WISDOM from THOSE WHO HAVE WALKED THROUGH the PAIN
Whom do you turn to for wisdom? If you are a survivor of trauma, do you seek support and wisdom from a therapist, other survivors, family, and friends? Each person offers support, guidance and wisdom in different forms and from their own experiences and education.
How important is it to you that the person whom you seek wisdom, guidance, and support has walked through the pain of whatever you are experiencing or have experienced? Christina Rasmussen, a woman who lost her husband at an early age, has strong opinions on this subject. She suffered deep grief. Later, she began a career helping others to deal with grief and to rebuild their lives. What a resource!
In her blog post, “My Top Ten Grief Resources” Christina Rasmussen writes:
“First of all the only people who have important insights are people who have experienced a similar type of loss in their past.”
“You don’t just want people who are going through it but people who have gone through it.”
“They have wisdom that will be life changing for you.”
“I would absolutely stay away from any resource that is centered only around grief and not focused on the life ahead.”
“The internet is full of places where the focus is on the story, on the sadness and not on tools that can help you build a new life and identity.”
(To read Christina Rasmussen’s entire blog post, go to: http://www.secondfirsts.com/2016/02/my-top-ten-grief-resources/)
Once in a while, a person will ask me if I have a degree in life coaching. My B.A. degree is in Psychology. That same person does not necessarily inquire if I have life experiences as a survivor of abuse and torture. I do not have certification in life coaching at this point in time. I do have a past that was filled with trauma and life changing experiences, including:
Dating abuse, domestic violence, spousal sexual abuse
Extreme abuse (ritual abuse, brainwashing/mind control)
Judicial system (including trial for custodial interference for protecting my daughter for as long as I was able)
I am no longer a victim. I am free. I am a survivor who thrives. A person asked me recently if I can read people. I asked her why she asked. She said that I seem to read people well. My reply was that I had plenty of life experience. My past experiences have given me insight which some counselors, friends and family members may lack. As Christina Rasmussen recommends, “You don’t just want people who are going through it but people who have gone through it.” I have gone through the above abusive and traumatic situations. I have rebuilt my life twice – once with my daughter and once without. I have walked through the pain and loss to become a healthier person. My experiences and strengths provide a firm foundation to support you as a life coach.
Christina Rasmussen’s recommendation to “stay away from any resource that is centered only around grief and not focused on the life ahead” is wise to me. I was fortunate to have a pastoral counselor during my initial healing years who kept reminding me that the past was past and to move forward. As I uncovered memories and shared them in counseling, I also stayed focused on my present life (at the time) with my daughter and its challenges (which included courts, custody issues, etc.).
Years later, in talk therapy while receiving NeurOptimal Neurofeedback, the focus was on moving ahead. I was very fortunate to have a therapist that would not “allow” me to stay stuck in the past, in the awful past of abuse. I had processed the past of abuse well enough …. The past was past (as the first counselor said).
My life story of abuse and torture was horrendous. What happened to my daughter (Megan) and I in the courts and other institutions was terrible and unjust. I am open with my story on both of my websites: www.hopeforus.wordpress.com and www.roadtofreedomandpeace.com. It is imperative for others to know that these abuses occur in our society and in the world. It often is important for survivors to read others’ stories to know they are not alone.
That is not the end though. My life goes on …. It moved past the trauma … My blog posts, workshops, and life coaching are to give survivors of trauma tools to help them move forward. These tools may include informative posts. For example, to be able to define non-state torture (https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/non-state-torture-ritual-abuse-extreme-abuse/) can help survivors acknowledge their past, know they are included in a large group of other survivors, and they can let the past go to make a new life.
The abuse, trauma, and torture do not define us.
My past does not define me.
When you seek wisdom, guidance, and support from others, please do consider the source as well as what you need and want. I am not stating that all individuals who offer support and wisdom need to have been survivors of abuse. The people that have helped me though have been able to feel deep empathy and compassion. Pain recognizes pain. Heart often speaks to heart. These same individuals have moved through their own suffering and were able to help me move through mine.
I have been fortunate to meet other extreme abuse (ritual abuse, torture, spiritual abuse) survivors and that has widened my own perspective. Those individuals filled a need within me to know I was not unique in my suffering. Knowing these extreme abuse survivors now had healthy lives gave me encouragement. They did not necessarily contribute to my deeper healing process.
Do you want to move forward, to let the past fall behind you – to become a person of freedom and peace? So many survivors get stuck for too long in the PAIN and memories of the abuse. I believe it is good and necessary to face the past and to move forward. Sitting in it for too long … staying stuck … does not help you. Each of us heals in our own time. Healing takes as long as it takes. You, yourself, with your inner wisdom know when you are ready to let go of enough of the pain so you are able to seek and reach your goals and desires.
When you are ready and would like a life coach who has walked the walk, please contact me!
In the meantime, as always, take gentle care of yourself!