In recent days I have again been reminded that "the only way out is thru" when it comes to dealing with the residual effects of trauma. Odd enough I stumbled across this true story - history - of a man Nawaharlal Nehru - who lived in a time of great turmoil; you can read the text of this story here.
At first, I was caught by the title of this piece, "It is the struggle that gives value to life" - then I took a few minutes to read the 17 pages. In the context of not giving up the battle to find and make meaning in this journey of healing I found some very touching comparisons in this story to that of this hellashish path that I have been on. I am once again reminded that 1. the only way out is through and 2. I am the only one who can place value on and make meaning of this journey and 3. attitude is everything.
Like I have mentioned in a previous post, it would be wonderful if there was someone who could "rescue" or "fix" me; to take away the pain, the feelings of inadequacy and badness that I got from my (not healthy) family as I was growing up. But there is no "magic pill", no doctor, hospital or therapist that can "fix" me. In order for me to be better, I have to do the hard work. That means that I learn to be aware of my avoidence and coping techniques that at one time protected me and kept me alive but now interfere with my ability to live a full life. That means I have to let down my defenses, be vulnerable to myself and others. To finally, abeit gingerly at times, feel the feelings.
Part of this healing process is being able to move past the grief, anger and rage at the abuses I survived and allowing myself to move into that place where I can begin to thrive and find wholeness. Refusing to live life as a "victim" puts me back in the drivers seat and allows me to move beyond simply surviving and trying to get through each day. Here I am able to say "I have value". I can create meaning and purpose where before was none.
As Michele talk about in her interview with Dr. Alex Pattakos, attitude is everything. If I believe I am destined to live a life ensnared by the thoughts that I will never get better, then my chances of getting better are slim. On the other hand, for the past almost 20+years I hung onto the belief that giving up was not an option, there is always a solution; and while not every day is a rose garden, I sure do appreciate the ones that are close and try to learn from the ones that arent.
So while I am not thrilled that this is the path of my life - to deal with the afteraffects of surviving a lifetime of abuse , I am determined that my life have meaning and value - and I am the only one who can put the price tag on it.