I feel very grateful today.
Someone close to me has found peace after years of anguish, and I’m so happy for him.
In just a few weeks I will be an auntie for the first time and I can’t wait.
And yesterday I met an amazing new friend, a lady whose past is so similar to mine we could hardly believe it.
There is inestimable comfort found in talking with someone who understands. It is such a gift to be validated, to hear someone say, “I know. It really happened. It’s going to be OK.”
And you believe them because they were there.
As a teenager I was in a religious cult for nine years. Years where I was brainwashed and abused physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. For years after I blocked out much of what happened. Couldn’t remember it for the life of me. I now know that’s a common occurrence among survivors of such things.
Over the past few years I was able to get counseling and therapy and began a painful and wonderful process of healing. Healing is the best thing, but it is also the scariest and hardest thing I’ve ever been part of.
Last year I started a new life in Australia, a life I love more than I can say.I had no idea what a refuge it would be, how healing and nourishing it would be to live on our little goat farm, to have a man beside me who loves me unconditionally, and to have dear Aussie friends who hug me tight, laugh and say, “You have the craziest past we’ve ever heard of, but we sure love you.”
Healing has brought back memories of those years, of other traumatic events that my mind, in self-preservation, blocked out for a while. I don’t like those memories. I don’t like the nightmares that accompany them. I hate the physical pain that inevitably follows.
But it’s worth it. So worth it.
To get through a night without waking up screaming.
To get through the normal ups and downs of life without crumpling. (For too long, anyhow ;-))
To be able to love without fear.
These are the things that make this worthwhile.
But now and then you need a little boost. We all have such unique stories, individual pains and traumas, that sometimes we need a kindred spirit to come along and say: “I’ve been where you’ve been, I’ve seen what you’ve seen, I’ve hurt how you’re hurting, and you’re going to be OK.”
That’s what my new friend did for me yesterday. When I got home there was an email from her waiting for me. And it meant so much to me that I have to share it with you. Maybe you need to hear her words too:
“I’m so glad we got to meet today beautiful girl!
Never again will you be alone and isolated.
From now on you will always be heard, believed, understood, validated, cared for and free.
You are amazing, honest, courageous, intelligent, strong, wise, and beautiful!
You have so many gifts to offer the world through your experiences.
Catch up again soon x”
I hope her words sink deep into all our hearts and spur us on to deeper healing and greater loving as we fumble our way through this crazy, heart-rending, beautiful thing called Life.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend. XO