I’ve been thinking a lot about last week’s experience with my Therapist, Paul, when we sat together, “Experiencing the Void.” While I realised this was significant, I had no idea what “the void” actually was.
The void feels like I am standing mid-way along a footbridge that leads from the past to the present and into the future. Behind me is the small world of soul-destroying experiences, which I’m somehow miraculously outgrowing, and ahead is vast uncharted territory. I am unable to go back but feel equally uncertain of how to proceed, so I hover in this weird void like state.
In my last post, I talked about there being a wall of emotion I need to walk through before I can move forward. This transparent wall holds all the things I need to face up to – The tears and acceptance, the unresolved anger, and the uncertainty of how to emerge and connect with a new life. At the heart of this wall, the mortar that holds all this negativity together is fear.
There have been times in recent weeks when I worried that perhaps I am not quite ready to move on. Maybe I’ve not remembered enough, talked enough, felt enough, let go of enough. Maybe the healing I am experiencing is only in my imagination, or worse, dissociation.
I used to think healing meant reaching a point when all the hurt and trauma had completely dissolved, but none of us would be human if we were able to look back at painful experiences and not feel a certain degree of emotion. I guess the key is the ability to leave the memories where they belong, in the past. If only it were that straightforward.
When I first started blogging, I read a lot about other people’s experiences of childhood trauma. I remember the terms, “Moving on,” and “Letting go” being used along with the most challenging word of them all, “Forgiveness.”
I initially believed the only way to ‘let go’ and ‘move on’ was to forgive the people who had caused us a lifetime of pain in the first place. Through time, I have come to understand that this has less to do with the abusers and more about making peace with ourselves.
I think all of us can eventually find healing, but we need to be at the stage when we feel ready to let things go. Unfortunately, that seldom happens spontaneously and never easily, but it comes from allowing ourselves the space and time to feel the pain and analyse whatever we do not understand.
We are not wallowing in self-pity or being too afraid to face up to the real world. This is a special time of reflection and grieving, which is imperative to future healing. When that process starts or ends, is entirely down to each individual.
I’m talking here as if I’ve already crossed over my bridge, but I still hover anxiously in the void, reflecting, and not quite ready to move forward, but maybe that is part of my journey. I am not sure when the time will finally come to leave it all behind, but it looks as if I’m closer now than ever.