Saturday, February 18, 2012

Painting in Words the Backdrop for a New Series

My unnamed hero in my struggle to move forward to healing
Everyday in my life, my new normal, I face challenges.  Not the challenges those with visible disabilities face.  But rather the challenges faced by those affected by trauma, PTSD, depression.  Things no one else can see but which affect the individual on a minutely, hourly, daily basis.  Those who have faced the horror of an unexplainable occurrence which has traumatized and affected them so much that they have difficulty functioning in the outside world.  Those who struggle each day to get through the day and move on.  Those who struggle to heal.  Those to whom the finish line seems to get farther away each day, rather than closer.  Those who simply want to give up, curl up in the fetal position in bed and forget the world exists.

Those who appear normal to the outside world.

This is the world of a survivor of emotional trauma.  The world of one who has been bruised and battered emotionally but still lives to tell the tale.  The world of one who must have some inner strength unknown and formerly untapped to still be alive at the end of the day.  The one who, though left a bruised and bloodied mess emotionally on the floor, still has the courage to wake up in the morning and carve a new life, a new normal, out for herself.

This is my world.  I invite you to enter in to my reality.

I was verbally abused as a child.  I was molested as a child.  I was bullied in school not only by my peers but in one instance the bullying was actually instigated by a teacher.  I was the quintessinal introvert.  Afraid to speak up.  I had no voice.  I never had a voice.

As I grew up, I was in therapy more times than I want to count.  None really worked because  I felt stigmatized for being in therapy.

Then the most monumental occurrence of my life happened:  one day in a dark university dormitory room, Jesus found me.  I began a relationship which has been like no other.  Although things changed gradually over the next months and years, the struggles continued.  Up and down.  Down and up.

Through university, bible school, language school, a stint as a missionary/teacher, marriage, motherhood, etc., the cycle continued.  Ups and downs.  Downs and ups.

I had trouble with anger.  I had trouble with relationships.  I felt no one understood me.  I felt ....

And then the second amazing thing in my life happened:  I entered this amazing three-way partnership with God, myself and my counsellor in late 2006 which has propelled me forward.  To a healthier inner person.

There is a misperception though.  We forget the old adage:  Life is what happens when we have other plans.

Inside, I'm healing and becoming stronger, much stronger, emotionally.  Yet life goes on.  Things happen.  Good things happen.  Not-so-good things happen.  No one is guaranteed a life for of happy experiences with no trials or testings.  Trials and testings - or whatever you want to call them - are actually good things.  They propel us through pain and perseverance to move forward.  To learn.  They cause us to develop character.  Ditto strength and endurance.  The way we treat these challenges whether something to withdraw from or to embrace and grown from, form our character.  Who we are.

2011 became the pivotal year in my saga.  It became the year of my struggle for survival.

It became the year everything changed, and I had to adapt to new challenges:  a new normal.

Tomorrow I will continue this series into my "new" normal.  I hope you will join me there.

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