The Courageous Wounded Healer
When Our Wounds Cease to Be a Source of Shame, and Become a Source of Healing, We Have Become Wounded Healers – Henri Nouwen
When Our Wounds Cease to Become a Source of Shame…
…wow! think of this! I am a Wounded Healer. Yes. Because I’ve overcome much that has caused me pain and shame in my life I share that pain and shame with others. The first time I ever shared my story of being a battered woman who survived, abused wife, I was scared to reveal the truth, but I did it with the hope that doing so might give one other woman hope and belief that she did not deserve abuse; that my sharing my pain might save one life. While I meant “save one life” literally as in support the woman to get out before she gets killed there is more than one way to save a life. The “walking dead” is to me who a person might become if she chooses to stay in an abusive situation and not leave it. All that talent and potential buried under pain and shame. (I know there are also abused men and have sympathy for them as well, but I write from a woman’s perspective because that is what I know.)
Below read the excellent blog post that inspired today’s writing.
In fact after I began publicly speaking about having survived domestic abuse many women came to me thanking me for sharing and they told me that hearing me speak at another time gave them courage to leave their situation, and thanked me for being brave. That was so deeply moving to me that as time when on I began to think of writing a book about the issues I’ve survived; there are many, and only one still has tinges of shame for me. The rest I believe I’ve healed, with lots of help and support along the way.
It took me so long to begin to write that I no longer think a book from me is necessary. Just go to any book store to see shelves and shelves filled with self-help books, psychology, healing, spirituality, addiction, domestic violence, childhood abuse, incest, alcohol addiction, food addiction, co-dependency, cancer, accepting being gay, baby adoption. Choose your issue. Check out the library. Google it, even. It is all there. Anything I’d write has already been said – it would be redundant.
I often wonder how many people read my blog posts and judge me as in “how could she publically write about such private, personal things”? or “I don’t think such things should be talked about openly, don’t air your dirty laundry, keep it behind closed doors” etc. Or those who’ve been there might say “so much negativity” or some other judgement. I’d say to all of them “it is a process. I am healing, I am not healed. We can only share what we know.” So I’m not qualified to write about what others may know that I haven’t yet learned.
Also make no mistake. The reason things are kept hidden is: Shame!
Who I am? I am a woman, mother, granddaughter, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, nurse, retired, writer, depressive, incest survivor, domestic violence survivor, suicidality survivor, abuse survivor, abuser, lesbian, poodle owner, alcoholic, food addict, co-dependent, empath with narcissistic tendencies and perhaps more that I’ve momentarily forgotten. My one goal I claim in life is to move beyond surviving to thriving and radiant life. The quality of my life is much improved from when I was in my 20s and often went to work with black eyes and bruises showing on my body. I am a Reiki Practitioner. I am Courageous. I am Grateful. Many of my days I now experience Actual Radiance; What a Journey!