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January 30, 2017

When Life Humbles You

I have not written a blog article in about a month because life took the time to humble me.

When I began my blogging journey I had lofty ideals to help others to heal from abuse and trauma.  While my goal hasn’t changed, my approach has changed since I’ve come to realize that I may not be as healed as I had convinced myself of being.

This realization awakened a part of me that refused to accept that I was still in denial about certain things from my past.

The most difficult and heartbreaking realization came when I finally acknowledged the scars on my body.

I have a scar above my right breast near my armpit that I told people my entire life is from having chickenpox as a child.  But it’s not.

I have tiny chickenpox scars on the side of my left nostril and on my forehead.  When I researched chickenpox scars, they are identical to all images I found of chickenpox scars.

The scar above my right breast is identical to all images I found of old cigarette burns.  I even took an unlit cigarette and placed it over my scar and It’s the exact same size as a cigarette.  After all these years I had to come out of denial and accept that either my father or mother burned me with a cigarette when I was a very small child.

I have another scar on the left side of my breast close to my armpit, almost in the identical spot as the scar on the right side.  It can either be a healed old burn scar or a healed small cut.  Since I have a clear burn scar on the right breast, I’m assuming the scar on the left breast was a less severe burn scar.

I have a scar above my right knee which has a tadpole like shape.  My entire life I told a ridiculous story that I tried to iron my knee as a little girl because it looked wrinkled.  I now remember the incredulous looks of friends when I told this outlandish story.

The truth is I was a very little girl and I was sitting on the floor playing with some toys next to my mother as she ironed our father’s shirts.  I was a very inquisitive child and I was bombarding my mother with questions about how an iron works, why we needed irons, did she like ironing, why did she have to stand to iron, etc.  Then I have a blank in my memory as the next thing I remember is sitting on the floor screaming in agony as my leg had been burned.

After all these years, I had to accept that I did not pull the iron off the ironing board so I could iron my own knee.

After doing my own experiment trying to pull my iron off my ironing board by pulling on the cord, either the ironing board and iron would have toppled over, or the iron would have fallen on my head.  However, that is conjecture as I don’t know the exact distance I was from the ironing board that day; however, I do remember that I was sitting almost underneath the ironing board.

Also, since my mother was ironing at the time, she would not have allowed me to pull the iron off the ironing board while she was ironing.

The truth that I had to finally admit to myself is that my mother grew frustrated and angry with all my questioning and decided to shut me up by burning me.

My mother seemed to believe that pain was the best way to silence me.  Just as she would silence me in public by yanking two or three strands of hair out of my head while whispering in my ear, “If you don’t behave next time I’ll take more hair.”

As my mother would hit me while screaming at me to stop crying, she believed burning me, yanking out my hair, or inflicting other forms of physical pain was the only way to silence or discipline me.

I also came across a couple of articles about connecting with our inner child (a soul crushing revelation during inner child work), which is something I have never tried to do since most of my childhood before the age of 9 or 10 is a blank to me.

I decided to try an exercise I read about where I held a teddy bear and imagined it was me as a child in order to try to connect with my inner child (working with your inner child to heal abuse).  As I sat in silence, the first thing I heard in my mind was, “Why are you hurting us?  Haven’t we been hurt enough?

I not only began crying, but I immediately knew my inner child was talking about my smoking and not taking care of myself.  I realized for the first time the absurdity of my smoking, and using something to harm myself that my abusers used to burn me.

I realized for the first time in my life that I have never truly cared about me, or put myself first because I was scared it would make me a selfish and bad person.  I’ve always been scared to become selfish because my abusers were selfish people who only cared about what made them feel better.

Here I am after all these years and I have to learn that caring for me is not selfish, but actually healthy.

A part of me is ashamed that I began blogging with the pretense that I have completely healed from abuse and trauma, when in reality I still have some healing and self discovery to go through.

I have healed from much of the issues and pain I carried from my younger years, but I now realize that I used denial as a means to try to heal faster and become a stronger person.

Maybe I’ve been living in denial about parts of my past because I was not fully ready to accept the truth about the extent of abuse I lived through.  Maybe a part of me was tired of trying to face all of my pain and I wanted to be done with the healing process.

But life has taken the time to not only humble me, but to help me to see more clearly the life I have survived.  I realize now that the healing and self discovery from abuse and trauma is most likely a life long journey, but it’s not a bad journey.  It’s a good journey of growing and finding true inner peace and joy, which I believe all survivors desperately seek.

I continue to have a deep desire to help others, and while I still have some self discovery and growing to work on, I hope by sharing my own journey and life, I can help others, even if it’s to give comfort that we are not alone as we try to navigate through our lives to find not only inner peace and joy, but the beauty of ourselves.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave your comments below, and if you enjoyed this article I hope you will subscribe.

Eve


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