Courage to Cry
Forward by Cheryl:
This second letter was sent to me by Mandy, a survivor in need of a friend. I thank her for writing and giving me the chance to share my thoughts and feelings with her. This letter regards counseling and its importance during the healing process. Being able to feel and share those feelings is imperative in your journey as a survivor.
I have been to counseling today. It didn’t go well at all yet again. I don’t know how much I can take any more. Every time I try and speak the more I clam up. I am getting really disheartened with myself. I feel like bouncing myself off every wall I see. I know I shouldn’t but I cannot help the way I feel at the moment. I have to take off my rings before I get there now as I use them to harm myself with.
I feel useless, stupid and really hate myself for being like this. The last two weeks after counseling I have got drunk to try and dull the way I feel, but it is not working so I won’t be doing it again. It doesn’t work; it just makes things ten times bigger than what they really are!
I left counseling tonight feeling very tearful but I didn’t show it (I feel stupid if I let myself cry). I just wish there was a way I could let down the barriers and talk normal like I talk to my children, but I feel so scared and ashamed at what I want to say. I know what I have to do, and that is talk about the way I feel, but I can’t get the words out. Please can you help me to put things into perspective?
My Reponse Letter
Counseling is never easy. Take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Don’t you dare give up! You’ve only just begun. Do you think your counselor judges you? No. She’s there to listen and she’s there to help you when you are ready.
Mandy, you have to talk, if you don’t, nothing will ever be resolved. Let your voice be heard. You have to knock down those walls, let the barriers go. Put your fear into perspective. There’s nothing to fear now, only who’s inside you. Inside you, your inner child needs to be addressed. Don’t fear her, let her come out. She needs to be acknowledged before you move on to your adult abuse later. Let your counselor hear from your inner child. Learn to parent her, comfort her, and love her as you do your own children. Once you do this, you will find it easier to move on.
I understand your feelings. I had counseling too. It was hard to talk, hard to relive the abuse through speaking out. But it had to be done. I found it easier once I begun. Once the barriers were broken, the rest just came.
You have a lot riding on your counseling, Mandy. Your little miracles, remember? If you let others help and guide you, you can then begin to heal. It takes a lot of hard work to ride out your pain. It’s so deep, we begin to wonder if it will ever surface. It’s so deep, it scars us, turns us into people we are not proud of. The pain needs to be released in order to heal, it has to be.
It’s up to you if you want to do this. You can go into your counselor’s office with either a good or a bad attitude. You can tell yourself this is a waste of time, or you can tell yourself your worthy of investing this time. You are, and you know it…
Take a soft rubber ball with you. When you are feeling anxious, upset or angry, squeeze it hard. Hurt something else, not yourself. Hold onto that ball for dear life, let your words flow as you squeeze harder and harder. Your words have to come, they just have too. Do whatever it takes. If you need a diversion while you talk, that’s okay.
Mandy, somehow I can’t picture you bouncing off walls. Perhaps try bouncing that rubber ball you take, off the counselors walls. Just make sure you don’t hit one of her diplomas. *Smiles* that wouldn’t be good. Just hang in there, okay? You can do this. You’ve survived so much already. You can survive this too.
Don’t be down on yourself. Be more patient, give yourself time. It took a lifetime to become the person you are, changes will come in time. You have to be willing to give yourself that time, deal?
I’m glad you realize drinking isn’t the answer to diminishing your pain. Sometimes we think drinking will make us feel good, forget our memories. Sometimes drinking has the opposite effect. We become more depressed, feeling things tenfold. Do something that makes you happy instead. Pamper yourself, do something special just for you. You deserve it and so much more.
I think you need to stop this self abuse you are inflicting on yourself hon. Mandy, you’re not stupid and you are definitely not useless. If you need to cry, cry! Don’t ever feel stupid for crying. Crying is the healthiest thing you can do. It releases pain, anger, and fear. It cleanses the soul, so to speak.
I’m a crier. I always have been. I feel so good once I’ve had my cry. I never feel stupid for crying. It’s a part of who I am. I’ve accepted that I am sensitive and always will be.
It doesn’t mean you’re not strong if you cry, Mandy. It means you have courage. Crying is a part of life. If you feel the urge to cry, let your tears flow, let them come. It will do you a world of good. Crying means you are letting go, you are releasing your pain in a healthy way. Crying shows inner-strength, because facing your fear isn’t always easy. Talking, sharing what’s deep inside you takes courage. If tears are a part of sharing your courage, then so be it. Have the courage to cry. Don’t hide them, don’t stop them. You must cry oceans before they become streams. I know I have.
Mandy, let go of your fear, let go of your shame. Drop your barriers, just let go. Remember your kids, remember where you were before. Remember you don’t want to be there again. Envision where you want to be in a year’s time. You need to hold onto your dreams in order to live better tomorrows. Hold onto your little miracles, hold onto them tight and never let go.