Call it getting resolution, putting the past in the past, making peace or drain the pain. No matter what survivors call it, we are all looking for a way to make sense of what happened to us. It isn’t a matter of “just moving on” or “just forgiving”. No, it is more like dealing with an abscess. You can’t just ignore an abscess or put a band aid on it. No, first you must drain the abscess.
For so many of us it was necessary to compartmentalize our abuse in order to try to function. Unfortunately, that meant some or all of our thoughts and feelings about what happened to us didn’t get dealt with. This results in us experiencing a variety of things. From getting triggered to not being able to function and anywhere in between, the difficulties we are currently experiencing may be coming from the emotional abscess created from compartmentalizing our abuse.
I want to be very clear here. You did nothing wrong when you pushed the abuse down. It was necessary for your survival. Now, I want to encourage you to consider that you can drain your emotional abscess which will allow you to begin to free yourself from the pain of your abuse.
Here are questions to ask yourself to begin to drain the pain of your abuse. Be sure to write down your answers. Writing helps get thoughts and feelings out of our brain. Writing actually begins to free us from what in the past has been the ongoing thought loops that haunt so many survivors.
- What happened? Do a free write. Write out everything. This may bring up emotions that feel uncomfortable. That’s ok. Cry, grieve, feel angry. Just allow the feelings as you write. Feelings can’t hurt you and they will pass. Use extra paper. Just keep writing until you have everything you want to say about what happened out of your head and down on paper.
- List only the facts of what happened. A fact is neutral. It is something everyone can agree upon and can be proven in a court of law.
- What are you making these facts mean? What is the story that you tell yourself (and maybe tell others) about the abuse?
- How do these thoughts in your story feel? Use single feeling words.
- Does this or did it make you want to buffer (over-eat, over-drink, over-shop, over-spend, gamble, binge watch TV, binge surf social media). Why or why not? Does it make you avoid certain things and/or people? Why or why not?
- Now set questions 1-5 aside. Use your imagination. How do you want to feel?
- What would you need to think/believe about this event in order to feel that way?
Here are some suggested thoughts for what you could choose to think:
I was innocent 100% innocent. Even if I complied or felt good during the abuse or accepted gifts, I was totally innocent. I am not alone. This happens to 1 in 5 women. I didn’t do anything wrong. I just happened to be there. I was the object of abuse – NOT the abuse. My abuser’s sickness and ick is theirs alone to deal with. I am NOT responsible. I was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. I am NOT responsible for what happened to me. I release any self-punishment that I have been doing to myself. This may have touched and abused my body, but they didn’t not and cannot touch my soul, who I truly am. I am and always was pure and innocent. I am whole, perfect and complete just because I am here. I am, always have been, and always will be 100% lovable
- What have you learned from this event?
If you would like help to drain your emotional abscess, simply schedule your free complimentary coaching session at: www.CindysCalendar.com