Last month I completed one year of writing this blog. I did not realize how but the act of sitting down to express my feelings, putting them into words has been liberating. At first, the feelings of shame would overwhelm me. I had always kept a tight lid on my emotions.
Development Of False Self
Showing that I was strong and would not show the world my pain, hurt, anger, rage, helplessness. I would never expose my weakness. I literally stuffed my emotions which went and settled in my back.
The only way to survive the unbearable emotional pain was to deny the truth and put on a happy, immutable facade.
I employed the freeze-fawn defense mechanism. I suppressed my emotional self and became someone who was useful and thus accepted and tolerated.
However, that kind of suppression cannot last forever. The daily stresses of adult life slowly add to your already full cup of woes. Which nearly led to my second breakdown.
Writing As Therapy
During my healing process, I was uplifted by the stories I read about other trauma survivors. Reading about their pain and shame made me realize that I was not alone. Gradually, I began feeling confident that I too could share my journey and the insights I gained.
At first, it felt so alien, for years I had shut up expressing anything. At first, I wrote down my rage and anger pain and shame during those abusive years. It was hard work I wrote continuously and furiously in longhand. I did it daily, I did not stop writing even though it was difficult at times.
The next step was commenting on abuse and survivor blogs. Finally, I was ready to express the real me, that had been suppressed and brow-beaten to silence.
Writing Creates Healing Space
According to the renowned spine surgeon, Dr. David Hanscom, author of the book Back in Control “You cannot control, change, or remove any of these embedded pathways. You can only detach or separate from them. You then have the capacity to form “detours” or new more functional circuits. Expressive writing is an exercise that creates this needed space. It creates an awareness of your thoughts, positive or negative, and separates you from them. Writing is not the final solution but it is the foundation of your healing journey”
Finding Your Voice and Validation
Writing has been my source of validation. Here in India, there is still very little awareness about the long-term effects of child abuse. It is through connecting, expressing and sharing my feelings that I have been able to gain insight regarding my life, I was not the bad one, the people in my life failed me while I was a child. They were the mean and wicked guys.
Receiving feedback from readers of my articles have been my source of validation. That I was was not crazy to feel as I did. I was hurt and treated badly. I had a right to a better childhood and I was shortchanged. Having people write back in support of my healing journey has been a soothing balm to my soul. It ameliorated a very deep core wound within me,
Gradually, one no longer wakes up to another pain filled day. You realize that your past no longer defines your present. You feel fully alive and bask in the present moment,
For me, writing created the much-needed space and distance from my painful history. It has proven to be an effective tool to heal my traumatic past.
Try it and share your share your stories.