Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Learning to Care for Myself

Looking at the pictures of survivors on the Let Go Let Peace Come In video, I was reminded of how the pictures of me as a little girl have helped me in my own healing.
As an adult, I would get so angry whenever I heard about the sexual abuse of a child. But I never got angry about my own abuse. Or let me put it this way - I never expressed my anger. I probably internalized it and it came out in other ways.
I read somewhere that survivors of child sexual abuse often feel that they are not worth getting angry over. So many survivors end up in some kind of helping profession - teacher, nurse, etc. - always trying to help others because we could not help ourselves.
So it was suggested that we survivors look at pictures of ourselves as children so we can feel sympathy toward that little one who was hurt so bad and perhaps then be able to express some anger, in a healthy way, of course.
So, one of the pictures I looked at was this one posted here. I saw a cute dog and a cute little girl. There was one thing that bothered me about this picture though. The eyes.
They look sad.
So I got angry. For the first time I expressed some anger about what was done to that little girl. What was done to ME.
And I felt good about that. And I felt compassion for that little girl. And I decided right then and there that I was going to take better care of her. I was going to take better care of me.
I have not always taken good care of myself. But I am getting better at it all the time. I am learning to feel compassion for the little girl that is me.


Mike Golch said...

yes the inner child in all of us need compassion,love nad positive reinforcement.I hope that you are having a great day,today.

Andrea said...

I pray you will continue to learn to take very special care of yourself. GOD loves you and wants you to be healthy and whole.
Prayers, hugs, and blessings, andrea

Lily said...

I am a teacher. I would imagine I made that choice subconsciously to do exactly what others didn't do for me: help. But now, during my recovery I am finding it is helping me so much. I can look at my students, only a year younger than I was and wonder how in the world any parent can do what my parents did in reaction to my abuse. I look at my girls and cry at the thought of anyone hurting them that way. It motivates me in my recovery.

Colleen said...

Mike, thanks for dropping by!! Hope you are having a great day too! Blessings.

Andrea, thank you for your prayers and hugs. God bless you, too.

Lily, I am glad you are a teacher. You have such compassion. I hope you give yourself some of it!

Patricia Singleton said...

Letting to feel compassion for yourself rather than self-hatred is a really big step toward healing from sexual abuse. My eyes are always sad in the few pictures that I have of myself as a little girl and teenager. The same could be said for most of my adult pictures as well.

Colleen said...

Patricia, it is amazing how difficult it is to feel compassion for myself but I am getting better with it. I am sorry for your sadness. It pains me to know there are so many of us with those sad eyes. Hugs.

Tonya said...

Hey, Colleen. Let Go Let Peace Come In contacted me a few days ago, asking me to post my story on their website. As I looked through the others who had gone before me, sharing photos of themselves and pieces of their story, I was further inspired to come out from behind my pen name that I've used for the last year. When I saw your name, along with Erin Merryn and a couple of others whose blog I read... I just had to go for it! I am so proud of you for putting a face and name to childhood sexual abuse. Thanks for showing me that I could do it too!!! I love and admire you! You're doing amazing things for survivors of sexual abuse. Many hugs, Tonya (My real name...PINCH ME!), Victory Over Sexual Abuse

Colleen said...

Tonya, thank you! I am proud of you too! It takes courage to use your real name and put yourself out there. But you will be surprised to see that you will also feel more free! A victory for you!! Hugs.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Wow Colleen,
I really needed to read this today. I am so happy to hear that you are learning how amazing and worth loving you are. little colleen is precious and I love seeing the pictures of her that you share. Thank you.

It is also nice to hear you and Tonya here in the comments, I have been struggling lately to post and recognizing that part of this struggle is due to the fact that I have been my real self from the beginning on my blog. Thank you for the shot of courage. I have been lifted by you today.

Colleen said...

Vicki, I was thinking of you today. Saw one of your comments on another post and thought I should go by and visit! Glad we were able to give you a shot of courage! I think we survivors do that for each other a lot! Hugs!

sarah said...

Cheering for you Colleen...that little girl with the sad eyes needs your love, your support and your care. When I look at this picture...I see a 'small' small. I think of my girls and can't imagine them having to deal with any of what we lived through alone. Stay strong.

Colleen said...

Sarah, thank you. I know what you mean. When my boys were little, I would think the same thing. I could not imagine them going through what I went through. Now they are married and happy and I just thank God for them and for their happiness everyday. God bless.