Most of you know that I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. In my practice, people frequently come to me in intense emotional pain.
They are dealing with past hurts, current stressors and fears concerning future issues.
It is my responsibility to create a safe and comfortable environment, where they can feel free to expose everything in their hearts and mind.
This is important, because…
Healing Comes From The Individual Facing Their Truth
To heal from it, we have to deal with it.
In my recent video posting (‘Lunch with Chevonna’ video post on Facebook Live and Periscope @ChevonnaLMFT),
I gave the example of a husband and wife struggling with honest communication. I explained that:
The wife may be struggling with a need for more quality time from her husband.
The husband may be harboring frustration regarding a lack of intimacy from his wife.
They may avoid sharing these emotions and needs with one another, due to:
Fear of being misunderstand
Attempting to avoid conflict
Fear of appearing weak
Concern that bringing it up may make it worse
The reality is, it may very well get worse, before it gets better.
However, for things to change, there has to be change.
If you are experiencing dissatisfaction, sadness, frustration, stagnation, anxiety, etc., you will have to face the real problems and make changes, for things to get better.
Individuals that have actively participated in 12-step programs can attest to this truth. In these programs, it is stated that one of the most effective strategies for recovering from any addiction is making appropriate changes to people, places and things.
So, lets get back to our couple.
They could attempt to hide their true desires, but it is very likely that the hidden emotions would still be revealed.
Their underlying feelings could be revealed through:
The husband becoming more distant, further exacerbating the wife’s hunger for more quality time
The wife being more agitated and punitive, further impacting their intimacy
Both parties becoming impatient and moody with one another
These breeches in communication could eventually lead to infidelity or the overall demise of the relationship.
Additionally, both parties may begin to even experience physical symptoms, like:
changes in appetite
all due to avoiding their truth.
Fighting through the uncomfortable conversations, potential embarrassment and shame, by revealing their honest emotions to one another, may be worth it to avoid all of the other negative consequences.
Let’s take thi deeper…
Sexual victimization of vulnerable individuals is an atrocity faced by too many people on a daily basis. I will not bore you with big numbers and statistics, because they don’t matter anyway. 1 rape, 1 child molestation or 1 human trafficking incident is too many!
Most victims do not share their truth, due to fear of the backlash. Yes, we live in a rape culture where victim blaming is rampant. Often the process of disclosing, investigation and prosecution can be traumatic and humiliating. Loved ones may not believe and relationships may be severed, but hiding the truth is equally, if not more, damaging:
Survivors of abuse may choose self-deprecating activities to cope, such as addiction, risky behaviors and even tragically succumbing to suicide
Survivors may face ongoing suffering from flashbacks and emotional challenges associated with the abuse
The perpetrator may remain free to continue the pattern of abuse with others
A courageous young lady, named Aleesha Barlow, has a movement called Tell Somebody (www.ItsTimeToTellSomebody.com) that empowers survivors of sexual abuse to tell their story in a public forum. The horrific pain in their stories may bring tears to your eyes, but Telling Somebody empowers them. Strength is proclaimed in their declarations of freedom from past abuse.
If you are running from your true feelings, whether it’s as extreme as the pain of abuse or as simple as unresolved conflict, I encourage you to:
(1) Spend some time alone to connect with your true feelings through meditation, connecting with nature or listening to music
(2) Find a safe person and share your feelings with them
(3) You can also write your feelings in a journal, but I believe there is great power in verbalization
I believe in your power to heal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this BLOG. Feel free to share it with others.
To connect with me, use the following:
Instagram, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope: @ChevonnaLMFT