It didn’t take me long to realize that those first three steps were the easy part. Identifying the problems clearly wasn’t going to be enough. I had to figure out how to heal lifelong trauma. I started reading the book We by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel and attempted to begin the real work. It was time to feel the pain. I journaled. I walked. I cried. A lot. I kept going back to bed, but not as often and not for as long. The pain was excruciating. This step sucked. It sucked bad. I carried so many toxic people around with me and they were heavy and destroying me even though they had physically left years ago. I was angry at myself for letting them have access, for not leaving sooner, for not protecting my husband and daughter from them, for wasting my adult years letting their behavior keep me from living my life. I was stuck. No, I was paralyzed. I hated myself and fully believed that everyone would be better off if I died. I begged God to just let me die in my sleep. Hadn’t I suffered enough? I have to feel it again? Why do I continually have to suffer because people were cruel? I highly doubted any of my abusers were losing sleep over what they did to me.
I had spent my life holding the pain at bay and now the only path to freedom and healing was to allow the feelings to come. The only problem with that path was the terror that consumed me. What if I let the pain wash over me and it destroys me? What if I can’t recover? I took thousands of deep breaths during this phase and grounded myself and felt the pain a little bit at a time until I learned to let go. Sometimes bravery is pushing through the pain.
If you enjoyed this episode and want to dig deeper into the story, my my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page. We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective. Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour.
Find the link below.
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