Over the years various health professionals and therapists have told me that I will come to some form of acceptance.  They show you these sheets “Five steps to Recovery”:  you are supposed to go through various emotions such as anger, denial, guilt etc before you reach the “idea” of acceptance.  Always in bold writing, maybe in colour and it is always circled to identify its importance and, by the end, you will have learnt to accept the painful things that have happened to you!

Putting the sarcasm aside it’s a great idea. A goal, an understanding then progression.  I have found what people don’t explain to you is that it is totally individual.  There is no right path and it will take as long as it needs. Also there is no right pattern to feel the emotions.  We all act differently to situations, our environment, and traumatic events.

Still now I struggle immensely with the thought of acceptance.  I know that the attacks happened, I know the individuals that hurt me, I still have flashbacks, and I still struggle daily.

But for me acceptance is just living and getting on with my life:  dealing with the highs and lows that come along with it.  I accept the situation.  I am aware how it affects me daily and potentially in the future.  I have to learn to live.  Personally I need to prove to myself that my attackers don’t have control over me. I am free. I have been now for years but the mental scars are there and these will take time to heal.  By me acknowledging my fears and embracing my difficulties I am able to wake up in morning, start the day and see a future.

Some people may say “I am not addressing my problems” but I am. I have weekly therapy, I am embracing life’s unfairness and the imperfections that are a daily occurrence but I refuse to let the past define me.  I have good life; we can all forget that.  We keep searching for the perfect life that we forget the people and the things we love most in this world.  For me now is good.

Of course I have days where I feel hopeless and alone but every time I feel like this my family are always there. Waiting to listen and help.  Sometimes we take out all our frustrations on the closest people to us and forget what they have done or are doing now.  They also are still struggling with the past themselves.  We all have to learn to be patient with each other, even if it is difficult to understand the way others are dealing with it all.

Some days it is like we are all walking through clouds of smoke and there seems to be no end but then the smoke slowly dissipates, becomes particles of air.  We are then able to see life clearly and view the world from a new direction.

By being aware of our mistakes and of others’ difficulties processing a certain situation; by taking a step back, letting them breath; and leaving yesterday in the past and remembering today is a fresh start.  We are able to react in a more positive, thought-out way and by allowing every person to feel his or her emotions we are able to find some acceptance.

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About Rosie Burnham

Twitter: @Rosie_Burnham Blog: Huffingpost Blog: Very Loose Women (ResonanceFM): Women's Health Magazine (Strong Minds Issue):