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 my life. But then I tell myself that without this life, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, and I temporarily reconcile.
No one just gets over neglect or abuse, but it is up to us to change how we let abuse in. Where experiences become lessons, this is one lesson that we will never want repeated, or for us 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. Having to constantly defend ourselves in those circumstances, or having to be on our guard, may go on to create unhealthy patterns, which then become 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 and choose to move on.
Lamenting on the past and blaming ourselves for not being able to change other people’s pattern of abuse is not only unhelpful but damaging too. If we could change our experiences of abuse, those experiences wouldn’t be abuse, or issues for us to have to get over.
To tell ourselves otherwise, is doing our integrity an injustice. We’re much more intelligent than that.