Healing the Healer

Posted by on March 19, 2012

I cannot count the number of times I have written about self-care. It is the one place we must all go at some point if we are to fully recover from child sexual abuse and heal from a multitude of other missing pieces as well. Most of us face the abuse and our pain and then move into a zone we like to call thriver and even warrior to help others. We are determined to do what we can to help others heal and deal with their problems. The pain of others is as obvious to us as is the weather outside.

We are extremely passionate about rescuing other victims as we can feel their pain, because we have experienced it ourselves. Or in some cases we don’t even admit the pain inside us and only tell ourselves we help because the need is so great. This selfless act comes from the heart and often feels like a mission or calling. Without this commitment we would never make the progress as a society that we do. We pour out compassion and empathy by the bucket load. Others admire us or ask how we can do this day in and day out. We tell them we do it because we are driven to make a difference and we can’t stand seeing all the pain in the world.

What we don’t recognize is that often our “motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of ourselves.” We may not recognize that we are “starving for the kind of love and attention we dole out to those around us on a daily basis.” For any number of reasons, we are unable to admit that we still have a missing piece, a void inside of us. As healed as we think we are, we are still unable to love ourselves enough to share our most basic needs with our loved ones. Our tremendous need to be loved unconditionally and to be fully accepted stays buried. Instead of going deep and repairing our foundation that was broken as a child we build up and out. Good does indeed come from this, but it leaves us on a weak footing. We may end up collapsing over time or we may go to our graves unfulfilled regardless of how much good we have done for others.

As a survivor of child sexual abuse I have lived my life holding my true feelings in and rejecting the love of others, because of course I was not worthy. Since that is the pattern I have set with my family and friends, as I heal I will never get from them the love I need unless I tell them. I first need to admit to myself what I need and then I have to risk asking for it. And in the end demanding it of any relationship I choose to stay in, otherwise I am choosing to remain a victim for life.

Please read and share the article that stimulated this train of thought on The Daily Om.

Randy Ellison