I’ve never considered myself a victim. Or at least I told myself that I wasn’t.
I thought of myself as strong. (I still do) I saw myself as a survivor. I ‘overcame’ all the bad stuff that had happened. I moved on.
Sure, I made some bad choices. I hooked up with the wrong men. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of by friends and family.
I didn’t speak up for myself. I didn’t confront people when they wronged me. I didn’t fight back or stand up for myself even when it got really ugly…
I rolled with the punches. I didn’t feel that I could walk away…”I can fix this” or “what would they do without me?” I stayed in relationships that were bad for me.
I would constantly gaslight myself into believing that it was all going to be ‘okay’, I just had to get through this. I was afraid to move on.
I gave and gave and gave and gave… then I was asked to give even more – until there was nothing left to give. I felt like I was folding in on myself…
That was the straw. You know the one.
The last one… The one that broke the camel’s back…I had no choice now.
Our bodies tell us when it’s time for a change, but we can ignore our bodies, pushing ourselves harder to prove we are worthy. We strive for recognition and praise until our bodies and brains scream ENOUGH!
Past pain lives in the body, and when we don’t ‘deal and heal’, it physically changes us. It lives in our subconscious, dictates our behavior, influences the choices we make or don’t make, and affects the relationship we have with ourselves and others.
Where do we begin? How do we move toward healing from past pain?
How do you even know when you are living in the past and holding on to past pain?
These are the things I realized about myself once I began my healing journey.
Fondly remembering your past is quite different than dwelling on it or living in the past, lamenting over what you lost, or ruminating about the bad things that happened, rehashing them over and over. When we do that, our body reacts as if it were happening right now, releasing all the same stress hormones into our system. After a while, we live in a constant state of fight or flight. Our body never has the chance to ‘rest’ and ‘recover’.
Chronic stress affects us mentally and physically. Anxiety, depression, the inability to concentrate or remember, aches and pains, weight gain, intestinal issues, and a compromised immune system, to name a few. Literally making you sick.
To get better, to feel better, to BE better… we have to choose to heal our pain, let go of the past, and move forward.
Written By Lois Sciligo