Friendship

Today a celebration of friendship!

Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.

John Evelyn, English diarist and writer

Isolation is common for children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Events. Isolation compounds the pain and shame, yet seems to provide safety from being seen as different and broken. In collective societies as kids enter school and spend time away from their parents and siblings, friendships become a developmental playground. Friendships teach us how to be trusting, accepting, supportive, as well as, trusted, accepted, and supported. As children, when isolated with frightening overwhelming secrets, we are barred from the important developmental playground of friendship.

For me, as I grew into my 20s and began the arduous life-affirming work of healing from childhood sexual abuse, I didn’t trust friendships until I came completely clean and included all of my story, i.e. “I grew up in a small village in upstate NY … I was sexually abused for years and never told anyone.” What followed was holding my breath and a sense of dread. Depending on the response to that admission, I would allow myself to trust that the friendship was strong enough to truly hold all of me. The fear of re-experiencing shame by rejection or diminishment of the impact sexual abuse had on me was paralyzing.

Today, I celebrate the achievement of friendship.

For reflection:

  • Who in your life allows for all of you to be present?
  • How can you be a better friend to yourself?

One thought on “Friendship

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