Dear Alice,

How does one recover from abuse of any kind? I guess I took the first step already by deciding to leave the Church, but what do I do now? From what I’ve read online, most people suggest finding and building new habits to help rewire your brain. Did you know that abuse literally rewires your brain?

Apparently, when you are in an abusive relationship of any kind, you repeat behaviors and thought patterns so much that they become imbedded into your cerebral cortex, creating new traumatic neuro-pathways that are there for life.

You can retrain your brain, build new pathways on top of the old ones, but it’s something that is very hard to do and requires a lot of time and patience. Many recommend therapy and support systems, but those are hard to find here in Puerto Rico. I know I have a therapy appointment, but because I have government insurance, I have to wait until June to be able to go, so I’ve decided to get a head-start on my healing journey by building new, healthier habits.

One of the things I’ve been doing is exercise. I’ve been going to the gym 5 days a week since last week, and I honestly feel good. I’m starting to feel more at home in my body and I’m starting to listen to it and do what it likes. Sure, I get tired sometimes, but it’s not the emotional tired that I’m used to; this is physical tired after helping my body be healthy.

I’ve also decided to work through some journaling prompts I found online. I probably won’t write about them to you (mainly because I often share these letters with other people), but maybe if one is good enough, I’ll share it with you.

Another thing that’s been helping a lot are my partners. Did I mention that I have partners now? It’s new and wonderful and it feels so good to be with them. I don’t mention them much on here because one of them asked me not to write about it, and honestly I don’t want to share a lot of what happens between us online. I want it to be private, just for me and them, but I figure that they’re relevant to the topic.

All in all, I feel okay. All that’s happened in the last few days hasn’t fully set into my head and my heart just yet, but I think I’ll be ready for it when the time comes. I have good people supporting my decision.

I don’t know how I will engage with spirituality going forward. I think I’ll be taking a break from organized religion for a long-ish time, but I still want to engage in some form of spiritual practice. Maybe I’ll take up tarot again, or maybe I’ll star doing yoga or some form of meditation outside in my house. I don’t know what spirituality means to me right now, but I know it’s not something I necessarily want to leave behind.

Anyway, I need to go back to researching other ways to go forward. I’ll talk to you soon.



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