I published this post in June on my now “retired” self-hosted blog called “A Spirit of Healing”. That is what “this blog” later on refers to. As the topic is on my mind still or again I want to re-post it here but leave it in its original form.
Since I have started this blog, I have set the priority to give you information about the many great TED-Talks and showing you organisations around the world who help survivors of abuse.
A blog is an excellent opportunity to share personal experiences
However, I believe a blog is an excellent opportunity to share our experiences and what conclusions we have drawn on our healing journey. It is more than 25 years that I have started to accept the fact that I have been abused as a child. That looks like a long time but as my healing journey started about 10-15 years after the abuse many of the coping mechanisms I have developed to survive have gained a lot of power and changing those is like an expedition into the unknown.
I believe though I have come far and in the last few years having therapy and improving myself is not so much anymore “just” about coping. It has become a journey of discovery: discovering what I can achieve, find out how I want my life to be and discovering joy, pleasure and the good things in life.
And of course, the question: “When will I be healed?”
Two years ago I was enabled to have EMDR therapy which is very effective in dealing with the aftermath of trauma. It has changed my life immensely. Many of my PTSD symptoms have become less urgent and I have developed a sense of: “I am in control”.
Last year though a lot of things happened and even though I took good care of myself, used the tools learned in therapy and stayed mindful of myself I had a relapse. It occurred at work, and it shattered my newfound security in myself as well as my believe I have come forward in my healing journey.
I’m not going into the details. All I want to say is that I had the worst flashback of my life, and neither I nor my workplace was prepared for it.
It shocked me deeply that something like that could still happen
It shocked me deeply that something like that could still happen, and it made me ask: “Am I back at the beginning? Will this never end? Does therapy help at all?” I questioned everything and especially myself and my ability to heal.
Seven months further on I have come to the conclusion that flashbacks and the old way my brain and my emotions work are part of me and will be with me until I die. The traumas experienced in my childhood have not been worked on properly until I was in my 30’s and 40’s which means old ways of coping had the chance to gain a lot of power.
But I also discovered that a setback is not to say everything I worked for in the last 25 years is gone. It means I know how my life can be differently and that there are other ways of dealing with stressful situations. It means I need more help and a different approach than people who have not been traumatised.
I have come to the conclusion that “being healed” for me doesn’t mean being symptom-free.
I have come to the conclusion that “being healed” for me doesn’t mean being symptom-free. It would be so nice. It would be such a relieve but it’s not realistic. “Being healed” means for me to recognise the triggers and symptoms and to ask for help in time. “Being healed” means that my life does not only consist of dealing with symptoms and just looking to survive the next day. “Being healed” means to live with my condition and being able to make plans, to achieve dreams and hopes and to be as happy as possible in as many hours of my life as I can.
What does “being healed” mean for you?
I believe “being healed” is an extremely personal experience and conclusion. I am curious: How are your conclusions? What does “being healed” mean for you?