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I am a survivor of child abuse. This is how I've survived.I went into that in a lot more detail (more detail than I can actually believe I shared with the world even still) in this post about battling depression. Towards the end I feel like I kind of left you guys in a lurch as to how that switch in my brain managed to flip. Up until recently, I was convinced that I was a failure. I just wasn’t good enough at being a mom. 

Everyone and their mother was ready to tell me what to and what not to do when I became a mother. If I used one product for for one thing, someone else told me that there was something better I was supposed to be using. Pampers, versus Huggies, versus Luvs. Breastfeeding to formula feeding. Cosleeping to crib sleeping. It really is never ending, so wondering if you are doing it all right just comes with the territory.

But you know what? I’m not a failure. Yes. I FINALLY said it. To myself. The words came out of my very own mouth. I am not a failure. This is HUGE for me. I was speaking to my therapist the other day…

SIDE NOTE: I believe everyone should consider seeing a therapist, whether they are in good mental health or not. Having an unbiased third party to talk to, that has helped me understand the thought process of those in my life that have hurt me, has done wonders, not only for my healing, but for my overall communication and understanding of others.
…and she told me that I needed to listen to my inner dialogue  a little more closely when I begin feeling as though I wasn’t good enough. I know what you are thinking, why should I listen MORE closely to that little voice inside my head that is belittling me? That is further abusing me?? I asked her that very same question, because she HAD to be the looney one in the room, not me, right? 

SIDE NOTE: During this session I was already on edge, anxiety high and feeling defiant. I didn’t want to be there, didn’t really want to talk but I also didn’t want to pay the cancellation fee or waste the copay that was almost as much, so there I was, arms crossed and counting down the minutes while my head was pounded with yet another migraine. I will ALWAYS say though, when I feel the way I did that day; that is when I know that I HAVE to go to therapy because if I don’t, I usually end up like a bottle of soda pop that’s been shaken up and opened too soon. A great big slobbery, blubbery, crying mess because of some silly little, no big deal thing. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight. 😉

Who’s voice is it that is speaking to you? Who’s voice do you hear? (I am paraphrasing my therapist here) That question stopped me in my tracks. As I sit here and I try to describe to you what exactly I felt, the only word that comes to mind is “transformation” but I am not quite sure if that is the right word… I’m sitting there, tense, looking and feeling defiant. The stress levels at home have skyrocketed with my latest (and hopefully FINALLY correct) diagnosis, David’s change in jobs, shopping for a house, you know, all the next big things that are coming our way.




Add all the “parenting duties” to the mix… the poop WILL go in the potty if it’s the last thing I do! (potty training has been a nightmare) and you totally get my frazzled look/feel. Right? All you other parents out there, I KNOW that you know what I am talking about. All you non-parents, you wiiiiillllllll (insert sing-song voice) muahahahaha! 

Anyway, back to my point, the question. Who’s voice was it? Who had been telling me over and over again that I was a failure? Of course as soon as she asked and I “listened” I heard my voice and of course, still defiant me, said so. She instructed me to listen closer and that’s when the tears started. She didn’t want me to listen to the actual voice…

SIDE NOTE: No I do not hear voices. I am talking about inner dialogue for anyone who was unsure about whether or not my kind of ‘crazy’ means I hear voices. Nope, I don’t 🙂 




…. she wanted me to listen to who was speaking, to trace it back to its origin. When I saw the expectant, yet knowing look,  I closed my eyes. I began tracing the inner voice, my inner voice back to it’s origin, and guess what? It changed. The voice itself, changed. 

I wasn’t hearing those ugly, horrible, hateful words being spewed at myself, from myself anymore. They were being spewed at me from all of the abusers that I had fallen victim to during my life. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I looked at her and she kind of cocked her head to the side and gave me a look of understanding. 

SIDE NOTE: what a gross word, spewed, right? Like vomit, though abuse is just as disgusting and should be grouped with like items, right?? 🙂

That is when I decided that “victim” is not really a word that I find suitable for myself. I like the word “Survivor” a whole heck of a lot more. This decision was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life, but unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest. 




After I was able to regain my composure I looked at her and didn’t say anything. She handed me the box of kleenex and said, now that we know who’s voice it is that is saying those things, what is your voice saying? I didn’t have an answer for her. I think that that might have been her point, though. I had been listening to everyone else for so long that I never took the time to listen to myself. Obviously, this is what she was getting at all along and a wave of relief rushed over me. 

Over the next couple of weeks I made a conscious effort every single day to take pause whenever I would find myself in a situation where I would be putting myself down, basically further abusing myself, and each time I identified one of those situations I closed my eyes and took a deep breath  and traced the source of the voice back the the origin. After doing this for several weeks, I have very slowly started seeing a change in the way that I think, act and feel on a daily basis. I am becoming the woman I want to be and finally starting to take total control over my life instead of just letting it pass me by.



 

It took me 26 years, but I have finally become a survivor and you can too!

I am a survivor of child abuse. This is how I've survived.

I am a survivor of child abuse. This is how I've survived.

I am a survivor of child abuse. This is how I've survived.

I am a survivor of child abuse. This is how I've survived.

 

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