Nothing has impacted my healing as much as relationships with other people.
Last night I was reminded of this all over again.
My husband and I were at our small group dinner. There were fewer of us than usual, with several of our members out of town. We sat around eating soup, chips, avocado, and watermelon, and talking about church and life. After dessert (a pumpkin bundt cake -- I'll share the recipe later!), we moved into the sitting room to continue talking.
I'm not sure how it happened, but people began sharing a bit of their histories and life stories. I listened as people told about their children and then the stories would segue to family of origin. One thing led to another and I was sharing my history. Not all the gory details but more than my standard quick and dirty version. I was crocheting as I talked and I never looked up from my work (a typical avoidance technique I use). There were a few comments, but mostly what I felt was stunned silence.
Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the host's daughter, so I never really found out what anyone thought or felt about my revelations. The group dispersed and I found myself walking to the car in a daze, knotting my hands in my purse strap. Sitting in the car, my husband expressed concern that I would begin to doubt myself. We talked a bit about what had just happened. I tried to quell the rising anxiety that always comes with revealing my past to new people.
Other people had shared difficult pasts as well, and I knew I felt no differently about them. I knew I was glad that our group had moved into a deeper level of knowing one another, but it was difficult to quiet the old tapes in my head -- the ones that tell me I won't be believed; that I'll be shunned; that the world will come crashing down.
At home, I moved into my standard coping and relaxing mechanisms, worrying than I wouldn't be able to sleep. But sleep came fairly easily with only 1 or 2 bad dreams.
Healing is a constant, on-going process. Building and maintaining relationships are part of the path.
I guess I placed another stone last night.
This is day 5 in Write 31 Days