If there’s one thing I truly understand on a very deep level it is the importance of allowing ourselves to grieve. To feel the pain and deeply grieve.
If you’ve read my story at all you know that I have suffered much loss in my life. An orphan for the first 4 months of my life, lack of bonding, of safety. Then the moment at age 5 when my adopted mother told me I was adopted . The deep feelings of rejection and abandonment overwhelmed me. No matter how much she tried to convince me that I was special, chosen, the only thing that I felt was not good enough, flawed, broken.
I was very close to my adopted mother. She radiated love. She was my safe place, my security.
Then at age 12 I lost her to cancer. Stomach cancer.
The pain was so intense that as a 12 year old I just did not know how to process it all. It was so completely overwhelming that I have huge memory lapses during that time period, from the ages of 12-18.
At 13 I was tossed out of the house. My poor father was deeply grieving as well and just did not know how to handle me with my suicide attempts, cutting, anger, rage and crazy behavior.
I learned to be street smart and tough. I also learned to cover my emotions with unhealthy things. I never really grieved, or even dared to face the strong onslaught of emotions.
I saw and experienced things during that time period that no child should ever see.
I remember always feeling like I had to numb the pain. I would search out different things as a form of self-medication.
Pain and grief, if ignored, if not dealt with will always come out sideways creating a continual cycle of dysfunction and destruction, not only affecting you, but affecting those around you
I finally began my deep healing journey about 5 years ago. I decided it was time to face some of the ghosts that had taken up residence inside of me. It has been a very intense, painful process at times. But I have become so much more self aware and truly have found many keys that have unlocked a few doors. I am finding myself experiencing a lot more joy and freedom these days even in the midst of painful circumstance. I can feel myself making progress as I walk along. I look back and realize I am not the mess of a person I used to be. I love myself.
We have three choices when faced with a painful situation. We can numb out and ignore the feelings and continue on, acting as if nothing has happened.
We can self medicate with drugs, alcohol, food, work, spending, any number of things.
Each of these choices work temporarily, but the problem here is the same patterns will continue to play out in our lives, creating the same painful results. And again, the pain, the grief will always come out sideways often times deeply hurting others in the process.
The third choice is to face the pain. Allow yourself to feel the depth of it. This is very difficult because usually all the old painful memories that have never been resolved will come flooding back in. But you see, it’s not about the break-up, or being fired, or feeling rejected by a friend or your crappy job, It’s about areas in our lives that have never been dealt with, that we have never allowed ourselves to heal from. Various circumstances act as triggers, taking us back to those painful times. Perceived rejection or lack of respect and appreciation at work can trigger old battles of never feeling good enough, smart enough, capable enough. here is usually a trauma attached. Feeling betrayed and rejected by someone through a break-up is painful, but the pain is magnified when in the past you have been rejected by those closest to you, abandoned or abused by someone you trusted. Oh, for two people to have this understanding in a relationship, to be willing to work through this stuff together to become healthy…a rare, but beautiful thing.
I used to be afraid to write such things, to be open and honest. Fear that I might scare people away. But really, do I want people in my life not willing to meet me where i’m at and walk with me? It’s a lot easier to go along pretending that everything is fine and gaining acceptance from certain people, then being raw and honest and trusting that the ones who are supposed to walk with you through this process will be there and the ones who cannot will leave. To trust the process. Scary as hell, but freeing….Deeply freeing.
There is a deep level of compassion that is birthed in pain. Pain, if we allow it can be a catalyst to a whole new level of lasting freedom.