I was posed with a question recently. Where am I in my healing process as a domestic abuse survivor? I’ve pondered the question in depth. How long is this process? I assume it varies for different people. It takes some of us years to even recognize the unhealthy patterns we are living with.
Recognizing these patterns is key. Finding ways to unravel the damage is a process that takes an unearthing of deeply buried wounds. I will not lie, the work is hard. The pain is excrutiating at times, but the rewards are wondrous!
Each time a layer is unpeeled, a wound is revealed. Most I find trace back to my childhood and I was not aware of their existence or the fact that they had festered over into my adult life and all my relationships. I was unknowingly leaving a path of death and destruction in my wake.
What is different today? I am starting to recognize the patterns and I am doing the neccesary work to make changes. I am finding I must make ammends often because I see the places where I have wounded others. I once heard the phrase “hurt people, hurt people” It stuck with me. Four simple words that are packed with truth. Yes, we do! Hurt people do hurt people!
I for one have hurt many because the wounds I carried from childhood went untreated for too long. There was no one there to bandage them up or show me the proper way to clean and dress them. I had no one to wipe my tears and reassure me that I would be ok.
I have come to terms with the fact that I won’t always have people to do these things that should have been done many years ago. During these times I am often hurt, angry, and dissapointed. I think I’ve been abandoned and rejected, left alone yet again. These are the days I must find the strength to reassure the “little girl” within that she will make it through.
I look at her with strong and loving eyes. She is often sad, scared and confused. Her unbrushed brown hair lays tangled on her bony shoulders. She averts my eyes and looks down at her tiny feet. She is unsure of her place. She is lost and alone in a great big world of grown up faces. Some are scary and they yell a lot. Others are friendly. Still there are some she can not read. They look at her with strange eyes and a hunger she is not yet familiar with.
I place my hand gently on her delicate chin, forcing her to meet my gaze. “Don’t be scared. You are a brave and strong girl. Whatever comes your way, it will not break you. You may feel broken. It might hurt a great deal, but you will rise above because of the love in your heart. Many years from now you will be strong enough to look back and understand that all these years were preparing you for a great destiny.”
The little girl smiles shyly, a new spark of hope in her eyes. As she turns to walk away, I grab her hand tightly. “I love you!” She darts off to play and my eyes fill up with tears because I know she will make it. She is a survivor, and no matter how long this process takes, she will do the work required to become whole. And my God, when she does, this little girl will become a hell of a woman!
Blessings & Love to the men and women who are healing! Wherever you are in this process, I believe in you. You are a survivor!
Written by: Tiffany Jackson