Healing Tree

Healing Tree map

The seed of your recovery.
This step may start when you begin to have memories, or when you have time in your life to be able to look them in the face. It may come like a blow with a hammer, a knowledge that something was seriously wrong with what someone did to you while you were still a child.
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It may come in a series of incites, or simply a sense that there is something that has been hidden trying to surface. Suddenly everything might make sense…

That inexplicable feeling deep down inside of anxiety and restlessness, a feeling of “impending doom”.
The way that you cry apparently without reason while watching a movie…
…why you feel uncomfortable when changing the diapers of your kids…
…why you don’t like it if someone lies really close to you in bed…
…why you find it hard to be intimate with somebody…
…why you always feel submissive when facing tall men with dark hair, or people who smell of stale whiskey or incense.
Why you can’t pronounce the word “sex” without feeling ashamed.

It may come out of the blue, or it may come in bits and pieces, with flashbacks, in dreams or nightmares,sometimes without any chronological order, just the fragments of a reality that may have been hidden.

Maybe it is triggered by a seemingly unrelated incident, after a significant death, becoming a Mother or a Father, maybe after some media coverage, or after giving up drinking or using drugs.

It may come at a time when you are older, evaluating your life, may be a shock , and you are suddenly back in that room, the color of the curtains, the smells, the background noises,the feelings of powerlessness.
If there has been physical pain, or bleeding, that may occur again.

If you don’t remember specific incidences, but still have the feeling that something abusive happened to you, then it very probably did.
Your brain has incredible powers to allow you to survive, and survival is our most powerful instinct, but those survival skills themselves may have been damaging , maybe alcoholism, addiction, self harming, eating difficulties, obsessional behaviour etc.

This sudden realisation might be frightening, your life may feel as if it is turmoil, that you are going crazy, that you are out of control.

This is the “acute” stage of your recovery, but is quite necessary for you to begin to heal.
Dealing with memories and suppressed feelings can throw you into chaos, but remember, it is only a stage, and it WILL pass.
It won’t last forever. You are on your way.

Sue Cox & Ton Leerschool

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