You are authentic.
This is why it is so hard to understand the process you just went through in your trauma and abuse.
Toxic relationships have a way of making a truly authentic person feel as if they have betrayed themselves and failed.
This is because in your authenticity, you have sought to put blame to yourself;
you have sought to find some way of being responsible for what has happened, because if you are responsible, it means you can do something to fix it.
During the time of enduring abuse and trauma, you defended yourself.
You acted in ways that surprised yourself.
You cried yourself to sleep wondering what has become of you; do you even know yourself anymore?
This is called mirrored toxicity; you mirrored your abuser's toxicity as a defense mechanism.
This does not mean that you are at fault, or that you are the same as your abuser.
It means your brain was triggered into fight, flight, or freeze mode and you responded as your brain was wired to do so.
Abuse has a way of making truly authentic people feel as if they are disjointed from themselves; because an authentic person will feel so inauthentic in moments of mirrored toxicity, it attacks your belief system - about yourself.
This is about the unbecoming.
Dear survivor, this is not about becoming a better version of yourself - this is not about becoming someone new, or feeling as if you will never be the same person you were before the abuse (because you never can be, and that is not a negative thing).
This is about unbecoming what your toxic environment cultivated you to become.
This is about stopping being everything you are not and truly remembering who you are.
This is about embracing every season of yourself and in the unbecoming, as those toxic traits start to melt away, understanding that every version of you is part of the bigger picture.
Every version of who you have been, before the abuse, during the abuse, and after the abuse are brush strokes of the painting that IS you.
Unravel the idea that you have to "go back" to the way you were before the abuse.
Unravel the belief that you are fragmented and in need of being pieced back together.
Unravel the inner narrative that demands perfection; unbecome the toxicity in which you were once incubated in by allowing yourself the grace, mercy, and love to grow beyond who you once were and blossom into the next stage of who you have always been are were created to be: beloved.
Dear survivor, your truest and most authentic self is beloved.
Unbecome the belief that you need to attain wholeness; because, the truth, dear survivor, is that all you need to do is embrace your beloved identity, and you will understand that you were never broken.
You were merely transitioning.
*Fun Mental Health Fact*:
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to change, heal, and grow.
Our brains are malleable and extremely susceptible to change from outside and inside factors.
By detoxing our thoughts and our mindsets (our repeated patterns of thoughts), we can detox the damage done in our brains from our experiences of trauma and abuse and literally unlearn, or "un-teach" our brain how to automatically respond to stress.
We can detox our thoughts and by so doing, detox our brains from toxicity, and by so doing, detox our entire bodies from the consequences of the trauma and abuse we endured by simply being consistent in our every-day practices.
I highly recommend Dr. Caroline Leaf's book, "Switch On Your Brain" that includes her 21-day brain detox method to every single survivor that I counsel. This book greatly helped me in the early days of my training to be a counselor, as well as the early days of my healing process as a survivor of abuse.
Dear Survivor, you can heal and detox your brain!
Stay tuned for next month's encouragement: Beloved Means Secure - and learn how healing your brain through healing your thoughts can bring you into a more peaceful, more secure way of life!
Check out last month's article: Dear Survivor: You Are Whole