Going Forward; Looking Back ~ Emotional Healing ProcessBy
In the recovery process of emotional healing and overcoming abuse I created a lot of images in my mind that helped me to look at things in different ways. Sometimes I dreamed of images, and sometimes they just came to me.
One of the readers on the facebook page for emerging from broken wrote “and I think the problem starts the moment I convince myself that I can already move on, because the truth is I’m trying to walk forward while looking back.” This is a profound statement which brought me back to a very frequent image that I adopted in my mind along the journey to recovery.
Early in my therapy process, in my mind’s eye I saw a door. It was an eighteen inch thick solid steel door, like the kind you might see on a bank vault or possibly in a prison. This door was firmly closed, and had about seven huge locks; huge deadbolts all in a row, each one of them a different design or brand. This door was impenetrable. Somehow I knew that my freedom was on the other side of that door. My wholeness, my new life and my recovery from dissociative identity and chronic depression was on the other side of that impenetrable door. Emotional healing was just one the other side. And it wasn’t long before I realized that I was the only one that could open those locks and walk through it.
I know it sounds so easy; just unlock the deadbolts and walk through, right? But it was far from easy. Along the course of the journey to wholeness I saw that same door many times, but as I grew in my emotional strength and towards healing, it changed.
As I had my breakthroughs I noticed that some of the locks were disappearing from my “vision” of the door. At first several of them were just unlocked, sometimes with a combination lock like one you would see on a school locker, just hanging open. One day I noticed that there was only one lock left on the door and that the door suddenly had a window in it. It is interesting to note that all these things made me excited and nervous at the same time. I wondered if I should look through the window. It was a scary thought. But I realized later that the window wasn’t for the purpose of looking out into the new world. It was for the purpose of looking back into the old world.
Eventually as I continued to grow and discover the lies that I had adopted as truth and realized how my survival system had been set in place, the door was actually unlocked and open a few inches. I slowly waked forward and I opened it a bit more. I cautiously crept through the opening, frightened, hesitant, and even on the other side I was afraid to look; I ran back through to the other side from which I had come and slammed the door shut, clicking the lock into place. WAY too scary for me!
My survival system was created to keep me safe. My brain and every fibre of my being believed that my coping methods kept me safe and in this process of recovery, my brain told me that it was not safe to travel to the other side of broken. I was afraid of emotional healing and letting go of those deep depressions because I still believed they were the answer. So even opening that door was a frightening concept. As I began to comprehend it this way, I began to really understand the importance of doing that re-wiring work I always talk about. I also began to understand the fear of just walking through that door and the significance of the locks.
I keep going forward and there came a day when I saw the door in my mind open and welcoming. There was no longer a lock on my side. I took a deep breath and I walked through it and I saw a beautiful garden, somewhat like a jungle, lush with flowers and foliage and bright green grass. The sky was not visible but still this place was beautiful and welcoming. I went a few yards in, but I felt nervous and kept looking back to make sure that the door was still open. I wanted to make sure that I could return to the old belief system if this new one was too scary or too overwhelming for me to stay there. I had this feeling that I HAD to know there was an escape out of the new world. This stemmed from the depth of my belief that the systems I had in place for my survival from abuse, were really what was best for me. My survival methods were all I knew prior to this.
There came the day when I went through that door and carefully closed it behind me. As I turned to face my new surroundings, gone was the lush garden and in front of me was the most beautiful meadow ~ nothing but blue skies and the brightest sunshine, wide open spaces, the freshest air I had ever breathed, and thousands of wild flowers. As I walked forward and took it all in, I noticed that I was on the top of a mountain, that the whole world was waiting for me, that I was free and that this was the other side of broken. I felt safe, excited, euphoric even. I felt as though my life was about to begin.
Forever seeking healing, truth and freedom
It never ceases to amaze me how the world works. Yesterday, my friend Wendy Logan sent me the following poem that she wrote. This poem blessed me deeply and I asked her if I could publish it with my blog post because I thought it went so well with what I am writing about today. Please feel free to comment to me or to Wendy or to both of us!
Eyes of A Prisoner ~ by Wendy Logan
When you look in my heart, what do you see?
Do you feel intense love or a life of misery?
Do you see a place where you can live?
Or a heart that’s just now learning to forgive?
Are you getting confused when you look in my eyes?
Conflicting messages that tell little white lies.
Can you feel a brick wall that sometimes comes up?
You can’t get passed them, and even I feel stuck.
I can’t get out and you can’t get in.
Trust me I know I’ve tried again and again.
You can stand and look from a distance
In that I’m safe, you’ll meet no resistance.
A prisoner in this life, emotions locked up inside.
I’m trying to be transparent but also want to hide.
The chains on my feet, pain’s the ball on my side.
My wrist handcuffed with the enemies pride.
Can you see my hands pressing through the bars?
I’m reaching for help but it seems so hard.
The screams get louder but do you hear?
I’m trying to break free, not walk in in fear.
Emaciated and deprived from a lack of affection.
Every path I could try is the wrong direction.
A never ending road takes me another path
That leads to the mouth of the enemies wrath.
He taunts and toils with me like a rag doll.
Tossing me back and forth like a ragged tennis ball.
The chain linked fence surrounds my perimeter.
Sharp bob wire represents my temper.
I can’t let you in, because it’s not safe
A prisoner to love that turned to hate.
Help me come pass the cold steel bars.
I see hope standing from a far.
As you approached I could this light.
Hope pressed in with all its might.
You carried the keys to my prison doors.
I knew that life had to mean much more.
Unlock it fast, before I change my mind.
The hands in the wall try to hold back time.
They can’t stand to lose yet another victim.
As the enemy screams his final dictum.
Been locked up so long, I’m scared to be free.
Is this another mirage or is it really happening?
Wishful thinking kept me alive when things were dark.
But the darkness has a hold, it doesn’t want to part.
One foot out the door of the prison I’ve known.
No more place of dwelling, no more my home.
Is this a dream or am I really free?
Scared to look in the mirror and see the new me.
With the past behind and the future at hand
There’s hope for tomorrow, a new right to stand.
An escapee from a prison of a life of hell
To a place of freedom, a new place to dwell.
Wendy Logan February 10, 2009