I am not healing from abuse. I am healing my body’s wounded response to life in the aftermath of surviving it.

Healing our wounds is a practice that requires a personal reformulation of what it means to live. Dynamic rewiring of our valid auto-responses of flight or fight that becomes fixed in an amplified state when we sustain a consistent injury. At its core, this work is a vulnerable decision that requires an understanding that we can no longer sustain the level of survival we have operated out of without shaming what this survival has already created. Our reaction and response to our pain are honest. It is birthed from the valid narrative we have been forced to live out after events, and usually, subsequential recurring ones, have taught our body, mind, and soul to expect harm and abandonment. It takes time to not be weirdly comforted by the things that have hurt us.

Prolonged survival not only wounds but creates scar tissue around our self-trust. This is why grief is so critical; it is the first line of reconnection to our internal guidance. To grieve for what we have known, and to accept the mind, body, and soul repercussions even if we don’t feel worthy of our responses upon a comparison of what others have faced. To slowly melt into our healing instead of turning it into another form of victimhood, survival, and self-harm based demand. To believe our desire to suppress, numb, and control in order to grasp some form of power after feeling powerless, and work with these yearnings to establish new forms of power that do not recreate the damage that we’ve now find comforting. It is a life-long exercise of gut-wrenching vulnerability that we must choose for ourselves in health each day.

My own healthy ability to partner with this conscious work ceases when it is based on a wounded need to not be hurt instead of trauma-informed choice. My life can easily become a mirror image of the damage I’ve endured when I do not pause to discern why I am still choosing it. It takes time and self re-education to recognize when it happens. It feels and looks different for everyone. My pre-learned response to life and relationship is formulated by fear. When I operate from it, it creates a pattern that becomes cyclical in nature. Relearning the same thing on repeat with slight variation often reverberates the lies of my childhood; that I am the cause and I am to blame.

Underneath my stronghold of fear is my ingrained role. The role of a silenced, quieted, a giver who has no needs of their own. Who extends but does not receive. Who endures, isolates, and takes full blame. My self-healing practice turns me towards the roots of these role wounds, the core self underneath my fight or flight. The spaces in me that are drowning in grief, struggling to surface and coughing up water, and wiser than I can fathom. Intense and brutal, messy and maddening, meeting these spaces wrecks me and frees me. Creating active participation, a partnership, with my body again.

Your wounds, no matter where they came from, are real to me. Your honesty with them is held with gentle love. Your healing, yours.