While some survivors have no problem expressing emotions like anger or fear, many of us grew up hiding our emotions. Others among us found it too painful to feel at all, and learned how to completely disconnect from our emotions. In childhood, that disconnection helped us to survive. But today, as adults, it keeps us from thriving. Reconnecting to our emotions is an important part of our healing process.
On this page:
Managing our anger
Letting go of shame
Honouring our grief
Managing our anger ..
In their book, "The Courage to Heal", Ellen Bass and Laura Davis describe anger as the backbone of healing. Too many of us think of anger as a negative emotion. But anger is not bad: it tell us something is wrong that needs to be righted. Our anger can tell us that we are afraid, hurt, frustrated, or indignant about an injustice. And it is only when anger is expressed unhealthily, or totally repressed, does it have negative effects.
Letting go of shame ..
I am not ashamed of the fact that I was abused; rather I believe that the shame of the abuse lies with the abusers and with those who did not stop them.
Honouring our grief ..
Many survivors have a hard time crying. I'm one of them. Perhaps we are afraid that once we start crying, we may never stop. But, like repressed anger, those held-back tears can corrode.
What Is Grief?