Fear Free Gratitude

Fear Free Gratitude

In Gratitude by Aura Eadon20 Comments

The wounds left behind by abuse—any type of abuse—are horrific and it leaves people’s lives in desolate states. Recovery is possible but I don’t know if full recovery is a possibility. If I am to speak from personal experience, after decades of abuse, I know the scars will never leave. Part of me wishes I could be that shiny being that never knew abuse and was allowed to grow internally in a safe and accepting way, with free emotional development. I say part because it’s no longer an important part; I have outgrown it and have managed to accept who I am and how I arrived at this stage in my life. It was not easy. It still isn’t. But I am getting there one day at a time.

One of the poisons abusers leave behind inside the minds of the people they abuse is confusion and fear. In my case it was layers upon layers of conflicting and irrational fears, that mirrored almost entirely the two people who raised me. For the most part, I couldn’t tell consciously what it was that I was afraid of. I was like a frightened mouse trying to hide. Part of my defence mechanism was to become a people pleaser. It wasn’t a successful defence because it was an unconscious but entirely rational response to the irrationality that is expressed by an abuser. Also becoming a people pleaser meant that I always lived in fear of disappointing everyone I came in contact with, something that remained true until very recently.

Being afraid all the time, but not knowing exactly what of, is a terrible way to live. Part of my journey in the past three years was to understand what it is I am running away from. Unravel the mess, throw it out of the window. A slow process that is inherently resisted by the same thing I tried to unravel: fear itself. Still, even baby steps are forward movement and the entire 2015 has been a year of conquering fears throughout.

The hardest part of the whole process is that I had to face the fear itself. I had to look at it in the eye and assess its validity and importance. And every single time I found it inadequate, unimportant, petty, ridiculous, even infuriating. And every single time the fear stopped being a punch in the gut and a rude voice in my head shouting nonsense, and every single time I removed one of these fears from my life, I regained a measure of wholeness and a part of myself that I now own entirely.

I’d lie if I said I didn’t have help. I had (and still have) help from special people I trust with my life. They often act as a reminder of what I am trying to achieve and then without further interference they let me sort out the mess. Sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction.

This week I celebrate having these people in my life. I celebrate distancing myself from everyone who still tries to abuse me in one way or another. I celebrate the beginning of a year that I am going to be fear free. I celebrate that I no longer live to please other people and I no longer consider important what other people will think of me. I celebrate accepting myself fully and I celebrate that I live in a way that lets me grow into the person I want to be.

The following quote speaks volumes about how I feel and the extent I am willing to go to earn the right to own my life and myself entirely:

The only way to fail at this thing called Life is to not face it. To excuse yourself from feeling things deeply. To refuse your own copyright. To let someone else dictate how you feel, think, and act. Everything else in The Book of Life can be fixed, except your refusal to write it.Andréa Balt

Fear Free Gratitude

Beautiful music that speaks to me in ways I am unable to express coherently: Estas Tonne – Internal Flight

This post is part of the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop hosted by Lexa Cain. Thank you so much for reading. What are you celebrating this week? Let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. I dearly wish I didn’t know what you’re talking about, but I know all too well. Yet, even with the ache inside it never ceases to break my heart when I hear someone else’s tale. Yes, those who survive become stronger, but not necessarily whole. We can forgive, but childhoods cannot be replaced after the fact. Still, though we often become people pleasers, we also become highly sensitive to the needs of others. It’s crucial we cherish the gifts. Some find refuge in the abuse and so extend the abuse for another generation to suffer. Others, their voices and hearts steeped in hell’s fires, still find it within themselves to embrace gratitude for all that’s good, their voices a soothing compress that heals. You’re healing and your helping to heal others, in so doing forwarding a gift to the next generation.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Christina, your words mean so much and I’m so grateful. The vicious circle of abuse has to be broken in some way; I could not live with myself in any other way. You’re right, childhoods will never come back, but I’m at peace with that. Looking forward and living fully every moment is what fuels my passion for life. Even through the sacrifices, it’s worth it. Thank you so much, I truly appreciate your words and thoughts. Love and gratitude. Have a beautiful weekend ahead.

