While I am no expert on mental health, I have learned a few things throughout my life. Learning to make peace with my past is one of the things I have been working towards.
The recovery process has not been easy. Not only have I hurt myself, I have also hurt people I care about along the way. From fits of anger, to waves of catastrophic depression… Just about everyone close to me has felt some sort of way about my recovery.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my past here’s a little tid bit. I grew up in an abusive home with my mother, brother, sister, and my psychotic father. This negative environment has left my family struggling, hurt and scarred. We are all on the path to healing. Some of us are stuck, some moving forward, some finding freedom. All of our journeys vary.
From my adolescent to adult life, I have carried such a volatile rage inside me. It has been extremely destructive not only to myself, but the people that I surround myself with. As a child, I was filled with such a light that turned dark for what seemed like ages. My anger was eating me alive.
A few years ago, I made the decision to start working on myself. Trying to better myself and to find myself. This was all extremely confusing considering growing up I was confined to a certain type, label, being. All of which was not me. So I went to work. Exploring different hobbies, classes at school, activities. None of this came easy or natural by any means. As much as I wanted to be myself, I could not.
My father’s voice and ways had been embedded into just about my every being. Anytime I wanted to dress or act a certain way, I was quickly reminded that it would not meet his standards. Whenever I did well in school, I was reminded that it was not good enough. He had convinced me that I was less than the average person. That no matter what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to be, I would NEVER be good enough.
So I had to work harder. I had to try to overcome his voice that was, and still is, embedded in my head. There is a difference between then and now though. Now I know that he is one fucked up mother fucker that is full of shit. Just about everything I ever learned from him was wrong. I am good enough, actually I am a hell of a lot better than enough. I am intelligent, smart, and funny. Being quirky and opinionated is what makes me, ME. There is absolutely nothing wrong with who I am.
It is still not all sunshine over here though. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are no fucking joke. During my low times, he/my father/the Devil has the ability to win. After all these damn years, he can still fucking win. I want to lie and say that he cannot, but I don’t want to lie to you. If you have gone through an abusive relationship, you can probably relate to that, huh? Just when you think you have let go and moved forward, the Devil comes rearing his ugly face. (Now I am not religious, but in this sense my father is damn near equivalent to the Devil.)
On a more positive note, I have managed to cope with the resurfacing of my past traumas. This process, cycle, system, whatever you want to call it is applicable in most scenarios that come up in life. If you are not already incorporating this into you decision making, coping skills, or whatever, you should see if it helps you too.
Within these stages of the cycle comes many emotions. Allowing yourself to feel things as they are is crucial. Sometimes it really fucking hurts. Tears will swell in your eyes, let them poor down your face. Allow your mind to release the tension, the negativity, the pain. The hard times will pass. Acknowledge all of it, the good/the bad/the ugly. Take the time to learn from your past. Examine all the the bits and pieces of what was and what happened. By far the hardest step for me is making peace with the issue/problem/situation/whatever. You are probably going to want to kick and scream and hold onto the rage inside of you. After all, it has become a large part of who you are. Right? But take the time to stop and think…. Who are you hurting by doing so?
Recently I have been able to forgive my father for the things that he did to my family. There is no justifying his horrid actions. I have not done this for his sake. This is for me, for them, my mother, brother and sister. No longer is my heart filled with hate and anger, spewing from ever orifice imaginable. I am at peace with my past. I hope that it stays that way. Though there are days were the anger starts to bubble up, and I resort back to the cycle. Knowing that I cannot succumb to him, I have to keep fighting/pushing/growing for me.
Healing takes time. Years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, ya know all those measures of time increments. Try not to get caught up in the when it will happen and just focus on the now. You are here. You are learning. You are growing. You are healing. You are doing this for you.
The Past – The Present – The Future
Leave a comment below talking about what works for you or maybe something you have been struggling. Maybe there is a different process out there that can be helpful. Let’s talk!