Thank You Heartache!

Everything went wrong at such a young age. I grew up at the hand of heartache. Not at the hand of love, safety, or instruction. Sorrow came early. Heartache taught me life’s lessons. I sat at the feet of sorrow and watched life from a distance.

There is a part of me that has wanted to deny it all. As if I didn’t embrace it or fully acknowledge it, it would not be so. Inside I think I have been pleading and bartering with life itself shouting internally, “No, no, no, please tell me it is not so.” It has kept a great distance between my conscious awareness, my reality, and the truth I hide inside. That is a conflict that does not allow peace to exist inside of me. It hasn’t worked out too well, not in the long term.

It causes a myriad of problems. You live your life hiding from others, but more importantly from yourself. There is always an awareness that there is something wrong with you. And nothing makes you more aware of this than to experience things that should bring joy and you can’t feel it.

I have been wondering lately about the epidemic of abuse against (mostly) women and children. And what the long term impact is going to be for us as a society. There has to be a way out of all of this damage. I am aware that if you receive love and support early on, it makes a huge impact on one’s ability to function. But that is not the case for most victims. Most of us have lived lives that are riddled with more abuse and abandonment in our lives, and these just keep reinforcing the beliefs we already have.

Predators prey on vulnerability. But vulnerability is not the same thing as weakness. When we are vulnerable we feel weak. Predators are experts at taking our vulnerability and making us believe we are weak. This is how they gain control of our physical bodies, our emotions, and our memories. The vulnerability is real and true. But the weakness is an illusion, a manipulation.

There has to be a way out of this nightmare and endless struggle for all of us, even if no one ever shows up for us, even if those who are careless keep showing up in our lives. Our value cannot stay attached to others or what possibly may or may not come into our lives.

There has to be a way out! There has to be!

I am aware that this struggle is more like a roller coaster ride than it is a straight line. I don’t think the answer is somewhere outside of ourselves. I think it is something that is inside of us, something that never really left us. It was silenced and crushed, but mostly manipulated.

We were convinced we were weak, it was apparent when we lost control of our physical bodies. But to a large degree, we were brainwashed to believe lies about ourselves. Unfortunately, the world is full of people who are in our lives or who have come into our lives to reinforce those beliefs. But it still doesn’t make them so.

There has to be a way out! There has to be!

Our very existence as human beings may rely on us finding the answers. We need to help each other in a way that lights a fire in our souls, that won’t let us give up or give in. It is heartbreaking that family and friends can and will desert us. But the most tragic thing that happens to all of us, is never being able to show up for ourselves.

I can’t defend myself when I am hurt. It has taken me years to be able to communicate my feelings constructively with my husband. And it is only when and if I feel safe, that I can do it at all. I don’t know how we are supposed to function in a cruel world where nothing feels safe. Even when we appear normal and strong outwardly, there is often no clue to the dying inside that is taking place in the face of the slightest of insults.

There has to be a way out! There has to be!

I am trying a new strategy, since the old strategies haven’t worked out too well. I have managed to hold it together externally. But that is no real substitute for living life. I want to embrace my past, all of it. I want to lean into the struggle instead of resisting it. I want to say, “Thank you heartache, thank you sorrow.” I want to be thankful for what they taught me. What I learned from them. Who I am and what I have become because of them.

This is my life. It all is a part of who I am, of who I have become. To deny any of it would be like denying myself. I am learning to embrace the struggle and say, “Thank you heartache!”

I have been thinking a lot about the lyrics of an older song I heard not too long ago. This, coupled with the fact that I had a birthday recently, has been making me think a lot about my past. But more about my present and future.

I am tired! I am tired of the internal struggle, the pain and heartache. I am tired of my value being attached to abuse, betrayal, and loss. I am tired of my value being attached to others, to how they treat me, to their carelessness, and on, and on, and on I could go…

What I am tired the most of, is missing what is right in front of me.

I am tired!

So I have been looking inside myself. Only I can give real value to my life. And I realized that I can have heartache and have value. I can be treated unkindly and have value. I can… I can…

Don’t get me wrong, I am not grateful for the things that went wrong in my life. I am not grateful to those who harmed me. But I am grateful for what I have learned and become in spite of them all. I am thankful for the lessons learned.

