Over the last few days I’ve realized – nearly simultaneously – I threw the baby out with the bath water and there was probably no other way I could have healed this fully.
I had dinner a couple of weeks ago with someone I haven’t seen for several years. The estrangement from my family has affected this relationship, too. I’d missed SB very much, but it was far too complicated to continue our relationship while I was recovering from my childhood abuse. She reached out to me recently after hearing of my reconciliation with my mom. I am so grateful for her compassion and grace.
We didn’t talk about my family, childhood, or the abuse. But she’d been in my hometown last year and had some recent pictures to show me. Afterwards, I found myself remembering some good things of my childhood. It was a strange, sluggish awakening as I realized I’d thrown the baby out with the bath water. My good memories were washed away along with the terrifying ones. This process occurred without any awareness on my part, but as I stare in the rear-view mirror of my life, I can clearly see those subconscious choices I made.
As a child, I wasn’t allowed to say there were bad things going on. I had to shove them aside and pretend they didn’t happen. All good, nothing bad.
To recover as an adult, I couldn’t acknowledge the good memories of my past. Instead, I descended into the hell of sickening memories. All bad; nothing good.
It’s truly an odd sensation realizing I subconsciously knew even just verbalizing good memories would obstruct my ability to recover from the abuse. It isn’t that I wanted to keep a death grip on my history and be a life-long victim, but I had to fully focus on it long enough to thoroughly process and get beyond it once and for all. I’m convinced if I hadn’t taken the drastic steps I did; my past would still be ruling my life.
A very good friend recently said to me “You’re in control of your life now instead of your life controlling you.” I made her repeat this because it was so profound and exciting to me. I am beginning to believe her. My past is becoming less and less of a driving force of how I make decisions and how I react to events and people.
Now, I’d like to continue getting reacquainted with that baby.