There are still times when I can’t quite believe that neglect and abuse has been my life and then I pinch myself and that’s my reality. But then I tell myself that without this life, my experiences I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and I reconcile until the next time.
No one just gets over neglect or abuse, but it is up to us to change how we let those others treat us. Where experiences become lessons, this is one lesson learned that we will never want to repeat, or be exposed to. To begin any healing process, we must put physical or emotional distance between us. Recognising such neglect or abuse is one step forward towards healing.
As with any type of abuse, we may retaliate against what we see as abuse. Having to constantly defend ourselves, having also to be on our guard, may go on to create unhealthy habits that reside in our unconscious and which become part of us.
But to recognise that we’re not to blame is very much a mental health step forward; that the abuse was never about us. To understand that we have the power to change how we think, how we feel and act is also another step forward on the road to recovery.
As the adult, we must go on to accept that the abuse happened and choose to move on. Lamenting on the past and blaming ourselves for not being able to change the patterns of abuse is not only unhelpful, but damaging too.
Sadly, abuse is abuse. That if we could have changed our experiences of abuse, it wouldn’t be abuse and those experiences wouldn’t be issues for us to ‘just’ get over. To tell ourselves otherwise, is doing our integrity an injustice.