In recovery, every day is kind of like Throwback Thursday. In the examination of events that occurred in the past and how you participated in or responded to them, we recover. Until we do that, those events are never quite over and the destruction is kept alive in the behaviors we display.
In May of 2014, I was invited to be the Special Guest Speaker on the Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) internet radio show. It’s a podcast that broadcasts live. The shows are archived so you can listen to a vast array of special guests, adult survivors of a variety of child abuse, speaking about their experiences, strength and hope. Prior to my first appearance, I listened to several archived podcasts. I highly recommend doing so to any fellow survivors, victims trying to transition into survivors or any civilians who want to learn more about the lasting effects child abuse has.
While during recovery, I shared my story with others in groups and in this blog, I was scared last year to hear those words leave my mouth and hit the airwaves. Some of those feelings were expected; telling these stories make us extremely vulnerable and one of the common threads we have is that our vulnerability was exploited, to be used as a weapon against us. Some of those feelings were unexpected; what if they hear my story and say I don’t belong? That would be the ultimate rejection, wouldn’t it? I was accepted immediately and welcomed into The Family. That acceptance is something my upbringing has always left me yearning for. Even though I’ve never met anyone in the SCAN Family in person, the kinship is strong. I learned that night, as I have throughout my recovery, the vulnerability of sharing our experience, strength and hope is no longer an instrument of exploitation. In our hands, it gives us strength. It was an emotional experience but indescribably empowering.
A great deal has happened in my life from May 2014 to May 2015. Breakthroughs in my recovery occurred and because of that, I am finally able to truly fix the wreckage. I’m still me. But today, I look at myself differently than I did. My eyes are adjusting so that I see myself more like the people who love me do rather than succumbing to the power of suggestion the sick and damaged people in charge of me had over me. It’s a process. It’s all about progress and not perfection. I am the first person to tell you I am far from perfect, but today I am making steady progress. So to celebrate the anniversary of this catalyst, I was the Special Guest once again on the show. The link to it is below.
Be warned…nothing I say is graphic but it is very personal. You might not want to know quite that much about me. That’s more than fine if that’s the case. And the show is 90 minutes long. I don’t know if I would be able to listen to me talk for 90 minutes (although the panelists and callers do engage in a lot of the exchange so — thankfully — it’s not all me).
Each of us has our own past. Many of us enjoy the weekly opportunity to throw ourselves back into nostalgia. Some of us prefer to throw it all away, as if it never existed. In all cases, the past is done…but it’s only truly over when you move on. That choice is yours. Choose wisely.