A Question about Healing with Regards to Ritual Abuse

A question has been raised, and it deals with healing. More specifically, it was asked if ritual abuse survivors ever truly heal. I have often wondered the same thing myself, as I am in my forties and am still controlled, to a large extent, by the things that I suffered in my past. My past invades my thoughts, my emotions, and most of all, my dreams. I have spent a lifetime hiding away, torturing myself with the things that have happened in my past, scared of the world and what I know dwells within it. Talking about it rarely helps, as it has a tendency to be too much for many to deal with, which in turn makes me shy away, once again convinced that I am broken and not worthy of being in the world. A cycle that I have spent many years to break away from, this is what I have learned through my experiences.

First of all, I don’t believe that I am ever going to truly escape what happened to me in my past. Our lives are a collection of our experiences, and each one of them helps to make us the people we are today. I would not be who I am today had I not gone through what I had, and who I am has been, is, and will continue to be a series of choices that I make until the day I take my last breath. Now this isn’t to say that life won’t throw me curve balls, as it does all of us, but I have learned that the only thing that I can control is myself, and as long as I am conscious of my choices, I can try to do what I can to make a difference in the world around me.

Secondly, I believe that healing is a process that is continual in all of our lives. As it is with everything, there is an ebb and tide to pain, as sometimes it is bearable and yet other times it washes over me in waves that make it feel as if I am drowning. The shame I feel regarding the indignities of my past can bear down on me like a weight, and I must admit that I have often cursed God during those times. However, like everything, this too passes, and I have lessened those times through years of therapy. Again, it was a choice- as I had long ago decided that a life of introspection was the only way through the hell I was experiencing.

Lastly, I believe that, knowing what I do, I am compelled to do something to prevent future occurrences of what I and many others went through- no matter what I must face down to do it. For whatever reason, be it survivor’s guilt or a true calling from God, I am hell bent on reaching out to other survivor’s and bringing light to what has been going on for a very long time. It is in the solidarity of other survivor’s like me that I find the most healing, and I also believe that there is a healing to be had in the telling of our experiences, not only for us as individuals, but in the world in general.

I understand the fear that many survivors have regarding the power that the other side has, and the trepidation of speaking out in fear of waking the beast, so to speak. Raised in fear, it is what I know the best, but I also realize that most of the problems I have had were based on the fact that my own fear and paranoia was being used against me. A strong group of leaders have risen, however, and the days of being alone in all of this are over. Activists all over the US and Canada are letting their voices be heard, rallying others to do the same. The propaganda machine of gossip and dissent may work on an individual or a specific group, but I am not sure that it is going to work with so many people coming to the forefront at one time. This time, I truly believe, we have the power.

I have discovered that my own personal healing deals with believing in something bigger than me. Call it God- nature, spirit, whatever, to get through what I have has taught me that I had to believe in something bigger than myself. As such, I believe there are reasons why I went through the things I did, and why I know the things I do. My therapist asked me once “why me?” and I told her that it was just luck of the draw, but sometimes I admit I wonder if it wasn’t something more. I know that some will balk at this statement- but I have found God to be incredibly active in my life, and as I grow older, I see the serendipity in events playing out, almost as if the “other side” has a hand in it. That is especially true now that survivors are finally finding a voice and stepping forward. Our time to be heard is at hand, have no doubt that we are changing the world by coming forth and sharing what happened to us.

In my spiritual search, I once read about this Native American practice in which you embrace the things that you fear. It dealt primarily with dreams, explaining that if you found yourself being chased in your sleep- you should not run but rather turn around and face what is seeking you out. However, I think that this also applies in the “real” world. In this day and age it sounds trite, but this is where faith plays a part in it. Not in a man in the clouds, but in the God that dwells within me as me. A fact that is true for us all. After all, it has been said over and over that the kingdom of Heaven is within us.

I can’t change the past- but I can influence the future. We all can, if we simply make the choice to do so. Standing together, trusting in our individual selves (which is many times the hardest thing to do), we are finally finding a voice. It is gaining momentum, which can also be scary- but if we reach deep within ourselves, we have the capacity to make a great change in humanity, and in the process, we are giving glory unto God. Individually, as spiritual beings, this is incredibly important. We have an opportunity to share with others the love that many of us were denied as children and in the process having an opportunity to share in that love as adults; embracing that which many of us are scared of the most. Future generations depend on us standing together at this time and sharing what happened to us- and we owe it to ourselves. Will we find healing in the process I can’t say for certain, although I would like to think so. However, one thing it for certain- there is more to be gained by speaking out than there ever has been in hiding.

Our time is now, and the choice is ours.

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