Running the healing road…part 1
Here’s part 1 of an inspirational story from one of the amazing survivors we’ve worked with…
Last year I ran my first half marathon and chose to fundraise for RSVP. A few years ago, if you had told me that I would be running 13.1 miles I would have laughed and said ‘never!’ However, here I am today still feeling very proud of my achievement. My journey to running the ‘sexual abuse healing road’ began when I went to my GP to talk about feeling down and tearful. After listening to me he asked whether I had ever been sexually abused and while I was shocked, I was relieved that he had asked too. His question opened a very tightly shut and hidden box. What followed was the worst time of my life. Although I knew that I needed to allow this box to be opened, in order to deal with the contents, it was hard. I had tried to talk about what had happened to me many years before, but my disclosure wasn’t greeted with the support it required. Hence I was very thankful that my current GP had the courage to ask me a very sensitive question because I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for this.
I’d heard about RSVP through a friend and after contacting them I had 6 months worth of counselling. Although they were the most difficult 6 months of my life, I will always have fond memories of the very caring RSVP volunteer counsellor who gave up her evening to listen to me. RSVP counsellors and volunteers truly deserve the biggest gold medals. It became a bit of a mood lightener when I used to bring in boxes of tissues with me, because I felt so bad using all theirs, with the amount of tears I shed!
For me the work of RSVP is life-saving because they were there for me when no one else knew what to say or how to deal with my tears. I was able to let go of all the sorrow, shame, grief, loneliness, tears, anger and many other emotions in a safe and caring environment. I have learnt a lot about myself and how what happened to me has shaped me as a person. I now understand the importance of acknowledging and accepting my emotions even the bad and the ugly ones. I now feel how I feel and no longer try to automatically change my feelings. If they feel too raw and painful at first, I ‘feel’ them and accept what they are and how they are part of the healing process. I now know that there is a part inside me that was hurt beyond words and had to deal with the physical and emotional trauma alone. Everyday I can now tell that part that she is loved and I believe her.
I began running in 2012 initially as a way to lose weight. However, I soon became aware of the positive effects it had on my mental, emotional and physical well-being. At first I could only run for a few minutes at a time before I had to stop and rest, but over time I gradually built these few minutes up.
Find out what where running took her, part 2 of the story coming soon
If you would like to join Gina’s survivor running group, read more here www.gina.uk.com