It has been a much longer and harder road to write my book on the long term effects of sexual abuse than I realized, especially since I am including personal accounts that require an emotional connection that I did not allow myself to feel as a child. Each time I find myself working on the manuscript, I want to eat something in order to plug up my uncomfortable feelings.
It’s not just the re-exploration of old feelings that sends me into an anxious state. Anxiety sets in as I recount a once-hidden memory or a new insight. The challenge is that these are issues I thought I had already worked on.
Right now I’m writing on the fear of intimacy. At one time I thought this only applied to romantic relationships. Now I see how it applies to any kind of relationship, whether impersonal or intimate, long term or brief. My fear of intimacy is generally due to my fear of rejection and abandonment, when I’m overly concerned about filling the need for acceptance and approval. Trust plays a huge part in the process for me, and all these components are more ingrained than I realized.
On the upside, I feel like I no longer want to be anchored to my past with a ball and chain, but with gratitude that I have learned valuable lessons about myself and my relationship to others. I am willing to look at the issues I thought I dealt with, the uncomfortable areas in my life where I didn’t have integrity, and blame that I imposed on others without being accountable for my part in a negative experience. Of course, I hope to do this all at my own comfort level, but does that really happen for anyone?
With completion of my abuse book this year, I am hoping that, although I know it won’t be the end of the journey, it will mark a positive transition into a much more emotionally enjoyable and manageable life experience. Here’s to healing through writing.
What can help set you free from a painful past?