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Life Transition: Recovering from Abuse

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
Recovering from Abuse
“Moving from victim to survivor is an important step in recovery. During this phase we reflect upon the experience, actively engage in facing and owning what happened, and recognize the connection between the abuse and the way we feel, think or behave. And then to move 'beyond survivor' to gain insights and skills that make it possible for you to live an abundant, powerful life that is no longer mired in the past. You will see the scar, but you will no longer feel wounded.” ~ Rachel Grant, Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse
Rachel further says, “The goal of recovery is to reconnect with your genuine, authentic self so that you can go out into the world and just be yourself, live your life to the fullest, and no longer be impacted by the abuse on a daily basis.” See Rachel’s articles below.
“It's important that we share our experiences with other people. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.” ~ Iyania Vanzant
It is, then, a story - it happened but it is not now - you don't have to identify with it any longer. Instead, take back your rights and realize your own ability to make powerful choices about who you are and how you live.
“One of the first stages of recovery for a survivor of psychological abuse is sorting through and deprogramming all the lies of the narcissist, sociopath or psychopath. I frequently will tell survivors: 'The sky is blue, the grass is green, and your abuser has a distorted view on reality.' These are hard facts that cannot be argued. Once a survivor has come to a deep sense of trusting their own perspectives, the lies of the abuser hold a lot less power.” ~ Shannon Thomas
No one toxic will offer you apologies, explanations or closure. The toxic person does not recognize their own issues. In any case, you have the power to heal without their participation. And as Mandy Hale says, "A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity."
Recovering from Abuse
“Don't judge yourself by what others did to you.” ~ C. Kennedy
There are many forms of abuse, such as sexual, threats and humiliation, emotional suppression, violence, insults, bullying, stealing, manipulation, not to mention oppressive religious or cult indoctrination. But in each case, when someone puts you down, leaves you feeling like you can't do anything right, or makes you feel worthless and bad about yourself in general - know you did nothing to deserve that treatment and that this is abuse. It is not you, in any way or form.
“When we are healing, the steps to empower ourselves often feel like we've been given feathers to fight fearsome monsters. But our journey out of the darkness is made of a series of small choices and actions that gently steer us toward the light. Remember, what your adult considers too little is a daring, courageous challenge for your inner child.” ~ Jeanne McElvaney
Feelings will continue to come up, even ones you thought you had overcome. Let them come, experience them fully, and then let them go as you no longer need them.
Recovering from Abuse

Articles by Rachel Grant about Sexual Abuse...

From Broken to Beyond Surviving™ ~ by Rachel Grant

The thought occurred to me, “I don’t want to just survive my life, I want to live it!” I also had the realization that I now saw my abuse as an experience; that I had successfully made connections between being abused and how it affected my current behavior. I could understand why I didn’t trust others, for example. However, the most critical question remained unanswered by any of the books, therapists, or friends I'd come across: “So, what do I do about it?!” So I started asking this question, and I was shocked by the answers I got. Continues...

It’s Nothing But a Neuron! Exploring How to Re-train the Brain and Heal from Sexual Abuse ~ by Rachel Grant

You respond to your significant other in the moment with fear and anger thinking that what he is doing is the problem, when, instead, a neuronal pathway has been triggered and the implicit memory of your abuser restraining you is activated. This is what you are responding to in reality. The same thing occurs in response to stressors. If our experience starts to make us feel trapped or scared, we may respond in the same way we did when needing to survive the abuse rather than in a way that actually addresses the present day stressor. Continues...
PODCAST: Peter Shepherd Interviews Rachel Grant
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