Saturday, November 17, 2012
"Incomplete grief will create hypervigilant self-protection from further emotional pain." (The Grief Recovery Handbook)
Last week I began counselling sessions to help me deal with the conflicting emotions that have been brought about by the death of a not so loved brother. I did not expect to feel grief over his death. I thought his passing would signal the end of his influence on me. He was an abusive man – during my childhood I suffered physical, sexual, and verbal abuse from him.
I never had the opportunity to grieve the sexual abuse when it was happening, or as a young adult. I found ways to protect myself; most notable is the vast amount of weight I hide behind. (see previous blog, Walls, below). There have been a lot of painful incidences that have also helped to build my walls. Now I am choosing to face them, to complete the grieving, and to move on to a better, healthier life.
Walls (April 2011)
I have locked myself away behind a prison of fat built ounce by ounce, pound by pound. Originally I built it as to be my fortress to protect myself from the emotional pains that seemed unbearable, the shame of being sexually abused as a small child, the fear and distrust of people – men in particular. I took my vulnerable inner child and locked her away so she would not be hurt or victimized again.
Over time my fortress became my prison. No one could get in, but neither could I get out. Day by day, pound by pound, my world shrank as my body – my prison – expanded, the walls reinforced by unhealthy habits and poor choices. From time to time I would make a small effort to chip away at the walls, but the task just seemed insurmountable. And I was afraid to ask for help – to let anyone see my inner ugliness – the darkness, loneliness, and despair that were my constant companions.
I have waited behind my prison walls for a spark of light that would offer the promise of freedom and release. This blog will be that “spark” – a place of connection and hope.
I have been building this prison for over 50 years and unlike the walls of Jericho, my walls of flesh will not fall down in seven days. But with God’s grace, the wall will fall. Over the course of the days, weeks, months, and yes, years ahead as I journey towards my goals (physical, mental and spiritual) I will chip away at my prison walls. Ounce by ounce, pound by pound I will dismantle my prison of flesh. I will allow myself to live again, to risk again, to feel again – to be all God created me to be.