I'm happy in this picture and it's genuine. However, two days before this picture I had a great day but fell apart. For the first time in years I could not identify my trigger. My nervous system hit overload and I behaved in truly ugly ways. ......... That was over this past weekend. Working through shame in therapy has been such a true challenge. I want to change my target replacement belief from 'I am shame' to 'I believe in myself.' I feel real..... finally. I once wrote in my journal during my third hospital stay in 2014, "The doctor says at this point it's up to me to get better. He says that there is help for PTSD and victims of sexual violence but it will be my choice to do the work. He says I need to believe in myself. But how do I tell him I've never felt real, so how can I believe in something I'm not even sure exists." .......... Recovering from the damage of continuous child abuse as an adult is work. After I fell apart Friday I laid in bed and realized this is part of the cycle and I am different now. I have more understanding that sometimes it's going to be really ugly and really hard. That understanding does not make it easier. It's just an understanding that is more supportive, and it does break cycles. ........ Even before Friday I have realized I must forgive myself. I am the only one I need to forgive to move forward. My past has been controlling me with fear and anxiety and I'm exhausted with it. I've held myself to such high standards and such harsh judgement. For the first time I am standing at the core of it all, and again, I have a choice. ......... I can choose to get better or fight all the hard work I've done to receive more love and joy because I'm too afraid. I'm going to keep doing this work (obviously I've invested too much time to turn away now). I'm being called to love softer and trust deeper, myself and others. Once again I slow down, a day at a time. Take a nap. Hold furbabies, visit with friends, laugh about serious shit with people who get the struggles. I also write on the mirror "be gentle" and "forgive yourself". And I have a daily reminder in my phone to hug myself.
It's another new pathway. Another undoing and becoming.
I'll forgive myself eventually. I hope if you walk this road you know you aren't alone and you too deserve freedom. I'm okay-er than I used to be. And it makes all the difference.