Rehabilitation takes many paths to heal and recover from chronic illness and then as you begin doing the internal work, you find that the catalyst for the physical breakdown began long ago, in moments that I would rather forget.
Let me explain –
I grew up in a narcissistic environment where I was conditioned to believe that only the voice of one person mattered. I learnt that only that person was allowed to have and express opinions. My voice was shut off in order to meet the needs of the house and instead at age eleven, I began the path of pleasing – I would cook and clean and look after younger siblings as well as get the best marks so that i could get acknowledged and celebrated but of course I didn’t. It was important for me to be perfect – that perfect child and student, because I thought if I was perfect I would eventually be celebrated- but again – NO, I never was!!! Across the journey from childhood to teens I fell in love with dancing (as a lot of little girls did) – this was my space to be free, to shine and star on stage and I did receiving medals and distinctions in my exams. But alas , that could not even continue because it was frowned upon and soon I lost what was my passionate purpose.
As an adult now – I can see growing up in in a childhood like that , how awfully difficult it was and just perhaps keeping the emotional and physical abuse choked down inside could of impacted on the health challenges, both physically and mentally that I am facing in middle adulthood. I am tonight looking back and am even questioning my own value, as a wife a mother and a woman in the workplace because in all of those individual pathways I needed the perfection status – I needed to be celebrated but of course I wasn’t . Well I wasn’t in the mindset of how I grew up. Sitting here crying now as I write this, I can hear my husband telling me so many times, you are here now, you don’t need to live like that anymore. WHY , did I not listen way back when or across the thirty-two year journey that we have been together. I guess that’s what abuse does – it messes with you deep to the core and then holding it all in, thinking you have life in control and everything balanced and settled, it all comes crashing down.
In order to heal, it is time to start focusing on self love, self value and self worth and then as I have blogged about before a contented life will begin. Rehabilitation is now allowing me to move forward to “rewire” my brain and body to become one again – if you like , be born again to a life that I know i will love in every breath and step.
I must start at the beginning. I know already opening up and releasing some of these challenging moments of my life are going to trigger emotional flashbacks. It is going to be difficult because of having to remember being brought up in an emotionally neglected household where I would rarely or never receive compassion. I now realise that compassion is so essential for demonstrating empathy within childhood. This important skill was not properly taught to me as I was growing up and perhaps this is why I pushed the kindness and compassion handle extraordinarily to my children.
I keep stopping as I write this, telling myself to be patient – it’s something that my health challenges have taught me, but this time it seems even more important! There is a lot of shit, to release , so internal kindheartedness toward myself needs to start NOW. As I am writing this, I am thinking how I would react to someone else in similar circumstances, or what a close friend perhaps would say to me to give comfort to this unsettled self. What are the words I need to say to myself as I release the long suffered pain and rebirth my health and life.
I think I need to eliminate my inner most harshest critic and I need to learn to love myself. My “inner child” – little Lisa-Raie holds on to this hope that if i was only smarter , more helpful, more talented, and without any flaws perhaps I would of been loved. But perhaps my “inner child” was actually defective and unlovable and maybe that’s why the physical symptoms of today are a result of the failure of not finding perfection! These steps are a self reflection process that I need to take, I am not meaning to self criticise it’s the stepping right back into the dark, to grasp the past so it can be exhaled and removed so healing can take place. I keep hearing my little voice, that inner critic continuing the past experiences and it is screaming toxic shame. I know why, I squashed all of this down – not wanting to remember! I just want to put my fingers in my ears and sing lalalala!!!
But WAIT, what if I have been beginning to eliminate my past shame by learning the steps through showing my vulnerable side with safe people. Over, the last few months, I’ve begun connecting with safe people, I’ve started telling my story.
Yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve started building self trust, by visualising my traumatic childhood as a way to start developing a stronger and more comforting, accepting, secure, and safer adult self. The best way to learn self trust is to start treating yourself well.
Sitting here surrounded by my husband, one daughter and one son who love me dearly I can see how growing up in a narcissistic environment how much I missed out on healthy role modeling. As I recover these memories, I am feeling failed as a mother and a wife. Sorry, for swearing, BUT fuck this healing is hard! Keep going though, get it out – repair and rewire!!! I can do this, it’s now that the self rejecting self STOPS and the self repairing BEGINS. YES, I CAN DO THIS!!! Embrace younger self with the warmth and acceptance and let’s step into exercising the truest form of self love.
Growing up I learnt to focus only on the voice, reactions and power of one person. I think NOW looking at the adult self (ME), I really had no idea how to look internally at my own needs. As a child and teen, I was always striving to please, as a wife, mother and woman in the workplace the same. Always striving to be perfect when in fact there is no such thing as perfect. I think across my life journey particularly as a mother of five children, I developed an internal nurturer but I never really let it have a strong presence for the world to see, in case I was punished somehow. How stupid, tonight as I write I have so much self criticism – oh to release these pits of past perils! Oh self love, oh self love – where are you! Oh crickey, it’s 1.13AM, let me begin a process that can enable this healing journey to resurrect my physical and mental health.
Step One, tomorrow or may I say later today this list is going to be the intentions I will set myself each and everyday to do for me, to be happy and healthy and live the life that is in all my visions and dreams and to which my purpose and passion pushes me towards.
- Rehab exercises to rebuild my body
- Say daily that “I am worthy, loved and enough”
- If I am tired – that is ok, let myself rest
- If I need to cry, let myself cry
- Fill my body with good nutrition
- Crochet, because creating heals
Okay, so this is just the truest and real start line for where healing illness and recovery from abuse begins. It is a process, that may take a lifetime to release and unravel but with the gracious guidance of my husband who has never strayed and now the solid BUT nurturing rehabilitation team of Erin, Ann and Peter to guide me , I know I will allow myself the gifts of grace, and small steps to enjoy each day as it comes and be mindful of what I will be experiencing, finding and learning along the way. Ultimately, this recovery process will involve eliminating my little ME, my inner harshest critic and toxic shame that resides in my head so that the physical harm and pain can heal and my body be strengthened without too much harm being done.
Let me begin, but first let me sleep. 🙏🏻
This has been very confronting writing this blog but also very cathartic. As I press publish, I have such strong anxieties and vulnerabilities flooding pain through every part of my body….and I hope there is something that my words have helped you with.
This moment marks my truest sense of gratitude that life is beginning NOW.
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” I Am Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”