Moving Forward in Love, Not Judgement
I was stuck with what to write this week….mainly because I’m continually being challenged and confronted with what I am uncovering along my healing journey. This week my intention was to stop thinking and feeling and simply write about all the things that make me happy and give me peace (especially when things are difficult). But that will have to wait now, because I feel like I have to respond to a story on the 7:30 Report this week.
I saw the story on Heal for Life on Tuesday and was left feeling completely enraged and angry for a number of reasons. I am NOT going to recount all the negativity that made me so angry, instead I’m going to talk about my own experiences of Heal for Life and what I have learnt as a result.
I was at the point where I knew I needed help; I had spoken to a counsellor a few times. When I say “spoke”, I didn’t really speak (I couldn’t). I wrote everything in a small book and that was how I communicated anything about my abuse. I desperately wanted to speak, but couldn’t. I felt powerless; my silence was letting him win!
I didn’t know what to expect from my first healing week. I was extremely nervous, anxious, scared and overwhelmed by the unknown. Before I arrived on the property for my healing week, I was advised to have an appointment secured with a mental health professional in the week after, which I did.
All my feelings of uneasiness were laid to rest, as I was greeted and welcomed by a group of carers and the facilitator. In the first evening the facilitator sat with me and thoroughly explained policies and procedures around use of illegal drugs and alcohol, self-harm, sharing (stories) and safe touch.
Heal for Life was the safe place I needed to begin to heal. On the second day I gave the facilitator my journal to read. She informed me, she didn’t need to read it…but I told her I wanted her to because couldn’t talk about “it”. I couldn’t even call my sexual abuse by its name…it was “IT”. I felt extremely wounded, vulnerable, but at the same time open, because I felt safe. One of the most important aspects I learnt about during my time at Heal for Life is the right to choice and to say “no” if I felt uncomfortable or unable to participate at any time. My journal was read (by the facilitator) and as a result I was given invaluable tools and strategies to begin releasing some of the emotions and feelings I had been holding onto for over 20 years. I felt completely supported and safe in this environment and know that if I didn’t, it would have been impossible for me to let my guard down and let another person in to help me. Although releasing years of pent up feelings and emotions was painful, it was completely rewarding, because I realised I could do it.
The sense of community is one aspect I found incredibly comforting, knowing I wasn’t alone. Although we all only spent 5 days together, I have made lifelong friends and connections through Heal for Life, and for the first time in a long time I validated, understood and valued.
Along with being taught how to safely release emotions, I was also educated on how the brain works and the 7 Ego states. I found this part especially interesting because I learnt a lot about why my brain works the way I does and the reasons behind some of my past decisions.
The most important thing Heal for Life gave me; was my voice!
I returned to the property for my second healing week in July this year and luckily I have a Psychologist who is extremely supportive of the processes at Heal for Life.
After returning home after my second healing week, I have a renewed passion for writing, drawing, teaching and learning. I have almost finished a series of illustrations for a picture book; I have found great healing power in words, both written and song and rediscovered a love for painting. The key to unlocking all these things I love was all I learnt at Heal for Life.
My healing journey is not one that can be completed in the short term, however I know through regular therapy and continued connections to Heal for Life; it is a journey I am able to travel. This is something I never thought I was able to do. I am now feeling more and more like me and can only describe it as finding small pieces of who I am, piecing the puzzle together, one piece at a time.
My feelings of anger after viewing the 7:30 Report on Tuesday was founded in fear. Fear that negativity like that could be enough reason for someone that needs help in healing turn away from Heal for Life. If I had not gone to Heal for Life I cannot say what my life would be like now.
All I can say is; I am so lucky and grateful to have found my voice through Heal for Life. I am thankful I can now use it to tell other survivors, they are not alone and together we move forward in love and peace.
Until next week,
Big love and peace….T…xoxox