It has been several months since I wrote an update on the progress of my book “Phoenix Rising: Healing from Sexual Abuse through Spirituality.” For those of you who were following this and are still interested, this is the lowdown…

I completed the first part “Just Trying to Survive” about a month ago. I believed I was over the most difficult part of the book since it is here where I outline as many of the abusive events from my childhood that I can recall. However, as I began to pen the second chapter, I found myself overwhelmed by the emotional pain which was unearthed. This section is all about the ways in which my development as a human being was arrested (i.e. held back) by the abuse and its aftereffects (yes…this chapter has the same title as the article you are currently reading).

The first thing I expressed in detail at this stage was the “mangled sense of trust” I grew up with which negatively affected every area of my life. I began to feel such a heavy sadness as I continued to write this chapter that after a while, I could no longer ignore it. I stopped working on the book and began to focus on what was really going on with me…then I had a revelation about this profound, pervasive sense of loss that I was going through – it was the pain of having missed out on such an important part of the human experience for most of my life – trust.

I did deal with this issue in therapy many years ago but it was sort of glossed over at the time as I was in the throws of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety attacks that felt like coronaries…I was simply too busy surviving.

Even though I am no longer in survival mode, I need time out to heal, to grieve for the lack of trust in my life and for the person I would have been without the experience of such severe trauma. As I undergo this process the compassion I feel for myself deepens with every passing day. I really didn’t believe this was possible until now. It is the light at the end of that proverbial dark tunnel.

As I continue my journey and until further notice, the ‘development’ of this project has been temporarily ‘arrested.’

Helen