Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Adjusting To Recovery: A confusing, But Pleasant Journey

I receive an impassioned email from a friend discussing 'courage', 'grit' and 'determination'. The shocking thing, is the person being referred to is myself! I started tracking visitors to this blog on Dec. 18, 2005 and as of today I have seven-hundred-and-nineteen visitors! I do get a certain amount of attempted comment spam, but I'd guess it accounts for less then 2 percent of my traffic. I have repeat visits and you all hang around and actually take an average of two minutes and fourteen seconds to READ my content. That figure is actually low, as the timer doesn't count any time for those of you who just view one page. So, I take great pleasure in arguing with the current wisdom which proclaims that no one actually READS content any more, they simply scan. Ha-Za to all of my readers - an obviously above average group on all counts.

I am totally amazed at these numbers. This blog is my attempt to give a hand-up to the struggling abuse victim, who can't figure out why they are still acting really irrationally, when they 'know' better. I have produced what I wish I'd had when I was floundering around, seeking answers,like a fish out of water.

I am encountering success in an on-going fashion. No more of that 'hit-and-miss' stuff! There is a sarcastic expression that covers how I used to view my success:

Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day!

Now, my life has smoothed out. I have a new-found sense of courage to do new things and (ooh!) even risk making mistakes. (How many of us have been absolutely paralyzed by the sense that 'if I can't do it perfect, I ain't gonna do it'? No one learns anything without making errors. This is not to say I don't strive for excellence, but I realistically understand, that my first attempt at something new will happen differently then some task I've been practicing for years. Hello mental health.

I used to get so excited when my life started going right, I'd break out in a cold sweat and wait for a sink hole to open up underneath me. If you don't sabotage yourself, you will actually get used to having a life where major disasters (usually brought about by you) just don't happen any more. You will begin to 'trust' your new skills, social standing and accomplishments.

As I learn to really tell the truth - especially the hard truths I've 'copped' to in this blog, I am amazed at the opinions which come back to me from my friends. One of my pet peeves about the whole problem of child sexual (and every other kind of) abuse is how it not only reaches out to slap us around, but from time to time messes with our close friends. I get fighting mad over that one. I have stopped raging against the fact that all the abuse happened to me. When one of my healthy friends - who can't even imagine having sex with any child, let alone his own child, mentions having a stomach-churning reaction to some of my blog. I want to scream and throw things in anger.

My friend's reaction to this was to tell me that a) I don't hurt him - a fear I always carry, because the events in my background are so severe, b) I'm not responsible for his reactions and c) its his problem, not mine. To all of the above, I just have to put it in that box of "huh?", in my mind. God will eventually get it through my head what all of the above means. Somehow, I know I'm not responsible for everyone else's pain, but this is yet another symptom of being raised by narcissistic role models. I'm toying with the faith-step of 'daring' to believe that not being responsible for everyone else is really true! Man, that is so very appealing, I like the sense of relief, but I'm not totally 'there' yet.

People don't expect me to be perfect. They have foibles, and aren't taken aback when they see my foibles. It is okay to let people respect, admire and otherwise appreciate me, in whatever arena of life they are in. It is NOT okay for me to start taking credit for the results. When, if not for all the help God and others have given me to achieve success, I'd have nothing. Yes, I have some natural ability, but without the help and encouragement from others, not to mention the strength and child-training I've gotten from God, I'd not produce anything, except more confusion and personal despair.

I''ve discovered the joy of putting some 'safe' adventure into my life. I had so many traumatic events coming at me in childhood, I figured anything 'new' was probably bad and or dangerous. Now, that my life isn't like a bad soap opera, I realize I LOVE to explore new things. I love traveling somewhere I've never been before to partake in something at that location.

My next vacation will be in Boston, to see the Ig Nobel Prize Awards at Harvard, and the more serious academic research presentations of the awarded research given at MIT. I plan on waiting until October of 2007 because, I can save the money to fly back, stay in an up-scale Marriott, for three nights and pay for cabs, or other things I may need. I do not mind having a low income for most of my life, but I refuse to: 'go cheap' on a vacation!

As you continue on this journey, your bad days will become less severe and fewer, while your good days will become the norm, not 'a miracle from God'. You will get out of practice on old skills. Old stand-bys, such as throwing up every morning to greet the day, not from alcohol, just nerves. You will forget how to act normally while seeing people with missing heads, animals crawling out of walls or trees which walk! You will realize when you are straying from telling the truth, lying will no longer be 'second-nature'. You will become tired and eventually eliminate people from your life, who are trying to drag you back down to their unhealthier level. Best of all, you will realize you are really a part of the human race. Not only that, but a good part of that community, finally able to accept being loved and appreciated. Because, ultimately, recovery involves learning to accept yourself, warts and all.

1 comment:

cyclebreaker said...

CyberGal - I caught your post on Shankar's blog and I just checked out your page. You sound very fascinating and I love your take on faith. I am a Christian and a survivor of severe childhood sexual abuse. I have dealt with a ton of issues as a result of my abuse and have been through a decade worth of treatment and recovery. I was really taken by your words to Shankar, who is clearly struggling with his own victimization. Anyway, check out my blog at http://cyclebreakers.blogspot.com.

Thanks for all you do to help bring an end to childhood sexual abuse.