Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pain is Pain

To Heal is a Journey...not an event


In my journey, I've personally experienced a broad range of trauma. I've also had chance to meet and talk with other survivors-of-bad-things. And while our stories are varied, our experiences different, very often our healing journey's are very similar.....

Pain is pain.

It doesn't matter the source of the pain - something hurts.

Healing takes place in the same way, no matter the sources of the injury; there is a natural healing process. An order. 

Wounds look different - a broken bone looks different than a cut. But still the healing process is the same for each. 

It is vital that this wound be protected; time, tenderness, dress the wound, set the break. Rest and compassion for the injury; don't overtax ourselves. 

Emotional trauma is trauma, regardless of the source; the wounds look different, the source of the injury is often different, varied. But the healing process is very often the same regardless of the type of or source of pain, I've found.**

Telling my story about what I survived is vital; but I learned to tell only to those who will treasure it and validate my experience and my pain without trying to offer fixes or worse - denying or dismissing my experience. 

It is vital that this wound be protected; time, tenderness and kindness for our soul and our spirit. Rest and compassion; don't overtax ourselves

Feel the anger; throw rocks at the mountain, pound the sand, scream, run...then be open to the tears and the grief at what was lost and what will never be.  

Journal, write, draw....whatever comes to mind to tell your story and allow the pain to escape your body. 

And be willing to do it over and over...

Until it is done.

I learned to not expect myself to be able to just "get over it" without attending to this pain. 

Avoiding it and attempting to go on as if nothing has happened was likely to cause this wound to become bigger; in time the untended wound may fester, take over our lives and cripple us as a physical wound left untended might.  

Or perhaps we go along, thinking all is well and the wound has healed, unaware that it was not completely healed from within and that we unwittingly left ourselves fragile. The next storm might toss us back into the throes of the original pain - or much worse as the waves of hopelessness overtakes us once again.

I found that this is the healing journey; the hard work and the healing path. 

Sometimes a physical injury hurts as it heals. 

Emotional healing is very similar. There is no short cut. There is no easy way around it. 

To heal from the wound, I learned I must go through the pain in order to finally get out of it...

and live free from it. 

**Note: the complex issues of child abuse create the additional need to address not only the trauma experience, but the interpersonal/developmental issues/life skills that are often related to the trauma experience. For more information on Developmental Trauma issues visit the Trauma Center developed by Dr. Van Der Kolk.

For more information about the unique issues faced by survivors of parental abuse and neglect visit my friend Amy at Guess What Normal Is 

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Myself said...

Found this post very helpful, as I have been struggling with feeling like I should "be over it." Thanks for writing this!

Susan said...


I so hear you; I'd been there many times, too. :) I'm really glad to hear that this post was a timely one for you!

Thank you for stopping to comment today!


~Kyla~ said...

Nice blog post~~ susan!

Susan said...

Thank you Kyla:)

Daan van den Bergh said...

I just found your blog through twitter and I must say very inspiring. It seems our blogs are in the same line of work. :)

Anyway, a very inspiring article! Consider me a subscriber and a follower on twitter!

Good luck on your journey!

Susan said...

Hello Daan and nice to meet you! Thanks for subscribing and introducing yourself!