“I’m getting better in my time. Not yours”
Never let anyone tell you how fast or how slow to go. Not in therapy, not in life. When trying to heal from abuse and trauma, there is a lot of uncovering and learning about the past which takes places. This can be re-traumatizing in a way. You are having to – in a way – re-live the experiences in order to talk about them.
For some people this comes easier than it does for others. There is no set time frame on how long healing should take. As long as you are trying.
Notice I said trying, not moving forward.
I did this on purpose because there are times when we are fall back. There are times when it feels like we are taking one step forward and three steps back. The point is to keep taking steps. Progress is progress. A step backward is still progress and I know that sounds crazy but this is something we are struggling with accepting.
It feels like taking steps backward is actually failing. Probably because we were taught growing up that failing is not an option nor is it acceptable. We were often yelled at, punched, put down, and/or beaten when we did not succeed at something. Therefore we learned to either not try something or do it correctly.
When entering therapy, it was hard to become accustomed to the fact we are allowed to go backwards or struggle with succeeding at something. There are many times when we still find ourselves dismissing ideas from the therapist because we see failure and struggles. It is hard to remember at times that we are allowed to move at our own pace. We can work slower if we need to. If we find ourselves struggling in an area, we can speak up and say so rather than just not try.
We are a work in progress. It has been a hard lesson for us to learn and we are still struggling to learn it. Working slowly on some issues is okay. Working faster on some issues is okay. Moving backwards is just as enlightening as moving forward. The goal is to keep moving, and doing so at your own comfortable pace! Consider it a form of self-care…
A. G. Ballard