Archive for September 12th, 2011

I had my last regular session with my therapist last week. We both agreed that I have processed all that I need to process from my hellish summer, and I can always schedule another therapy session as needed.

At my last session, we talked about my adaptability in comparison to my husband’s inflexibility. I said I found it ironic because I am the one who grew up in an abusive environment while he did not. (His upbringing was dysfunctional but not abusive. His parents loved him, and he knew that they did.) I would expect that someone who grew up in abuse to be less flexible and more distrustful of the outside world.

My therapist said that the opposite actually tends to be true. Because I was surrounded by abuse, I had to look outside of myself and my surroundings to engage in life. My pain drove me to therapy and to reaching out toward others. This resulted in me learning that there is life outside of my pain.

Contrast this with my husband, who grew up in a loving but dysfunctional bubble. He learned that safety was found by staying in the bubble, which moved him toward being inflexible in his life. He needs the bubble to stay intact, and any change threatens the bubble.

I find it ironic that experiencing much more childhood pain through abuse has actually served me better in living my life in adulthood. Another therapist says that the most emotionally wounded are often the most successful and healthy in life because their pain drives them to seek therapy. Through therapy, they learn how to live life in a healthier manner. My therapist points out that we learn to live life, not just exist.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have worked far too hard to settle for merely existing. Just having food on the table and the absence of abuse in my life is not enough for me. I want to make a difference in the world. I want the fact that I exist to matter. I want the world to be a better place because I am in it. I want meaning and purpose in my life.

Additionally, I want to experience life. I want to know what it feels like to walk along the beach in Hawaii. I want to visit different places and see how people live in other parts of the world. I want to feel … to experience … to **be** …

I also want to heal as much pain as I can. I know I cannot take away another person’s pain, but I can walk alongside him and show him a way out. I can listen and truly “hear” as another person unburdens herself. I can make a sick person’s day a little less hard by dropping off lunch or groceries. I can babysit a single mother’s child so she can have a much-deserved break.

Existence is not enough. I want to live!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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