I have been crying with a melting away of the focus on anything other than what I am going to do with what life has handed me. What am I going to do with what is left of me? And I am going to look at it all, all of it, and be grateful for the heartache, the silence, the aloneness. I am grateful for what it has offered me. To really know what it is I am made of.

Walking the path from abuse is personal and individual. No one, not even someone else who has walked a similar path, can lead us out of this struggle. Anyone that tries to give advice has no clue how they themselves would react, or what abuse takes away from the human spirit.

Most of the time it feels as though you are fighting a losing battle. There are too many things about society and others’ perceptions of what happened that adds to this struggle. It is a lonely walk. It is often a roller coaster ride of strength and weakness, of unexpected triggers, of being so hurt inside. It is hard to get too close to the fire of life and other people’s carelessness and expectations of where we should be or how we should be feeling.

I do get it on some level, because we get upset with ourselves for struggling. And as we heal, for some victims, it is easy to expect everyone else who is struggling to be where they are. Sometimes victims are even hard on each other. None of this is fair. And if the struggle wasn’t enough, all of this contributes to driving us into an isolated life.

Suffering does not build character, but it is an opportunity to be taught important things about life. Maybe the most important is that no one can offer you a fight to live life to the fullest or a determination to find joy in the midst of sorrow.

Thank you heartache, thank you tears, thank you nothingness. Thank you for helping me to grab hold of the only person who can really save me from others’ cruelty. Thank you self! Thank you brokenness, thank you sorrow, thank you grief.

The song at the end is by Alanis Morissette. I am not sure what she struggled through in life or what brought her to this place. For me, it is not about forgiveness of anyone. But about no longer resisting the struggle. But rather to embrace it, lean into it, and learn from it. Life goes on with or without us.

If you have been abused, if you are broken, you have value. You have value whether anyone ever acknowledges it. The worst thing that can happen to us, is to not realize or acknowledge our own value.

One of the ways through all of this for me is to be grateful for the lessons learned. Heartache and sorrow have always been with me, and they have taught me so much. The way out is through, not around.

Probably the most amazing thing about being made to feel like nothing, is the people who make you feel that way are the weakest among us all. I don’t thank anyone who hurt me, but I thank the power of faith, I thank the power of the human spirit, and the power of love.

It is amazing, I survived! I am stronger than all of them combined. I am strong even in my brokenness, even in my weakness.

So thank you, thank you heartache. Thank you sorrow. I let go of all those who hurt me. And as they float away, I grab hold of my own hand, my own heart, and I smile through the tears!

* * * * * * *
Thank You by Alanis Morissette
(with lyrics)


15 thoughts on “Thank You Heartache!

  1. This was so difficult to read but so indicative of so many lives that have been destroyed or almost destroyed by abuse….but I find some kind of comfort and validation reading posts like this. We have felt responsible for the abuse and been blamed for so long….we think we’re alone in our struggles…then we find out that we aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and
    screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off
    topic but I had to tell someone!


  3. Blue, that is PROFOUND!

    I hope that, one day you will publish all your poems and writings (… just saying that as a side note!)

    As always other people said it better than I will ever be able to. So here are some quotes by Eckhart Tolle that you might find relevant:

    “In surrender, you no longer need ego defenses and false masks. You become very simple, very real. “That’s dangerous,” says the ego. “You’ll get hurt. You’ll become vulnerable.” What the ego doesn’t know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming “vulnerable,” can you discover your true and essential invulnerability.”
    by Eckhart Tolle

    I think that is what you will experience when you embrace and accept the past. You are an incredibly strong woman … and that is not only what you will finally consciously conclude but deeply acknowledge with your whole being. And, in fact, that is something we can and should all do.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must say, something that seems so simple and obvious has been a long road to get to. But has been a powerful shift inside of me. I do feel more in touch with myself and empowered. Thank you Jens!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was a long journey to this place. Abuse brings so much sorrow, gratefulness has opened my heart to feel joy in the midst of sorrow. I am sorry for your apparent struggle! It is nice to “meet” you!

      Liked by 1 person

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