The Life-Changing Therapy That Healed 20 Years of Trauma

the road to recovery is hopeful

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Author. Photo by TNP Photography.

Some of us will tap into our resiliency and bounce back from the experience.

Some of us will experience what psychologists would call post-traumatic growth where we see positive growth afterward such as appreciation for life, purpose and relationships.

I was struggling with depression and haunted by the nightmares of my past.

Secrets hold power over us.

I walked with the secret of being sexually abused by my father for a long time.

I would tip-toe around the darkness of the abuse in my therapy sessions.

I thought in time it would go away or that I was doomed to simply be haunted by it forever.

I realized that I was suffering because the past was unclear to me.

I felt stuck.

There is freedom on the other side of fear.

After feeling stuck and spinning my wheels in therapy, my therapist suggested we try a new form of therapy called prolonged exposure therapy.

Each therapy session I would share with her one of the most traumatizing sexual abuse memories with my father.

I would repeat it out loud in detail for the duration of our session while we recorded it.

It was emotional, intense, exhausting and enlightening.

At times I found myself wanting to avoid the therapy.

The road to recovery is hopeful.

Each session I sobbed a little less and discovered more.

I realized that it never had to do anything with me.

It wasn’t my fault.

I realized that my voice is powerful and when I speak, write, create, people listen to me.

I came here to do big things in the world and I am by sharing my story.

The therapy taught me that when we are ready to face our darkness there are people who will love us through it and guide us gently back to safe waters.

I have a different relationship now to my past where I don’t avoid talking about it because of shame.

I actually get excited to share who I am and what I came from.

My past is a part of me now in a way that I can admire who I am and what great feats I have overcome.

We can’t undo what has been done to us but we can grow from it in astonishing ways.

The human spirit is designed to thrive.

Self-help & mental health writer. Can't do small talk. Mama. Yogi. Coffee lover. Nature explorer. Get my free meditation mini-course here: www.emilystroia.com

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