Many times throughout my life I have been told by friends, "You're just living and surviving, you not thriving in life."
After I would hear these comments echoed in my ears and mind, I would dismiss them thinking to myself, you have no idea what surviving really even means, so don't tell me I need to thrive. Back when I was younger and in the midst of my most intense healing. I did not know how to thrive; I was barely surviving one day at a time, and even, one minute at a time most days.
All of my life has been a constant struggle. I do not recall one time when I was truly "Thriving" in this world and felt happy until just recently with the completion of my first book. It was here that I totally released the past from its hold on my present. I was told just recently, that in order to be able to publically share my story with the world is a testament to my courage, strength and Healing! For myself, I believe you have to take active steps in overcoming all the baggage and junk that attaches itself to you in being the victim of childhood abuse and trauma. While you are in the healing process, all you can do is survive.
Trying to understand and regain your sense of self-worth and value. Unlearning negative, destructive behaviors and patterns from the past is intense work and carries with it, much emotional instability. I don't know too many people who can thrive when they are in the midst of hell, such as this. Only other survivors understand this.
Those people and friends in your life, who have not endured any childhood abuse, find it natural and easy to cope. But to the Adult Survivor of childhood trauma, life is very unnatural and hard due to the many underlying issues us as Adult Survivors face. To us it is a horrible, daunting uphill climb to reach the simple pleasures and ease that others have in enjoying life.
Thriving comes naturally, after years of actively working through the issues and regaining "Self." I really hate it when someone, who has no idea what an Adult Survivor of childhood abuse goes through, says comments such as: "you just need to let it go," or "Quit dwelling on it so much." Well I did "let it all go," when I was 19yrs old. I dismissed my past and pretended the events from childhood never happened. I was in denial, and "Letting Things Go," is unrealistic advice. No matter how hard you let the past pains go, those tucked away issues will always resurface in some form or fashion, until you actively seek help and deal with them one by one. This takes years and cannot easily be healed just by forgetting, disassociating and denying the past.
There is no magic wand in healing! My Issues from childhood were these:
Boundaries Healing and Thriving doesn't mean that past issues will never resurface in our daily lives again, but when they do, you can quickly deal with the temporary emotion, thoughts or triggers, and then constructively compartmentalize them and "Move On," refusing to remain 'stuck' in the experience for long. Thriving means pulling yourself right back out when you start to revert back into unhealthy coping patterns and thinking.
To me, thriving does not mean "tip toeing through the tulips" or turning cartwheels constantly either. I believe it's about being free and not held a captive to the past, staying in that same despairing place you once were. It is reaching, stretching and growing forward. Reclaiming your life and still dealing with the pain, but not "focusing" on it anymore! I have chosen to transform the negative events from my childhood trauma into positive attributes. I have compassion, understanding, tenderness, empathy, sympathy, loyalty, honesty, integrity and forgiveness. I am continually moving forward and I refuse to just stay "I am Stuck in Survivor mode. I have learned to Triumph through the Trauma! I am not where I want to be, but Praise God I am not where I USE to be!"' Joyce Myer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CW Seymore, read more at CW Seymore Shards of Glass.
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