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The purpose of Brooke’s blog is to share helpful tips and tools for inner exploration.

Breaking through the darkness

Today’s blog is probably the most personal one I’ve ever written. I’m taking out the skeletons for everyone to see. As I rip off this wall of protection to reveal a personal truth, I’m left feeling a bit naked. Will people judge me, or just as bad, will they not care at all. This is the risk we take when we show our underbelly.

As a psychologist, I have seen many people who want to heal. Many of them feel stuck. They have tried hard, but they find them self in different situations, with the same patterns. In desperation some people come to me in the hope that I can wave my magic wand so that their life is forever fixed. Finally, they can be happy. Hopefully in 5 sessions max.

In my experience, no one can magically fix your life, or make you happy. We make ourselves either happy or sad through the choices we make, and the thoughts we think. At least this is how it’s worked for me.

My childhood was filled with daily trauma and neglect. I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused. I didn’t go to school consistently until I was 10. I didn’t know how to read or write, so I was bullied for being stupid. I was told by how I was treated, and through words that ‘I was worth nothing’, ‘no one would ever love me’. Of course I believed them. Why wouldn’t I. Life hadn’t showed me anything different.

By the time I was a teenager I’d had enough. I’d only ever been in pain, and it all got too much. I decided to commit suicide. At the time I just couldn’t see another way out of the darkness. Luckily, someone found me and their was no permanent damage. My family wondered how I could do this to … the very person who abused me. I heard comments like ‘Hasn’t he been through enough’. I knew I was very much alone. Nobody seemed to understand, or care.

I couldn’t live in pain like this any more. Something had to change. The way I saw it, I had two choices 1.) Suicide or 2) Learn how to love myself. If I did this I could be happy, and eventually help others who had been through something similar. I chose option 2.

I didn’t have a clue how to love myself so I took it as an educational challenge. I read about, and observed those with great self esteem. Every day when I awoke I would ask myself. ‘how can I love myself, what do I need to do to heal’. I’d listen for the answers to come. Then I’d act on these hunches. Sometimes I’d eat more healthy, visit a supportive friend, do homework, rest, watch a positive movie, pray, say good bye to a bad relationship, bake. Whatever I felt I needed to do to feel good about myself, and be happy. I thought very carefully about the choices I made. Being careful, that the most likely outcome of my choice would be a good one.

How long did it take before I was consistently happy? Years. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Like anything in life success takes time and patience. But it is possible, and it’s soooo worth it. I am genuinely happy now. I have many blessings in my life. Importantly, my life is also abuse free.

If I feel down again, or have one of life’s big changes I go back to this healing method. It’s second nature to me now. When we love ourself we are motivated to do things, and be around people that fill us with joy. Life’s a lot easier like this. So today I find my bliss by sharing some of the most vulnerable part of me. Hopefully it will help at least one person. Have a wonderful day. You are loveable. You are worth loving. You have your own, special purpose for being here xo

If you are feeling very sad and need help please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are outside of Australia, you can find your local crisis line in the phone book or over the internet.

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25 Comments

  • Mary Cutts

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story .It is an amazing one that a young person whose experiences had taught her to dispise herself decided to heal buy loving herself. I am amazed how some people decide to heal! Healing seems like a very complicated subject . Everyone does it their own way! And some people just don’t seem to be able to make that decision without masses of support. You were an amazing young woman.
    I look forward to reading your book.
    I have both “worked” with survivors of child abuse and pursued my own journey for many years. I read a book on Christian healing in 1984 and prayed a prayer that God would show me if there were things that needed healing in my life and it hadn’t stopped!
    My own story was hidden. I had so split of from myself my emotions my body that I only know the story others told me: that my family was good! As I learnt about self esteem and a new kind of God that loved cared and accepted I started to realise I had never been cared for or loved in the ways a child needed. I was 37 before I even new I was supposed to love myself. The journey began! Loving myself has been the hardest part. Loving others comes easy when heat is all you’ve been taught and modelled.
    I have since read studied heaps on child abuse and healing and accompanied many on their healing journey. I am now passionate about helping workers understand trauma and the effect working with trauma has on them: to trigger their own stories.
    I still support others on their journey and pursue mine. I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT SELF CARE. Self care is the radical act of resistance to abuse!
    Warmest wishes
    Mary

    • mm
      Brooke Woon

      Hi Mary,

      Your post bought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for what you have been through. The family normalising abuse, and making the victim feel that they are the problem, or that being abused is acceptable is why the cycle of child sexual abuse continues. For you to rise above, not just your abuser (and the effect the abuse had on you), but to also rise above your families misconceptions is truly amazing. And now you are helping others – In a very powerful way because you get the pain. You are truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey and inspiring others – including me. I hope you my book brings you even further healing and empowerment – and helps you further help others as well. Have a wonderful day x

      • Darnesha

        Hats off to whoeevr wrote this up and posted it.

        • mm
          Brooke Woon

          Thank you. Have a wonderful day !!

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  • Deandre

    Great arcltie, thank you again for writing.

    • mm
      Brooke Woon

      Thank you. Have a great day.

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