Is This Healthy?

Once I locked Luke away in his own little compartment, I started thinking about whether it was healthy or not:

I’m a bit worried that I’m still too good at shutting things down though.  I’ll have to talk to Liz about it tomorrow.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  It’s such a shame that I don’t know what is healthy in this situation.  It feels like it is my only option if I want to stay sane.  I have so many compartments in my head.  So many things locked away that I just can’t deal with right now.  I thought today that maybe I’ll empty some of them and feed them to Fluffy.  ha ha ha

I’ve also decided I’ve done enough in my sexual healing journey too.  That went into another compartment.  I think it is enough to know that my body isn’t broken.  Obviously, my mind still is.  I’ve been successful a few times but then I lay here and sob afterwards.  It just isn’t worth it to me anymore to cry like that.  I need to shut down my body.  I feel like I’m shutting everything down but I just can’t keep this up.  

Maybe I can look at it as a break.  I need to get off the journey and just rest for a bit.  I think it is enough to know that I made great strides and I just can’t keep this pace up anymore.  I’m going to keep journaling but I can’t read anymore.  I can’t process anything else right now.

Back to Fluffy.  I’m barely aware of his presence anymore.  I think I’ve buried him deeper than ever.  He seems very distant, almost like I’m not that aware of him at all most times.  I think my biggest fear with Fluffy is that I’ll forget all about him because I’ve buried him so deeply and he’ll come roaring awake and make a break for the surface before I even realize he’s escaped his cage.  

I know how strong and powerful Fluffy really is.  I’m just not sure what he’s capable of – what I’m capable of.  Right now the only scenario I can imagine waking Fluffy would be if Bubba tried to physically hurt me or the kids.  If that would ever happen I dont think I’d try to contain him.  I will defend myself and kids and I have a feeling the only way I’d be able to successfully defend us would be to let Fluffy loose.  The only time in my life when Fluffy was actually loose was when the asshole called and broke up with me from Israel. (Asshole was the man I dated before Bubba.)  And Fluffy was just a kitten back then and he’s grown so large because he’s been well-fed for 20 years.  I don’t want Fluffy to ever get loose.  I have to find a way to deal with Fluffy.  Maybe someday.

I did end up talking to Liz about all of this at that week’s counseling session.  She actually thought it was a good thing to take a break.  She said she’d never known anyone like me before.  I was so determined to heal that I wasn’t letting anything stand in my way.  I’d avoided the sex issue for as long as I could stand then I just jumped in with both feet.  That is how I did everything.  

I would do a lot of internal processing, a lot of writing and talking about it with my friends, then one day, I would just decide I was ready to tackle it.  Liz never worried about me because she knew that if she gave me homework, I’d definitely come back with not only the assignment completed, but also three more steps done.  She said that most times she had to scramble to find homework for me because I’d already done whatever step she was going to assign for that week.  

As I worked through issues, I just knew, somehow, what I was and was not ready to deal with.  For me, it would get to a point where I would just decide that I was going to take back my power over whatever issue I was struggling with.  That didn’t mean that BOOM! I was fixed in a moment.  It just meant that I knew it was time to work on that issue and I wasn’t going to let fear or uncertainty or anything stand in the way of my getting healthy.

This also didn’t mean that once I’d dealt with an issue it stayed “dealt with.”  

There’ve been so many layers of ick that I’ve had to work through for most of these issues that I can’t possibly see them all.  I just peel away the layers like the layers of an onion and work on what is revealed to me.  Once I have that layer peeled away, I work on the next layer – or I take a break from that one and move on to the next onion and work on whatever layer is exposed.

As it turns out, I have a lot of onions.  I move between them as they demand or as I choose.  

I found the answer to my question.  Yes, the way I was healing was healthy – at least for me.  I had a very good grasp on where I was, what issues needed to be worked on and when, and a goal.  For me, taking a break was a good thing.  I knew, absolutely, that I would end the break when I was ready to get back to work.  I know myself well enough to understand that I would never be content to stagnate.  

I had (and still have) a driving need to heal but sometimes a well-earned break is necessary.


  1. Cantata

    I completely and totally identify with this post. I need to heal like I need to continue breathing. There are so many onions, a few I’m not sure I know what to do with yet. I started working on my “going back to church after spiritual abuse” onion, and made it to church once, but I’m not quite ready to go every Sunday yet.

    I am loving and hating my healing journey. Loving because I see how far I have come already, and hating because I have so far to go, and the more I heal, the more Satan wants to pile on for me to deal with.

    • I had to respond to your comment about church. Everyone’s journey is different, but I want to give you a little comfort that attending church every week isn’t the only way to heal spiritually. For me, Sir was a pastor, so that only compounded the spiritual abuse. It was three years before I could attend any church at all without having a panic attack, or cutting my palms with my fingernails from the fists I was clenching. I tried a few times, but finally I stopped and told God he was going to have to teach me Himself. Once I let him help me get past the guilt I felt over not going, I grew more spiritually in those three years I quit going than I ever had before. Now I’m back at church and helping to lead out. Your journey may include church or a break from church or just studying with friends to keep a good connection going. I am a very big proponent of attending church for all the benefits it can bring. Just don’t be afraid to let The Lord lead you in ways you wouldn’t expect. I shall pray for you to find and be successful in this particular area of your journey.

      • Thank you. I had been thinking about church again this past week. I found another reason that I’m not willing to attend church right now. I still have massive body boundaries in place and people in churches around here like to hug. I don’t want strangers invading my personal space and I’ve realized in the past week that I still can’t defend my body boundaries. I freeze. Then I feel very violated. It’s just another thing I need to work through.

        I love God so very much. I miss having a body of believers to worship Him with. But I have to work through the issues I have with church before I can think about going back. Even now when I hear an ad for a church or something Christian related, I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t trust people not to twist God’s words. I will go back to church again someday. I just trust God to lead me there when it is time.

    • YES! My healing journey is also a mixed bag. I don’t recognize the woman I was when I left Bubba. I like me now! I know that in another year I’ll look back at the me I am today and not recognize her either. Healing is the hardest work I’ve ever done. Some days it is simply overwhelming and I just want to quit. I just know I don’t have that option.

      I’m glad you were able to go to church! I try once every few months but it still leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. I hope you are able to start attending more and more as time goes on.

      Stay strong! Keep up the good fight! Keep healing! It is so worth it!

  2. I called it compartmentalizing. Everything had its compartment and they didn’t touch. How explosive that could be! As time passed, the contents of some of those compartments could share space and become one idea. I had a friend who was very concerned about how unhealthy that was (I was on the road constantly from one friend/family member to the next, so a counselor wasn’t possible). I told her I had to wrap my mind around each thing for what it was before I could put it in its own space in my mind. If I didn’t, everything would turn to chaos, and I was finally moving OUT of chaos. My mind was finally my own and I could put things as close together or as far apart as they needed to be. Fortunately, I was strong enough to appreciate my friend’s concern and also know she wrong. The compartments were very healthy for me. I still have compartments. It’s how I organize things in my mind so I can deal with different things at appropriate times. I just don’t rely on them as much as I did then.

    • Thank you for sharing that! I never cease to be amazed at the brain’s ability to protect itself. I’m so glad you found a coping mechanism that has worked so well for you. As I heal, it is getting harder and harder to compartmentalize things that need to be locked away. I’m still finding new compartments that I didn’t even know existed. It’s very crowded in my brain. 😉

      Our brains will protect us from too much pain. We each find our own way to walk this road. It just still amazes me how wonderfully God designed us.

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