The Cage

My partner and I were talking about something that had happened a few years ago, before I left my toxic family. He described my response to an argument we had had, and we both burst out in giggles. I hardly recognized myself in the story. Even though I remember it happening. It made me realize just how much I have changed since cutting contact. I am a much different, and far nicer person for it.

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.”
Shannon L. Alder

Since I was weighted down with false beliefs, not just about myself and my abilities, but about the world, the workings of all sorts of interpersonal relationships… pretty much everything and anything, I was a different person than I am now. My frame of reference was misshaped after a toxic upbringing, and it distorted not only how I saw the world, but also how the world saw me.

I had a conversation with Nova yesterday, about how she never feels like she is really working, because she does not spend “enough time” at the office. When she started listing all the things she accomplished while “not working” however… Seriously, that list would make most people dizzy from the busy. So as we were talking, she started to adjust her view of herself. I have had many similar moments. Those flashes of insight, that make you redefine a part of yourself.

While healing from abuse, we have to disregard (and mourn) the person we thought we were, and start building ourselves from the ground up. We have to rediscover our strengths, our talents, our weaknesses and challenges. We need to amaze ourselves with our spark, and delight ourselves with genuine love and kindness.

Not everyone has or embraces such an opportunity to rediscover and reinvent themselves. Grab it with both hands, and see what positive can come from the negative.

Fly Free,


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While I may technically be the Director here at SwanWaters, my unofficial title is Healing Cheerleader! I’m a survivor of childhood emotional abuse and workplace bullying. And believe me when I say that I’ve walked the walk when it comes to healing from trauma. I firmly believe that we can undo some of the damage that abuse has done to us, and learn the necessary skills to handle life and all it brings us.

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