Saturday, July 4, 2009

Taking back my life

Sometimes it's just good to settle in, grab that cup of coffee and get honest with myself. Thats kind of where I am today again and still. For a long, long time I used to hang on to that "childlike" desire for someone to "fix" me, to take care of me. Wouldn't it be wonderful if getting over the issues of our past was as simple as allowing someone else to kiss the booboo and make it all better?

Healing from a trauma experience is just not that easy though, is it? And to approach it like this I have found adds to my feelings of helplessness and hopelessness when I give control of my healing to someone else. The only way I can get better is to take responsibility for my own journey. Read up on this idea at Michele's new website where she discusses Self Empowered Therapy as a model of recovery.

I entered the mental health system back in the early 1990's searching for help as I exited a marraige and ten years of intermitant physical violence and daily mental and emotional abuse. Like Ellen talks about in her post "Why I dislike my (former) Psychiatrist" when I tried to bring up my life experiences with my doctors and therapists of this and the abuse and neglect I lived in as a child, I was dismissed and medicated. I spent the next fifteen years in a medicated stupor attempting to be that "good patient" - because I believed that if I just did what the doctors and therapists told me to do that I would get better. Wrong.

In reality what happened is that I gave away my power when I believed that "they" could "fix" me somehow. I accepted the many diagnosis' and medications (that changed numerous times over the years) and believed that something was inherently wrong with me, that I was "broken" for life; "damaged goods" as one professional put it.

What I have since learned is that my stess reactions to my past experiences have been completely normal; it was the ongoing and long term abuse that was abnormal. Read more about PTSD and COMPLEX PTSD here

I have also learned that if a chosen path is not working ie helping me to cope better that it is not necessarily "my fault" and that I can choose another path of work.

A few steps I have taken to take back my life - my own "theory" to my personal efforts of change

1. I am able and capable to manage my own life and recovery
2. I am no longer a vulnerable child and have the resources as an adult to cope
3. As an adult, I am responsible for my choices
4. I CAN learn to change. I was "taught" how to be a victim as a child - I can find and use resources to LEARN how to get over this stuff. Micheles website and blog is a great place to start.

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