It’s easy to skim over and talk about holiday stress and list off some reasons. It’s fairly easy to describe some ways to relieve the stress. What’s the difficult part? Really talking about the why. The why means being vulnerable and opening myself up to probable criticism and judgement. It also means that I might accidentally hurt someone else’s feelings. Being truthful is freeing, but it can come with a price tag. Although I’ve dealt with a huge portion of my past, I haven’t necessarily shared it except for in a safe environment. It was the first of many steps in the healing process. I’ve started and stopped this post numerous times in the last 45 days. This step almost seems as hard as the first one.
When I was in therapy I was told that it was like peeling an onion one layer at a time. It is a good analogy, and yes, I was in therapy. I honestly believe regardless of how good or bad your childhood was, your adulthood is and your relationships are; everyone could use a good therapy session from time to time. My therapy journey started right before I found out that I was pregnant (at 19). Needless to say, the journey was short lived at the time, because I quickly went into survival mode. I couldn’t really deal with my past in survival mode. I couldn’t be vulnerable. I had to be strong, because I was going to be a single parent. Unfortunately I didn’t make the decision to seek therapy again until at age 25 I was going through a divorce. I thought getting married was going to save me from all my insecurities. Everything was going to be perfect after the wedding. Oh my, thinking back on it now, I still shake my head in disbelief. I was so broken. I had abandonment issues and was a sexual abuse victim. I use the term “survivor” now, but at that point in my life I was living like a victim (in my personal life).
It’s important for me to pause and mention that my career and professional life was blossoming. I found refuge in my career. It was the place where I knew what I was doing; I was good at it. My career became my survival mechanism. I will save that topic for another time.
I guess what I’m saying is that it was unfortunate that I waited almost 6 years to get back to therapy and dealing with my past. I think it is one reason why I’m passionate about it now. Don’t wait. Don’t wait until you’ve hit bottom. Don’t wait for someone to suggest it. You know yourself, and if something isn’t quite right start figuring it out now. Seek the help of a licensed therapist, a study group at church or a close friend. Just start somewhere and don’t stop.