You may have noticed that I have been on a bit of a hiatus with my writing and for that, I apologize. Not just to any of my followers but also to myself. Writing has always been my outlet. I feel so much healthier after I write. Life has not been idle though. I have been busy. I am now a Certified Life Coach under the name Rhodes to Wellness Coaching (check out my FB page here ) and soon I will be furthering my coaching skills and learning the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. I will be able to offer more healing to my clients with the horse as my partner. It has been wonderful to learn healing techniques to help others but what about me? Where am I at in my own healing? As a healer, it is so important to ask yourself these questions and to keep working on you. Today a moment came up for me to let me know where I am at.
Last month I suffered a bit of an accident with my horse, Queenie. She is five-year-old Thoroughbred whom I have owned since she was a young filly. When I was lost in my PTSD, from the abuse of my first marriage, she became my lifeline. Queenie got me out of bed every morning and as we built a relationship of deep trust I started to reconnect with myself. When trauma happens it is so common to become disconnected from yourself. You almost become afraid of your own shadow. Sleep became a distant memory and everything around me became something I feared. After 15 years of abuse at the hands of the one man who should have protected me, I no longer knew who to trust. Who to believe. In time, as I came up for air, there became a handful of people I trusted; my sister, my now-husband, my childhood best friend, my children and Queenie. My trust circle has grown since then, but that was my core, especially that red-haired filly. Well, that filly is now a mare and she has been getting used to the saddle. She has been doing quite well. As long as I show her it is safe she is ok with it. Perhaps on the day of our accident, I did not take enough time with her, but things suddenly went bad really fast and I found myself getting trampled by my Queenie. Thankfully my husband and my son were there and I was into the ER before I knew it. I ended up with a broken collar bone and multiple scrapes across my chest where her hoof dragged across. I know that Queenie did not mean to hurt me. She is a prey animal and flight is her go-to. She did not feel secure and that was my fault.
Since that accident, I have been pretty dependent on my family. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who has cared for me and children who have helped in any way they can as I have been pretty bedridden. Being dependent on others can leave you feeling pretty vulnerable, but I have been handling that feeling ok because I am with people I trust. What if you are vulnerable and with someone you don’t trust? With someone you fear. That is what today reminded me of.
Today I had to have a shower. My husband was hanging out in the bathroom with me in case I needed any help. As my shower ended he opened the shower door and at that moment a memory came and I started to sputter out tears. My husband is very good at knowing when bad memories come to just hold me as I cry. So there I was, naked, wet, vulnerable and remembering another time like this, but with a different man, my first husband. It was near the end of our marriage. It was during the last nine hellish months of our marriage. I had kicked my ex out of our bedroom. After a million promises from him that he would never abuse me or our kids again he had broken those promises by turning on our 18-month-old son and was physically abusing him. The weakest of us all. I could no longer look at my ex, let alone let him touch me. I had tried to kick him out many times before but he always came back. The abuse got worse and worse. I did not know how to get out and I felt the Professionals were leaving me to do it all on my own. So I did what I could and I kicked him out of our bed. I thought I was safe. Safe at least from his sexual touch, but I was not and for the next nine months he would storm into our room and rape me. If I had to get changed I was not allowed close the bedroom door, I had to change in front of him. When I showered he would come in and watch me. I could not lock doors. I could not hide without paying the price of further abuse. The message was clear; I was his and his alone. I had no say as to when or how I was touched. Every personal boundary I was entitled to was ripped away from me. Today all that pain and all that fear came sputtering out of me and as my husband held me, reminding me that I am safe, I started to feel peace. I finally felt that that young mum who was so terrified back in that other shower, finally knew that she is safe too. He is no longer going to hurt either of us. We are free. This is healing.
Thank you, all of you. For following, for reading what I have to say. Recovery from abuse is a life long journey and I share when my moments arise to help others know that they are not alone. There are many ups and downs in recovery but as long as you hang on and lean on those you trust you WILL get through this. I promise. I am living proof. It is not an easy journey and feeling those old feelings is not easy, but they do not go away if you ignore them. They will creep up in other ways such as stress, health concerns, lack of sleep, anger, so many different ways. I believe in you. You got this!
Queenie and I.