I’m not grieving anymore. I was going to post about this when this first occurred to me, some months ago, but then I was in doubt as to whether or not I had already posted about that. Such is the life of someone who is a survivor with dissociation, PTSD, and fibromyalgia, which can have memory challenges as well.
It had been my contention, over many years, to family, to therapists, and to others that I had a lot to grieve over and that I needed to be allowed and encouraged to work on my grieving work.
After living in the women’s shelter three years ago and starting back with therapy, I worked a lot on issues of being a survivor, as I was able, over time, to really work on grieving my childhood, abuse, and my parents. I believed that I would just need to work on grieving for as long as I needed to, and I guess, I was fine if that took me the rest of my life. But one day I woke up to the fact that I was done grieving. I was shocked and surprised.
Something huge has changed in me. I am not sure if I can describe it. But I think that I feel that I validate myself and my life now. I don’t feel the need for someone else to validate me. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but for sure, I feel grownup now. Not to say that I am not connected to my inner child capabilities or our inner selves, cause I am. But life is different.
I had a few conversations over the phone with my advocate, from the women’s shelter, and since they always go good, I couldn’t tell for sure if she could tell that a huge difference had happened to me. But then we got to meet up at the shelter one day after that, before a therapist session that I was waiting for, and had a chat.
I told her, I’ve changed a lot. She would always agree with me when I said that to her. I said, No I mean it, something huge. She said, yes, I know, I see it. It is huge. She saw it! I said, I’m not grieving anymore, I’m living my life. She said, yes I can tell.
(That made me feel so proud, she really saw me and all the progress that I/we had made and honored all our hard work. She is my chosen mom and always makes me happy and excited and a little queasy and scared as well. Since I never had a good mom, and instead had a sexual abuser and physical abuser for a mother, I suppose it makes sense that I love my advocate from a very small little girl space inside us and that it is scary and happy all at the same time to feel love for her. I always want her love and care. She is the mother we chose while there, not that staying at the shelter was easy or a happy time, but that she taught me so much, believed in me so much, and was so supportive in a tough way, the I’m going to help you become empowered and to go out and get what you need kind of way. She believes in me, even when I am on the verge of a panic attack and feel as though I can’t possibly stand up for myself or lift a finger to make my life better. That is a powerful thing.)
I don’t have as much inner emotional pain and I am not filled with as much poison from my abuse since being post-grief. I’m not saying that I have emptied myself completely of those things, or that I am completely done with grieving everything that has ever happened to me or not happened to me, or that will ever happen to me, but that the level has lowered by a significant amount. That is what grieving has done for me; significantly allowed more good things to occupy all those spaces inside that used to be occupied by grief and the damage that abusers caused.
I wanted to share about this as a testament to trusting your own intuitive sense of what you need to do in order to heal or even what you need to do in any area of your life, no matter what others think or tell you or how they respect your process or don’t. It is okay to believe in yourself and to respect yourself. Healing happens in those spaces, those little pockets of space-time continuum, those little moments of self-belief.