One of the blogs I follow, Good Time Stories, posted “Coping With Grief and the Shipwrecks of Life.”
Abuse survivors struggle with grief on a variety of levels. As victims, we weren’t allowed to grieve, except as given permission. We were told what to grieve, how to grieve, how long to grieve. We were never allowed to own our grief.
One of the toughest things for me to face was my own grief. I didn’t believe I had the right. After all, I should be grateful I had a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear. I wasn’t a starving child in China.
Unless a performance was needed, which was a whole different level of crazy. It also needed to be grieved.
I’ll never forget my surprise when my counselor told me I’d grieve for the rest of my life the loving relationship I’d never have with my parents. Something told me I should be dismayed, horrified, angry. Instead, a wave of relief washed over me. He wasn’t telling me to work through it and get over it.
He gave me permission to accept what I already recognized. Events would occur in my life where I would be forced to face the lack of healthy parental support. This was before I made my first attempt to be published, but the idea was scratching at my brain. I had no illusions it would include a wide variety of events in my life.
He also explained that the grief would pop up at unexpected times. I would see other families and recognize what I lacked. He assured me that my grief would be healthy for the simply reason that I recognized the loss.
Bless the man who shared his perspective. It’s one I want to embrace. Here’s to facing the waves and diving in with all my heart.