The Many Ways to Heal from Abuse

by Sophie on February 24, 2012

The main thing about abuse is that we repress as much of it as possible because it hurts and often humiliates us so who in their right mind wants to remember that, right?

The abuse we do remember is horrific, painful, tragic, unfair. It makes us angry, sad, weak, determined, resilient, funny, bitter, loving, defiant. It pushes us to join good causes and to want to help others. Sometimes it sends us to bed in prostration while we wait for the pain to abate. Abuse is inhuman and insane by nature, that’s why it creates so much mental illness and addiction. There can be some spiritual explanation for it and it has activated many healers and activists into their soul contract in this life time but there is no rational justification for abuse.

The abuse we do remember is easier to deal with: we know it’s there and nowadays we have a choice of dozens of ways to engage in recovering from the legacy of abuse:

  • energy work (still my favorite as it is so thorough, gets to the core and can be modulated from gentle or fiercely efficient depending on what you need),
  • prayer (powerful but often a little unfocused),
  • angel work (VERY soothing but does not always get to the core of the issue),
  • EMDR (powerful so make sure your therapist can catch you as you remember and you are not re-traumatised by the remembering),
  • yoga (great to unlock the body and rebuild but seldom gets to the core of the issue in my opinion),
  • re-hab if you became addicted to something to soothe you

(There are more ways than I can count so if you know of something not mentioned here, just leave a nice comment about it and I will add it to the list.)

Most of the time, if you remember a lot of abuse or if the abuse you remember was really bad, I am sorry to say that there is probably more that you don’t remember. Because in order to keep going, we repress as much of the pain and memories as we can.

Repressed memories and pain drive us to crazy behavior and to do things we are ashamed of because we don’t understand where they come from. So the first step is to decide that we are moving out of shame permanently and to call ourselves on it when we feel shame. Expose the shame to ourselves, forgive ourselves for going there then ask for help. Expert professional help as well as support, from friends, family, individuals or groups THAT WE TRUST!!

Then be ready for the roller coaster of healing the unconscious:

  • for emotional bombs to explode in your face and heart,
  • for parts of you that have been numb most of your life to come back to life,
  • for glimmers of hope and opportunities that you had no idea were possible in your life
  • for the secret pain that is revealed and dealt with to lose its energetic charge and stop being a tyrant in your life
  • for the miracles to start…

That’s it, now you have graduated out of survival and you are ready to THRIVE!!! in joy. En-joy!

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heidi Sue February 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Great post Sophie! Thank you for talking about abuse and its far reaching, often devastating effects. I was such a resilient child, incredibly skilled at hiding that I was totally shattered inside. In my teens, the ability to hide all the damage that had been done was no longer possible and I slipped into a deep, tragic depression. I’ve always maintained a connection to a power larger than myself, which sustained me through the darkest times. Early in my recovery, I found EMDR therapy to be VERY beneficial. And you are right, there was much more that I was not aware of that came up after I had identified all the trauma I did remember. I also benefited from self-hypnosis, as some of my abuse was very shameful and unspeakable, so I actually felt more comfortable uncovering my repressed memories on my own. It was a completely spiritual practice for me, and Angels always accompanied me when I “traveled back in time” to face the memories I had repressed. With their guidance and support, I could witness the scene from a place of love and compassion without the intense emotions that would be expected (similar to EMDR). I was also able to “console the situation” by intervening as my healthy adult self to provide comfort to both the younger me and often times, my abuser. This process was similar to the one I detailed in the post about forgiveness that you read earlier this month.
I think it’s awesome that you are creating a road map out of the torment of abuse. Professional therapists are helpful, but someone who has LIVED it has a deeper understanding of what it actually FEELS like to survive severe trauma. It’s beautiful how you’ve come full circle. If only you’d been around when I was choking in the weeds!
Great work, and thanks for sharing.
Namaste, Sophie. I honor the God in You.

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2 tori February 25, 2012 at 3:29 am

Great post! I find making art, writing, music and other creative endeavors to be healing. You don’t have to be good at them, but developing skills is healing too. I also find pets very healing with their unconditional love.

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3 Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker February 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Sophie, thank you so much for adding your voice of healing to those of us who are speaking out about healing from abuse in all its many forms. Together we can heal ourselves and our world.

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4 Sandi March 29, 2013 at 7:11 am

I’ve just read this article and you are 110% spot on. I am just finding resources to sustain me whilst recovering from abuse and its darn scary, because most of it was not believed by people around me. I’m going to sit with this and think of inexpensive options to support me whilst I ‘recover’ <3

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5 Anonymous October 8, 2013 at 1:02 am

Thank you for sharing! I have held in a lot of the emotions of dealing with the abuse from my dad and brother and the dysfunctional family events. I never fully dealt with my dad’s drinking addiction and when he relapsed, things just seemed to get worse and worse. Saw how addiction can kill the good in someone when my dad texted me some horrible things — especially the day when my grandpa died. I was also sexually abused by my brother on and off for years.

I do not mean to rant, but been having a rough few moments since dad was brought up and just felt so angry and upset. I feel like I had my breaking point about a year ago when I started getting panic attacks — mainly overworked from school; but ironically I was taking two screenwriting classes and was writing about…things similar to what I have gone through and guess that started to make me realize that I have NEVER been okay from A LOT OF STUFF.

I continue to write and try to go for walks (which helped me deal with anxiety) or bicycle riding. I see a therapist, at first for the anxiety, and last week was the first time of going into a bit of details of the abuse from my dad, who was mentally and emotionally abusive, and my brother. Also, the unresolved family events.

I feel like I grieve a lot, knowing that you cannot force someone to listen to you. I have been torn down, belittled, manipulated and called awful things when I set (or even tried to) my foot down. One thing that I try to be proud of is that I NEVER gave up on my dreams of wanting to become a writer. Although my life is not going my way, and yes I still struggle with the realization of that, I wrote more and more when all these bad events came one after the other like a domino effect.

I still struggle, terrified of possibly telling my mother of my brother sexually abusing me because times I have, I choked on the words — almost going mute like the words were just stuck.

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6 Sophie October 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I am so, so sorry for what happened to you. I am glad that you find the courage to face your truth and to work on expressing it. Well done for seeing with a therapist! We all need support in our healing. Thank you so much for sharing: together, we heal.

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