When you have suffered from childhood abuse, it may seem sometimes that you are indeed a ‘slave to darkness’. That you have been hardwired to seek out the dark and familiar people and places. That you attract and are attracted to all that is unhealthy.
We can be, all of us, ‘slaves of light’ and we can choose to surround ourselves with healthy people and move away from the toxic people: family, friends, strangers and romantic partners alike; who have abused and manipulated us over and over. When we were children we had no choice as we depended on our abusers for survival, but that is in the past. We learnt to have an extraordinary tolerance for the bad and an extraordinary capacity for compassion; even to strangers.We are at the wheel now and we are the captains of our ships.
I know how powerful that pull to the familiar and comfortable places that hurt you because I struggle with it all the time, despite the deep awareness and clarity my posts may sometimes demonstrate. That clarity comes from the unbreakable spirit and the light within every survivor. I struggle the most with my ex-husband. I have known him for fifteen years and we were married for ten. He abused me verbally, emotionally and physically and I divorced him recently. Yet still, there will be times when he shows kindness towards me and I want to forgive him for everything that happened. It is at those times that the part of me that was trained from childhood to tolerate such darkness in people shows itself.
I start to wonder whether I may have caused the abuse in some way because of what happened to me as a child. Yes maybe I triggered his anger because of the coping mechanisms I used. Maybe if we got back together things would be different. Maybe he has changed and how good would it be to be a family again. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely and alone.
I know the answers to all those wild speculations. No……. he hasn’t changed and is still not accountable for the physical abuse and is now saying what I want him to say only to get me back. Yes, he has good qualities but he is also smart and mainpulative and knows my weaknesses.His present gestures and apologies are empty of sincerity and depth. Very very recently, he was saying what a bad mother I am so his sweet words mean little. His words fall like dry pebbles on the ground.
At least I am beginning to learn when I have been pulled back. When I communicate with him more than I have to, I start to feel the dissonance in my body and mind. I become quieter, more withdrawn and I feel disempowered. The old patterns of being very eager to please and small return. My body, mind and soul seem to be at odds with each other and I just generally don’t feel my best. It takes me a while sometimes to realise the cause of my distress.
You can surround yourself with people who ‘help your being’, people who really see and hear you, people who have your best interests at heart. It is a choice. It is hard I know. So hard to fight those old coping mechanisms and the hardwiring from the past abuse. But I believe it is possible! It is a battle worth fighting because it is THE BATTLE for yourself, for your self-worth. What battle could be more important? Keep fighting those demons and keep reminding yourself that you are worthy of respect and love and kindness and effort and time. Remind yourself everyday. I do by writing to myself. Be with those who make you feel good about yourself. Be with those who are gentle and patient with you. Trust yourself, listen to that deep voice within that tells you who to trust and who to be on your guard with. Don’t be afraid to walk away from people who hurt you.
You have made it this far,’ don’t go back to sleep.’