(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)
My major coping method of survival from abuse was not to feel. When the emotional level got heavy, I went numb. I didn't do that consciously, but it was my way to handle the trauma of childhood. Once I became aware that numbing was what I did, I also realized that I needed to feel my pain—to re-experience the hurts of my past—if I wanted to be free from the past.
Here's how I did it and this may work for others. Each day I said, "I feel my feelings." I usually looked into the mirror and spoke to my image. I wanted that message to get into my core being.
Although I hadn't talked to a therapist or a pastor, I sensed that facing the hurts and feeling them once again was a step I had to take.
It took months before I became aware of how I felt; it took even longer before I fully accepted the abuse of my childhood. It took years before I knew I had been healed. It wasn't easy and it hurt. At times I felt alone, unloved, unwanted, unworthy—and many negative emotions flooded through my soul.
Each time I felt my emotions, the pain seemed to lessen a little. Now, years later, I can honestly feel my emotions.