There are still times when I can’t quite believe that neglect and abuse has been my life, and then it hits me that this was the way it was. But then I tell myself that without this life, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing with my diary and I temporarily reconcile.
No one just gets over neglect or abuse, it’s something we must continually work on, but it is up to us to change how we let abuse in. Experiences become lessons, but this is one lesson that we will never want to be exposed to again. For the healing process to work, we must put physical and emotional distance between us and the perpetrator.
Recognising neglect or abuse is one step forward towards healing. But having to constantly defend ourselves in those circumstances, or having to be on our guard, means we’re tied to unhealthy patterns, which continue to stay part of us.
To recognise that we’re not to blame is very much a mental health step forward. Abuse is 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. We must accept that the abuse happened, deal with the feelings of abuse and choose to move on.
Lamenting the past and blaming ourselves for not being able to change other people’s pattern of abuse is not only unhelpful but damaging too, because if we could change our experiences of abuse, we wouldn’t be who we are through those experiences.
To tell ourselves otherwise is doing our integrity an injustice. We’re much more intelligent than that.