The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Sometimes, while reading, playing with my kids, working, laughing with a friend, or talking with my guy, a sudden gesture, word, memory, or even a smell transported me back to a frightening time. I found myself stuck between two worlds; the one I inhabited as a child – which at least for the moment inhabited me – and the present. At that instant, it was difficult to discern which one was real.

As I surf many survivor blogs, I am struck by the number of times I read the word **triggers**. In fact, the trigger warning seems to be rather common place today. Sadly, common means many.

It’s good to know that we are not alone; it is sad to know that so many have endured similar pain.

It’s good to see so many breaking their silence and healing; it’s sad to see that so many need to heal.

It’s good to know my experience doesn’t separate me from humanity like I thought for so long, but rather connects me to humanity in so many ways.

After suffering from terrifying triggers for decades, I can’t remember the last time I felt triggered. I do still have memories, but they feel in the past rather than the present. Sometimes, I get sad and mourn for the little girl of long ago. I feel compassion for myself and empathy for others. And sometimes, I even get angry. But, for the first time in my life, I feel safe.

There is hope!


Anonymous said...

It's a particular music album for me, the recording my abusive mother played, obsessively, for years. She created an entire world-view around this album, a fictitious old-fashioned family structure which formed the justification for her abuse.

Fortunately that music is obscure today and I rarely hear it. When I do, it doesn't trigger angst anymore, but does trigger a stark realization of how utterly dysfunctional my family was, and far I've moved beyond that horrible phase of my life.

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Music is very powerful and was undoubtedly a potent trigger.

It takes a great deal of hard work to place the "horrible phases" of our life in the rear view mirror.

Thank you for sharing your hopeful progress!

Tamara (TC) Staples said...

Thank you for the post that there is hope. I have been feeling quite strong the last week or so and have managed to truly deal with so many of the feelings about the abuse. I haven't been triggered lately either. There is still a fear that it is going to get me when I least expect it!

AbuseAndForgiveness said...


I’m so glad that you are feeling stronger and have had time to deal with some of your feelings. I’ve been following you on many other blogs and your energy and enthusiasm for healing is inspiring! I can’t believe how far you have come in such a short period of time. Good stuff!

I hope you are not too disheartened if and when you find yourself triggered again. Sometimes, I went long periods feeling peaceful when out of nowhere something buried me. I became so discouraged, because it felt like a giant step backwards.

It took me a while to realize that each time I became re-gripped with pain, it wasn’t that I wasn’t making any progress; on the contrary; I was healing at a deeper level. Each level was dependent on my prior healing steps and an unconscious rest in between to refuel for the next step. Although each “round” was tough, I did take heart that I was going deeper and coming closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.