You have been doing quite a bit of inner exploration then fatigue set in. Did you do something nice for yourself or have you been binge watching TV or over working? No matter, it is time to go deeper and broader.
On a shelf in a room down the hall is a book that has not been used in a while. Inside is the story of you. The first few chapters are stories of sadness, fear, and uncertainty. Then the chapter that expressed the anger and rage at all that happened with no one to protect you.
Abused or neglected in our developmental years leaves us confused. Our God given compass does not function appropriately. We are loyal to the abuser and mistrust others that may come into our lives to show us a better way. We may believe everyone lives as we have and that this is as good as it gets. Curiosity for freedom does not exist or is held within. Sometimes we know something is wrong but believe we deserve the way we have been treated because we are somehow defective.
Redemption is sought by many, but most of us would not recognize it if it looked us in the face. We can agree that there is a desire to be restored or saved after a significant loss; something was taken or had enslaved us. But where can we satisfy this desire?
Coming into belief we bring with us bitterness, disappointment, and disillusionment. Things were not going our way and then someone presented another option. Faith. We consider that something different could transpiring if a connection with an unseen God can be achieved. Usually, what has happened to a new believer or those who have believed there is a God for years, is that something devastating happens and we have run out of resources and ideas to fix.
Questions emerge: If God wants what is best for me how come this happened? Where was God when my loved one died and I was praying for a miracle. Why did employment not come? Why did I have to lose my home? Why did my marriage fail? Why was I abused and no one rescued me? These are valid questions.
The answers come later after the connection to God has taken hold and been deepened. The process feels like a wrestling match. But when we go through it we find a surrender, the ability to let our small ideas go and to better see God’s bigger picture. We find that our Creator was in all of our moments. Our Creator was active in the unseen realm and is able to comfort and heal no matter the loss. We find our perspective changes and we find a piece that surpasses anything we have previously known.
If you have been following along, you know that I, unknowingly, began life under the power of the shadow. Spiritual bondage formed by deception and secrets that I had witnessed and internalized. I did not know how much darkness surrounded me, as I saw no one in the light. I was taught to be dishonest by my parents and the whisperings of the shadow. I took what I learned, continued to listen to the destructive voice in my head and used to hurt myself and others.
Step out of your circumstances for a while. Observe others who seem to know how to live. Perhaps observe people who are not living in anger or endless drama. There are people around us in recovery that have unlocked the door and found a way out.
People-watching can be a beginning, but offers little assistance to a struggling soul until the process of surrender occurs from within. The AA principles lay out the process from self-reliance and unmanageability to surrender and freedom. Hindering the process are swirling obsessive thoughts and knee jerk reactions. These traits may have not been of own making, but rather have been modeled to us by caretakers, parents, or an abuser. Although proven time and again to be harmful and faulty, as long as we believe them to be truthful, valid and appropriate we will stubbornly stay unchanged.
Stepping out of victimization or personal addictive behaviors requires a surrender so we can watch and listen for new information. Lack of faith and trust is our dilemma. We could not trust our ourselves while in active addiction. Taking the substances out of our system we can now listen and choose a different path. We have a Creator who is available and is continually trying to reach us. This Creator would like to reach us and change our thinking and behaviors. There is restoring power beyond our imagining. A new outlook awaits.
The key to this door, that opens to a path into the beautiful new unknown, is surrender. That key is found when we can sit quietly and dare to think outside of what we believe is our reality. The key begins to turn. There may be clutter in front of the door, or the door may slam shut again and again. Then one day it stays open. We awake to new information, new possibilities. Needed resources and strength present themselves.
There is no autonomy or self-governing; control is exerted over the other’s movements, money, sexual activity, or friends; through emotional, psychological manipulation, or physical abuse. Adult children of alcoholics easily fall into the same patterns as their parents: picking a partner or raising their children, in the same manner, they were, remaining trapped in the cycle.
Life itself will offer moments of clarity.A crossroad, a breaking point, or outside intervention. A realization that something could be different. That one may enter a recovery program, peer support at a church, or counseling center. To break free and recover, emotional detachment is vital, while new information is taken in. There is always an emotional separation from the other co-dependant, if there is physical or psychological abuse a physical separation is needed until both can seek help.These are forms of detachment. Detachment simply allows space to breath, rest, and reevaluate. For most it is frightening and progress may be delayed out of a fear that something is being lost.
For survivors of trauma and addiction, roadblocks were put in place before we realized it. We remain unaware that a roadblock exists, believing we are just like everyone else, until we try to expand ourselves into an adult individual. If we have successes great! But such is life, and there are challenges all along our way. There is illness, loss, death, lost jobs, financial uncertainties, or isolation from families.