Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Perspective (Part 1 of 2)

(This post comes from Dann Youle.)

I felt my sexual abuse caused pain that had no resolution. It seemed like the more I tried to get rid of the pain, the more my heart ached. I felt once again like that "little boy lost." Each time it was if I were feeling it for the first time. That continued to be the way I felt each time I was aware of it; it’s the way I still feel when I remember.

Something changed over time, though, and that’s been my perspective on the pain.

For the past 13 years, I’ve been aware that I was abused after my conscious mind had buried it for almost 30 years. I didn’t have a very good perspective on the pain or know what to do with it. Being a person who very much believes that God can use anything in our lives to make us stronger, I still found that this anything didn’t seem to have much use in mine or anyone else’s life.

It seemed to be this monster that would rear its big, ugly head from time to time. I don’t know when the change took place, but I remember the first time I realized my perspective was changing.

I work for an organization that takes care of people at the end of life, and I do direct patient care. If anyone talks about pain, these people have it: physical, emotional, and spiritual. I wondered what was different about the way patients dealt with their multi-faceted pain. Once I started on my journey of discovery, I realized that those who had made their peace with whomever or whatever they needed to, their pain lessened. There was much more acceptance of what they were facing. However, those who hadn’t made their peace were generally bitter, and had a much harder time accepting the reality of their situation.

The lesson for me has been that sometimes I still let the pain of my abuse make me bitter. When that happens I can’t make peace with anyone. I’m miserable and everybody around me knows it. More often, however, I focus on trying to let it make me better.

When that happens, I’m more at peace and I can fully engage and enjoy life in ways that, even as an almost-50-year-old man, I have never experienced before. And that's definitely a better perspective.

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