My exposure to the harshness of life began in utero; I was born into domestic violence with a father who was abusive in all forms and a mother who was oppressed, depressed and victimized. I was 8 when my mother left my father and moved us (herself and five kids) to another state to be with her family. By age 9 or 10 until age 16, I was repeatedly molested and raped by an uncle who was the patriarch of a family near and dear to me. At age 16, I was abducted by a stranger after his attempt to rape me did not meet his approval. In my late 20's, I experienced very much unwanted sexual harassment in the work place in a law office. Around age 30, I was a witness to a double homicide that took place in the apartment across from me in which I had to enter, after the killer left, to rescue a 3-year-old girl who just saw her mommy and her boyfriend to go heaven on Christmas Eve. At age 32, I experienced homelessness, living out of my vehicle. By age 33, I had lost all of my possessions, my job, my friends, my life. All I had were the clothes I was wearing and even those were not mine. Soon thereafter, I was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer. By this time, I was severely depressed. Two weeks after radiation treatment ended, I met the father of our four children. After a 20-year committed intimate relationship with him, I survived domestic violence (DV) with its accompanying trauma and PTSD.
I've been through a lot. I've healed a lot. I've learned a lot. I'm a trauma expert by experience. My chronic trauma (repeated and prolonged exposure to stress) and complex trauma (exposure to varied and multiple events, personal and invasive nature) was complicated with acute trauma (a single horrific event) from the DV.
Someone recently asked me what got me through all of these harsh events that allowed me to be in the place of freedom and health that I am today. I had only one answer: My Inner Child and Spirit (more on this in a future post).
We say that children are closest to God, and I believe this. Carl Jung is famous for his quote: "We are not what happened to us. We are who we choose to become." The saving grace for me to overcoming the effects of the extreme negativity in my life has been to live close to my Inner Child and Spirit. Even though my relationship with myself and God was too unhealthy to protect me, my Inner Child and Spirit rose to the occasion over the course of my life unbeknownst to me. At this writing, I have never felt as whole and happy as I do in this moment. And every day gets better and better.
I'm blessed to have received an incredible amount of healing energy and the time for the necessary amount of self-care (nature walks, bath soaks, meditation) following the DV. Talk therapy and support groups have helped along the way. Meditation and connecting with Source have been even more valuable. Healing, in general, is best thought of as a 24/7 commitment to oneself. It is a lot of work, but it's the work we are here to do for ourselves. We are here for a reason and we have a whole lifetime to figure that out; we might as well work on ourselves. After all, "Life is merely a game; where we end up here determines where we will be on the Other Side." Life truly is an emotional adventure.
"Emotions are at the core of all things."