A couple of weeks ago, I shared the first part of my journey of healing from the mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my alcoholic parents. It was not until I started undergoing therapy for my own alcoholism that the healing process began.
Therapy was extremely important for me, because for a very long time I didn’t acknowledge what had happened to me when I was a child. And deep down inside, I had believed it was my fault. It’s obvious that I was more than a little mixed up, to say the least!
Finding the right therapist to work with is crucial. It was important to me to work with a therapist who was familiar with the 12-Step Program. The Program was a vital part of my journey at that time, so I needed to work with someone who was “in tune” with the steps.
It took time for me to build trust with my therapist, but I was determined to “fix” myself. I laugh at myself as I write this, because I now know that it is all part of my journey…part of the Divine Plan. As we delved deeper into my issues, my therapist did something that felt awkward at first, but it helped me become whole again. She validated to me that what I experienced was horrifying. Initially, I had been unable to even acknowledge that the abuse had affected me. I would talk about it without feeling; with a sense of detachment, even, as if it happened to someone else. As I told her of the terrible incidents, she would yell out “Those bastards” or “How dare they treat you like that” or “What was wrong with them.”
At first I thought it odd that she was getting all riled up, but it wasn’t long before her acting out started to resonate with me and I began to feel the pain of what had happened to me. I realized that she was feeling my pain on my behalf, until I could begin feeling it on my own. I was in the beginning stages of healing from the abuse I had experienced as a child growing up with alcoholic parents.
As I worked with my therapist, I also worked with psycho drama groups and other such modalities. Over the next several years, as I went through those healing stages, I was able to separate myself from the abuse most of the time. I also began taking better care of myself. Most of all, I began to like myself and acknowledged that I am a smart guy…and a good man.
Next time, I’ll share some of the final steps I took toward healing… in Ireland, of all places!
To learn more about Michael Hoare and Ah-Man, visit here.