Following abuse self-identity is fractured. Stigma, shame and fear can overpower the drive to seek the help needed to heal from the past. In order to gain understanding of self and become resilient the journey within must be a time of reflection, allowance for hard question, a dedication to positive self-talk, and prayer.
Resilience for the Journey Within
This word is difficult because the burden lies on the one who is injured. It’s a skill no one actually wants to refine but is vital to the healing process. It is the ability to succeed in the face of adversity. But you never know if you have it until you are faced with true pain. Resilience is strengthened when the individual refuses to let go of hope. It is not a skill to be sharpened alone but rather in a safe community offering social support. Groups of like-minded people who have undergone similar trauma will help build a resilient mindset.
If you have not yet found your social tribe may I suggest calling local churches and YMCAs and asking if they host support groups.
Reflection and questioning
Stuffing the feelings, memories, and questions only postpones the healing process. Silence becomes a natural state for the abused as power is stripped away from them. Learning to reflect on what has happened in order to bring light to the situation is a healthy step forward. During that time of abuse the individual begins to believe things about him or herself that are not in fact truth.
- I am a bad person because this happened.
- This is my fault.
- If I had done ____ then ____ wouldn’t have happened. If people know what happened, then they will never accept me.
It is important to identify falsehoods we tell ourselves and then ask hard questions around them. This can prevent falling into negative patterns such as addiction because we can get stuck in these untruths if we refuse to give voice to them. Use this resource from 7 Cups to identify and challenge stuck points that may be interfering with your own recovery.
Finding’s one voice is empowering. Silence held you captive, let your voice bring you healing.
Negative self-talk is an easy trap to fall into. Believing the lies that you are not worthy, can never be loved, or are at fault are stuck points that you have to overcome. The truth is abuse is something that happens to you, not something you cause. Learning to speak kindly to and of yourself will give you the confidence necessary to tackle the harder areas of your recovery. Positive self-talk adds hope to your day and strengthens your resilience.