My roots, where I began, where not the nourishing beginning required, for any young, tender life ~ be that child, or flower.

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Growing up in a house that’s walls held dark secrets from the rest of the world, I learnt early on “that what happened at home, stayed at home.”

I guess because no one from the outside world ever raised an eyebrow, or a look of concern, (not even those whom attended to our “accidents” at A&E”) and because of the simple fact that it was bad manners “to speak unless spoken to” and certainly not my place to question the actions of my parents, I believed our daily life was normal and that although they may not have ever said it, they loved my brothers and I.

My story of healing childhood sexual trauma and all the behaviours that seem to come as part of that package, is not unique.

There are many adults who have the same unhealthy foundations in the world. 

And many of us knew way too early in life, not how to flourish, but how to survive.

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golden flourish

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As a young woman I believed myself to be doing just what I was supposed to do.

No one really told me otherwise or questioned my obvious desire to self sabotage, or even took me to one side to say I was worth more than what I was allowing for my life.

It was still reinforced in me down the end of the phone that I was “Devil’s spawn”. I was bad and that’s what bad people had to bear in life.

Something was always lurking like a shadow behind me. I feared going to bed alone in the dark. I feared the bedtime routine of brushing my teeth and washing my face.

But hey, didn’t everybody?!

So life plodded on.

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I had babies, got married, cleaned the house, did all the things she told me I was good enough for and did not look any further into the world.

Not even into the faces of the shadows.

At 32 years of age, after years of severe illness, almost costing my life. I had been attending to my body in new ways and was delving more and more into Tantra and Yoga.

I was taking notice of my body with different eyes and I guess that’s why they started…

Flashbacks.

A disjointed mist of images, yet filling me with sensations I somehow knew.

My brother thousands of miles away from me in Canada… not telling a soul, was experiencing the same episodes, at the same time.

And they continued.

No invitation.

No specific trigger.

Slowly recalling and piecing things together.

It seemed my body did not have the strength to hold the memories it had protected me from, any more.

I went through disbelief, to regularly questioning my sanity. I ate daily doses of shame and self blame. My world was chaos.  My marriage failed.

Until I landed overwhelmed and petrified, back into the warmth of denial.

It was easier to escape with pills. I wasn’t ready!

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golden flourish

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And then one afternoon, he was sitting in my kitchen, visiting occasionally, as he did.

My daughter bounded in. The spitting image of me at her age.

He looked at her in a way I knew, yet didn’t know how.

He then caught me watching and looked me in the eye.

In that simple exchange, I saw recognition and fear in his face.

I knew.

And he knew, I knew.

That was the last time I saw him.

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golden flourish

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I would never have believed then, what I am writing to you now.

That I would have found and tasted such beauty, such medicine in the daily poison I was fed as a small girl.

I had to dig deep into the shit of my internal self and give myself permission to question everything!

Of course there were days, months even that I totally fucked up and bailed out. But those times got fewer and the gaps between wider.

I had to believe and as I write this, I guess I always had to believe there was goodness.

Shifting through all the layers of thick, stodgy darkness, to find a spark of something beautiful.

And that beauty was me.

The innocence that held true and hid away untainted. The truth of me, before I took on what was their hell, as my own, like a little thirsty baby sponge.

I have learnt I have so much love that beats not only in my heart, but through my veins.

I have learnt I have what seems an unlimited resource of courage and a deep compassion for life.

I have learnt forgiveness was not actually to make them feel better, but to free myself.

I have a depth of love for my body, that brings a smile into my eyes. This brave miracle that has suffered so much and yet still holds me, still breaths life.

I feel I want to say to anyone still caged by the dark shadows, waking up to the past as a faithful companion, that you are more than that.

I am sorry that sounds so old and cliche.

It is simply that you are!

But You are going to have to dig Your hands deep into your pockets and chuck away all the bullshit that festers there.

Allow yourself to feel into your body, your bones. Let your body free to thrive from a past that does not still have to be so alive and happening.

It happened.

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You have a choice now to continue to let your childhood to eat away the whole of your life.

Why give our abusers our adult life as well?

Trust that heart of courage you have.

Yes, the one that has got you this far!

And explore for yourself, your medicine in the poison.

I promise you, you are there.

Just has the Lotus shines bright from the depths of the murky waters.

And just as beautiful roses grow out of shit.

So too, can you.

michelle roberton sexual trauma therapist-brighton