asks us to carry the load.
Some of us are still looking for sunny meadows after a childhood spent in dark forests. Even the best life journeys give us hills to climb and raging rivers to cross. And though we sometimes lose track of it, all of us have our personal spirit to help us face our challenges.
For survivors, the past is a landscape of memories and feelings we want to avoid. Though there are moments of nostalgia scattered through those days, we have to tread lightly so we don’t consciously bump into reminders of our childhood sexual abuse. Avoiding tears is one way we keep those experiences at bay.
Taking another walk along a well-known beach, I was thinking about how it is always different. There’s no doubt one day’s footprints could overlap those I’ve left behind on other walks, but the experience is never the same. It’s the same path, but the energy field has been altered by time, the people and critters that share this corner of the world, and Mother Nature.
A survivor of childhood sexual abuse recently shared the struggle she feels between what her heart and head tell her. She asked if I had that experience.
Absolutely! And leaving this tug and pull behind is surely one of the empowering gifts of healing from our trauma. We discover there is a third place to go for our answers: one that is sure and honors our personal truth. I call it our spirit.
I’ve walk on ground cover that shrivels when you step on it and then returns to its robust beauty as you step away. It makes me think of personal spirit. This powerful connection to our potential is not inclined to be trampled. It doesn’t accept shame, doubt, worry, or directions from others. Our spirit is all about our possibilities.
There are many ways to come to a decision. Some of them help us feel connected to others around us. Others celebrate our past. Many bow to the logic of our minds where fears, doubts, and worries try to keep us safe. Remembering everything is energy offers us a chance to weave other choices.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often feel tremendous resistance to stepping onto the path of active healing. The dragons of our experience feel too large and overwhelming even when we are told we will find incredible, empowering, joy-filled, peaceful days on the other side of healing.
Holding the blue print of our life purpose and always celebrating what makes us special, our personal spirit speaks to us in many languages. It took me years to hear the messages coming through my body. Even now, I am sometimes challenged to understand what my physical symptoms are trying to tell me, but I no longer doubt it is spirit talking to me.