It is so hard and so hurtful to remember. But it is useful.

Remembering, recalling, and retelling give us power over the things that have held so much power over us.
We cannot grieve, release, or escape what we are not willing to look at. Take it out, see it for what it is…
Group is a safe place to do that. We go there together, keep one another safe and sane, help one another see clearly, name things honestly. We are freed from the grip of them.
That is a journey worth taking.

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All of you are working so very hard.  It feels sometimes like it will never end; like you will never have that “right” life that you’ve been waiting for all of these hard years.  Well, you just need to know…

A call came yesterday from a past group member.  She had really been in the depths of a pit when she started this process.  At the beginning she was reeling from a divorce and actively engaged in seeking love in all of the wrong places.  She confessed painful secrets of frequent “hook-ups” with men whom she knew didn’t really care about her, a consuming habit of masturbation, and complete self-loathing.  She didn’t feel able to make good decisions and swung between thoughts that “everything’s really okay in my life” and “I have ruined everything beyond repair- including my children”.

She called yesterday to report that she is moving on.  The work and ministry she’s been involved with full-time for the last several years has asked her to be involved in an expansion of that ministry.  She is leading the way in local medical mission work- especially involving helping women in bad circumstances.  She has good relationships with her children and other family, including her ex-husband.  She feels good about herself and her life and enjoys a real sense of purpose and passion.  She has also enjoyed years of celibacy.     Her call was just to say “Thank you,  I never dreamed life would ever be okay.  Now it’s better than I’d ever imagined”.

May that be the story of our lives as we continue this journey.   You’re headed in the right direction, dear friends.  Press on.  Being honest with ourselves and honest with one another will bring us all to a place we’ve never realized (or maybe even hoped for) before.

 

The group is now closed. That means we can be open.

Know that as you protect the privacy of those around you, they are protecting your privacy as well. This is not a “secret” group- secrets keep things in the dark. This is private, and safe; confidential.
This is a place to share what you might have never shared with another person on the planet. Honesty is essential- with each other as well as with ourselves.

It’s time to be honest about why we do the things we do. The walls we’ve built to protect ourselves have become our own prison cells. It will take much courage to walk out of those cells into the light.
It will take more strength than you think you have to disassemble the lies that make you think you’re safe inside of your secrets.
That is why we walk this path together- sometimes it does take more strength than you have on your own right this moment. We can hold one another up.
Begin to trust those who share this sacred circle. There is strength and healing in the sharing of truth.

It was hard, checking the things that sound like somebody else’s life.

Those things all were from someone else’s life- the victim.  She used any and all of those methods to cope, to survive, to keep herself from being hurt again.

You are all women ready to thrive.

You can learn to change the methods you’ve always used to cope with the pain.  You can choose a better way.  You can recapture much of what was taken from you, enjoy some of life that has been lost to you, and begin a new way of living.  …But the way out is back through the pain.

Admitting what is going wrong now was part of the first step- now it’s time to admit what really happened.  Write your story; recall an episode and describe it in detail.  Yes, it is VERY difficult- but you can do it.  You are strong and brave and none of that can touch you now.  You are in control.

What happened to you is NOT what you are.  What happened to you was a crime.  Let’s just look at the details of it together.

 

The week is almost gone. Hopefully you’ve found some balance between working on your stuff and NOT working on it.

 

If you’ve checked out and not thought about it since Monday- here’s a quick reminder of what you need to be working on:

Personal Information page (name, address, contacts, history)

Survivor checklist- don’t worry about how many of these you check.  It’s ok.  You might be suprised by how many everybody else has checked too.

Write your story.  This can be of your first memory of abuse- or maybe the most profound you can recall.  There is no wrong way to do this.  The goal is to be as complete as possible; including sights, sounds, feelings, location, who was present… whatever you can recall.  If this seems like an absurd thing to do, read through the Goals of Recounting sheet to see the purpose in this exercise.  It is an important first step.  Though it seems impossible sometimes IT IS NOT.  You can do this.   You will be amazed at the relief it brings to get it out on paper.  Bring your story with you to group Monday night.

Finally, do something to take care of yourself- go for amorning walk, choose a delicious healthy meal, treat yourself to a massage (call Randi at Augusta School of Massage  706-863-4799),  or just be still and breathe in and out for a few minutes.  You’re worth it!