Today I am meeting with a gentleman at Copper Country Mental Health. He was the high bidder on my Lady quilt that I donated to the Dial Help Gala. He not only loves my Ladies, but he gets the recovery they represent and my journey in fabric. He had asked if I would hang my quilts for the month of September, Recovery Month and I said yes. And so I have to come up with a short blurb about the quilts and I and my journey of recovery.
First I wondered, what is the definition of recovery and found this.
"A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength."
Now the words "Normal State" needs to be defined....I looked up "normal".
"Conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected. The usual or average, typical state or condition."
When I look upon my recovery, I see a woman who went all the way back to her childhood and began looking at her life from how sexual abused changed who the little girl was and into the girl she had to be, in order to survive.
In surviving she lived in denial.
I believe that my recovery was to break down the denial and begin living in reality. Which was not a typical state in my family of origin. I did not conform to their standards of what was 'normal'.
I wonder if we all 'recover' back to where we feel most comfortable or most normal?
My old set of comfort, was no longer comfortable for me to live in. I was awake, aware and I now knew what I had so long denied.
I did not find a resting place in my old normal, I had to keep going until I did. Meaning, the way I was in old relationships were no longer comfortable for me. I had to redefine me. I did find a new normal...but most often it was to exit old relationships that did not honor and respect me...that were not an equal balance of truth and reality.
I would say I recovered a self I had lost, but didn't know was missing.
My Story Line Quilts represent this journey of how I seen myself against the world, how little I thought of my self and how much I thought and served the outside voices, against the good of me.
The quilts show, and are a gauge, on how I felt about me. How little self esteem was present and how as I recovered my voice and my truth, how my Lady grew more animated and more defined.
Her stiffness represented my inability to be an individual; my self frozen while dancing to please others.
I am so grateful that I was able to recover beyond my usual normal, but to go back so far as to feel that I am connected to the little girl inside of me. The one who I put aside and hid due to her abuse.
Given no alternatives, I lived so to keep peace in the family...or perhaps food in my belly and a roof over my head. I stuffed the abuse so far back in my mind....in order to survive.
When I fully embraced my 'secret' I was meeting my real self...the innocent girl, the wounded one, and the survival self. I am a composite of all of my experiences. There is no part that is not me.
My recovery is to embrace my whole journey...keeping no secrets from me.
Childhood sexual abuse ends the natural creation of who you would grow to be. It interferes with our trust and faith and our innocence, we become old before our time and liars about reality. We contort our selves and our lives to fit what isn't there.
My recovery was to recover reality...to recover the little wounded girl that I lost.
I looked up "recover". "1. To get back; regain. 2. To restore ( oneself) to a normal state.
Little children who are abused so young, don't even have a full grasp of who they are, what is their set point, what do they love, their passion and soul's essesence and it is eclipsed by the ugly hand of abuse.
Regaining the self is to feel like a child again, to restart growing as a person. To begin with a child inside an adult body.
To me, recovery is about getting back to the little child and innocence. To feel love, peace and joy inside about you. To reconnect with love.
It seems to me the ultimate victory over abuse...to leave abuse with the abusers, to let it be their problem, not yours. To put it in its rightful place and to restore and recover your inner spirit.
I will never not be abused, but I was able to recover my self and walk with all aspects of me.