a girl and her boy

. daily life : wool obsession : bibliomania : living on purpose .

A New Starting Point

This past week has got me thinking, really thinking. I’ve been thinking about interpersonal relationships, about personal history, about abuse and trauma, about healing, and about home. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but here’s what I have for now.

Being an adult survivor of multiple types of abuse during childhood and adolescence is really hard and really sucks (yes, I would totally tell my students to use a different adjective, to extend and expand their vocabulary, but if the word fits, use it!). I have baggage and issues that no one should have to deal with. I keep going through cycles where I think I have it figured out, worked out, but then I land flat on my face and have to rebuild ground up. And that’s where I am right now. Flat on the ground, picking myself up out of the mud, and counting the bruises that need healing.

I’m not going into details of what happened. That’s not necessary. But what is necessary, and I’ve only recently come to realize, is that being a survivor of abuse and trauma is not a character flaw. It’s not something I did wrong and need to repent of. And that’s how I have felt for twenty-seven years.

It’s taken years of journaling, of trying various medications, and of therapy that I thought wasn’t working to get to this point.

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6 responses to “A New Starting Point

  1. leah September 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    What a great break through. It is easy for me to see that it couldn’t be your fault or anything. It never is the victims fault….no one ever deserves what you’ve gone through. But as a victim I can only imagine how hard it would be to see that. I’m glad you have come to realize that personally! ((hugs))

  2. Black Sheep September 21, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Thank you, Leah! Recovery is a long, hard, never-ending process and one that begins over and over and over again. Having a space, like this blog, to share and talk things through in, helps so much! And getting encouraging words and sage insight from readers helps even more!

  3. Gabe September 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Amen. Our culture has a tendency to obsess about the victimization of children qua children, while at the same time diminishing the struggles of adult survivors of childhood abuse.

    It’s not your fault when you are abused as a kid, and it is still not your fault when you grow up. An abuse victim needs help and healing. If that need goes unmet (as it often does), it will not simply vanish on the person’s 18th birthday.

  4. Black Sheep September 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you, Gabe!

  5. Michelle Glauser September 22, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I’m glad you’ve recognized that there is nothing wrong with your character and no need for repentance. Rather, you are a victim and a strong survivor! Here are my internet good wishes to you.

  6. Black Sheep September 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you, Michelle!

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