22 Jul Feeling Different
Because what happened to us was wrong, it changed everything and we stopped feeling normal, or what had felt normal to us. Our minds took us to ‘different land’, a place where we weren’t the same as others. We felt as unalike to our friends as it was possible to.
It’s no surprise then, that as survivors of child sexual abuse CSA, we carry this through our entire lives until the healing we do ensures we can cross the bridge back to feeling less different and alone.
These feelings came from a place of being treated differently and because it was held in the dark and wrapped in silence, it became almost impossible for us to expose or or share with the world, therefore keeping the secret and the difference we felt held tightly. It would have been highly unlikely for us to have been able to do anything other than keep the difference aka the secret to ourselves.
We know as adults it can be challenging to feel lighthearted as others do or to feel that we can laugh as easily or celebrate as fully simply because we have that darkness that formed part of who we were and conditioned us in its difference. The challenge is managing that difference so that we are free to live our lives fully, openly and in the light.
Feeling different to others shows itself in lots of ways one of them being how we see the world. Because of our experiences, we could only view it through that lens, which roughly translates to seeing it through traumatised and frightened eyes.
There was no other possibility. 2 + 2 = 4! In what reality could having a sense of trust and believing in goodness form our core belief? It wasn’t what we experienced, therefore not likely to have featured in our lives.
A good analogy would be a cake being made without the baking powder, it’s impossible for the cake to rise when it’s missing the only ingredient that encourages it to. If we were brought up in a world where safety and praise for honesty alongside being loved for who we were was acceptable, we would rise to the top so easily and quickly the world would look on in shock.
This was not afforded to us which means it would take a small miracle for us to do that.
Now that we are healing, and can see it all so clearly, there are some questions that remain unanswered:
- How can we shine?
- How can we rise?
- How can we find the way to healing and happiness, even joy?
It is possible, and starting slowly is the key:
Choose to see yourself the way your partner or best friend does in a loving and beautiful light
Start handing the shame back by telling yourself it never belonged to you. Repeat that several times.
Talk to someone you trust about how you would like to connect with who you really are fully and freely.
Accept that feeling different is now a choice, if you want that to be embrace it in a positive way, if you would like to feel more ‘sameness’, take some action to join others. E.g., join that soccer club, or that book club, or that walking group.
Forgive what you need to in yourself to move forward.
Always remember you are not alone. I see you, I stand beside you and I believe you.