Dear Survivor,

 

You were once small and weak, and they used that against you.
You acted your age and you were shamed.
You reacted in the manner that can be expected, and you were punished for it.
If you felt happiness, even for a moment, they swept in and reminded you that it wouldn’t last.
When you expressed your feelings, you were ignored or made to feel like an annoyance.
When you spoke, you were silenced. When you cried, they laughed or ridiculed you.
If you acted out, you were quickly labeled “the problem.” When you hurt, they told you to “buck up” and “get over it.”

So, you tried to be perfect; you tried to please them. You learned to walk on eggshells; to cater to their every whim…and you still got crushed.

You learned very early to disappear; to hide and to not feel too strongly. You knew that any amount of emotion, even when kept to yourself, was EXTREMELY dangerous. You were like a caged animal: allowed out at their convenience and expected to feel and react on command.You slept with one eye open, but you were never safe.

The chaos, the emotions, the pain, the struggle—you knew nothing different. It was your normal, but the aching in your soul told you that it wasn’t right.

You held on so tightly to the happy moments; so few and far between. The glimmer of hope feeling just out of reach. You felt it getting further and further away until you sometimes doubted it even existed anymore.

And now, you’re free; unburdened by the oppression, control and ridicule, yet you have no idea how to exist in this world. You feel small and damaged, afraid and alone.
The world sends you a message to stop acting like a victim and to “get over it.”

It was unfair and abusive, but you’re still too scared to feel angry, because being angry will show your weakness. So, you push and strive and fight to prove your worth. To prove you have what it takes; to show the world, and yourself, that you do, in fact, matter.

Each time you stumble, no matter how small, it feels like a steam roller crushed you. Each little hurdle feels like a mountain. With your eyes glazed over, you push on….
You fight and struggle until one day it takes its toll; you just can’t fight anymore.

This, my dear, is not the end…but the very beginning for you.
You’ve haven’t lost the battle, so please don’t give up. You’ve actually reached a pivotal point on your journey; an awakening.

So, I say this to you: lie down, breathe, let the exhaustion overtake you. Cry until you can’t cry anymore. Get so pissed off that the steam comes out of your ears. Do whatever your body needs to do. Kick, scream, swear and cry some more.
Feel every frustration you’ve kept inside for so long. Cry for the child that was never allowed to cry. Melt into the emotional overload; swim in your sea of tears and just embrace the beauty of it all.
And in that moment when the waves stop crashing and the storm has subsided – in that wreckage, you will find peace and a new hope.

You have an amazing opportunity here. You can begin to realize that simply because of the fact that you are here-you do have the right to exist.
You’re real, you’re alive, you matter, and you’re an important part of this world.
Step up, claim your space and live!

As you learn to be open to the experience of life, the littlest of emotions may feel overwhelming, so be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself the way you wanted to be treated as a child. Give yourself the compassion you never got. Get excited over the little things.  Allow yourself to feel like a victim; because dammit, you WERE a victim. Remember not to linger here forever-because it will suck you down. Acknowledge it and look to the future.

Ask yourself what you need and then give it to yourself. Ask yourself what you want and dare to dream of having it.
Give yourself permission to be human. Treat yourself the same way you would treat somebody you truly love. If you need space, give yourself space, if you need help, reach out and ask for it.
You CAN rebuild from the ground up. YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!

The past is the past. It happened and it was hard. There was, and still is, nothing wrong with you. You clearly didn’t deserve what happened to you…but now the choice is yours.

Claim your space in your own life. Find a way to set the boundaries that will keep you feeling safe, alive, energized and happy.
Don’t let anyone tell you that what you think, feel or need doesn’t matter. If you’re in a relationship with someone like this, YOU HAVE TO CHANGE IT! If you need to get out, then do it. If you stay, you’ll need to speak up and set firmer boundaries. Do whatever you need to do, but DO NOT sit idle and allow it. Find a way to make it happen. Try whatever you think will work and keep trying until you find a way. Your work isn’t done until you answer to yourself first and to all others after that. Own it!

It’ll certainly take time and it won’t be easy. You were dealt a rough hand to start; you were at a real disadvantage, but that will make claiming your life all the more glorious.

They never gave you what you needed. They hurt you and made you feel small, but you’re safe now and YOU are the one who gets to determine the way forward. YOU and YOU alone get to decide what happens next. This is a magical moment with limitless possibilities. Dream as big as you can dream!

Let the child within you play and have fun, do what makes you feel bright and shiny and say no to what doesn’t. Sleep all day if you need to. Stay home from the party if you want. Go to all the parties if that’s what makes you happy. Smile and laugh and dance and embrace life in a manner that makes you feel excited and sparkly. SHINE!

Remember that you are not broken. Because of where you’ve been, you get to experience the beauty and joy and love and happiness in a way that feels even bigger and better than you’ve ever imagined. I can’t wait to see the look on your beautiful face the day you fully embrace this.

 

I Love You and you matter,

 

Your Soul

 

Struggling to “get over it?” Do you feel that your self-esteem, thoughts and reactions are often hijacked by what has happened in your past? Join my Facebook Group for tips, tools and support in healing from the past and creating the happy, healthy and thriving life you deserve. Click below to Join:

The Happy, Healthy, Thriving Survivor