I am able to grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me.

Mourning [Step 14]: This is a step that asks you to recognize your losses and helps you resolve them once and for all. Grieving your childhood losses and mourning the loss of the "ideal" parents will require a great deal of patience and self-compassion. Be prepared for this step to take time. You can't be rushed into healing these deepest wounds from childhood, and the healing won't happen all at once. More likely you will heal the wounds in layers throughout your recovery, coming back to this step several times. You may always have a scar, but the scab covering your painful losses eventually will disappear.

Many survivors tend to avoid this stage after one pass or so, preferring to avoid its dreadful pain ever again. After working through some of the pain in Stage One, you may feel much better than before but still have not fully resolved the grief. You may find that your life has improved but now feel that your growth has stalled. You can get past this block by sharing the most vulnerable parts of yourself with others, thereby turning your fear of being hurt into the building of trust. Ask yourself if you can allow yourself to be comforted by your spouse, lover or friends. Healthy dependency means letting other people take care of you at times like this. You need caring, and you need to be able to accept it from others.
© The Norma J. Morris Center, San Francisco, California