  2. I absolutely love that quote in the meme. It’s so true.

    I am guilty of people pleasing and irrational fears, and even when I can’t quiet those fears and worries, I remind myself the trick is to face things afraid. It’s okay to walk with trembling knees; you’re still walking. Best of luck with your own walk forward!!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Elizabeth, I love that quote. It’s a way of life, I guess. Our job is to stay true to ourselves and move through life despite the situations (and people) trying to hold us back. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting, I greatly appreciate it.

  3. I’m so glad I could finally find your blog, Aura! (Your Gravatar isn’t fully linked to a website, so I could only get the link once you commented today).

    I’m sorry you’ve been through abuse. I’ve had my own emotional burdens over the years. They are not easy, and it is hard to finally let go of trying to please those who want no business in being pleased. It is hard to accept that you have to do something for yourself, and not for others, to truly be satisfied.

    I’m hoping that your year of no fear has been off to a good start. You certainly aren’t alone!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Alex. Good start indeed, full of challenges, but that’s fine. Need to figure out the whole Gravatar thing. Thank you so much for stopping by, reading, and commenting. Have a lovely week ahead.

  4. Interestingly, abuse does tend to turn someone into a people pleaser, especially if it happens at a young age. That’s how the cycle continues. It’s SO hard to learn to set those boundaries and refuse to let anyone cross them, but with the right support system it can be done, for sure. The good news is, abuse victims heal and become stronger. Abusers are just mean, horrible people who never find happiness in their lives.

    1. Author

      Abuse is complicated. I wish it were as easy as just claiming that someone is an evil person. Codependency is a vicious cycle where abuse is passed from person to person. In psychology, the Karpman triangle has at its corners these states: victim, persecutor, rescuer. The people in codependent relationships are continuously moving from one state to another, sometimes giving and sometimes receiving abuse. Breaking the cycle and moving away is when the healing starts.

  5. I do think full recovery is possible. You’ll always have the scars, but they become just that and nothing more. Personally, I try to use my traumatic experiences to help others who haven’t yet healed from similar experiences.

    Have you ever listened to any of Ludovico Einaudi’s music? The Estas Tonne video reminded me a little bit of him.

    1. Author

      Hi Mich, thank you so much for visiting and for reading and commenting. Perhaps believing in full recovery will make it possible. This is a lovely positive way to look at it and thank you for reminding me of it, we are what we believe we are.

      I love Ludovico Einaudi, I listen to him on Spotify. I love almost all kinds of music it’s in my blood and if I don’t have enough daily I start having withdrawal symptoms. Have a lovely day.

  6. Celebrating the people who are helping you recover from abuse is a lovely thing to do. It’s wonderful that you are making progress. Every positive step counts in the taking back of your life. I wish you the best in your journey to be fear free.

  7. Being afraid all the time, but not knowing exactly what of, is a terrible way to live.

    Yes, it is. I’m so glad things are improving for you.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Rose, for your thoughts and for reading and visiting. I hope the week has been good and you have a brilliant weekend ahead.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Katharine, thank you for visiting and commenting, I really appreciate it. Hope the week is good for you and you have an amazing weekend ahead.

  8. You’re a warrior! You’re a role model demonstrating that with a healthy state of mind anything is possible. Thank you! Well done fighting your fears and dictating your own life! Your celebrations are beautiful – keep celebrating!

  9. It’s so wonderful that you’re taking positive action to grow and overcome the damage done by your abusers. Having support is so important. You’re doing awesome! Keep it up and have a great weekend!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Lexa. Yes, you are right, support is indeed so important as is feeling that we don’t exist alone in this world. Thank you for your comment and visiting, I appreciate it. Have a beautiful weekend and a lovely week ahead.

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