November 27, 2018

Abandonment: Revealing

This week, Anne Lauren concludes her series on abandonment by exploring the importance of "recovery time outs" and what it's like to find purpose in the midst of healing.


It’s 8AM and I’m sitting on a dock in Maine overlooking the water all by myself, family still sleeping in the house just on top of the hill, while I drink coffee and process my gratitude for life. I was invited here by a friend. His family has had these homes for generations. My presence here is my contribution, nothing else is expected of me. No catch; just kind, supportive people sharing their abundance with me, helping me to understand my own value. This place represents a time of arrival. I did it- my metaphorical jet ski landed me here after somehow finding the resources I needed and the direction of travel. Running is no longer necessary, the cycle of abandonment over, the bottle of the barrel found, now what?

One year ago I quit my corporate job to pursue a life aligned with my passions and supportive of my health. I had a month and half to find a new job. Thanks to my developed family, I have extended this journey to one year. In this year, I have made less money than I have since getting my first job and experienced more than I could have imagined. I lived in a house on the beach for three months, I was invited to go to El Salvador with a friend for free, I was asked to be a live-in-nanny for the summer in Washington DC, and I had the opportunity to visit Portland, New York, and Boston to see if I wanted to live there- I don’t. I stayed in Maine and North Carolina for free to visit friends.

In this year of surprising abundance, I have also had the opportunity to recover from recovery. I needed time for my identity to shift from a survivor to a thriver, I needed time for my brain to break the cycle of stress of the last 32 years, I needed time for my body to rest from the constant running, abandonment processing, and barrel searching, I needed time to learn to love myself and honor my story even if it wasn’t what I wanted. And now, I am find confidence in who I am and in what I want to move forward.

I want to be an incest recovery writer and speaker. I want to support other people who have been through what I’ve been through, help them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and provide the resources to follow it. I want to help create better policy, resources, and social support around incest survival and mental health. But it took me the entirety of this year to embrace this work.

After #MeToo went viral nearly one year ago, I was enraged to learn that so many beloved women in my circle had also been victims. As their repressed stories surfaced, so did my desire to support them. I decided that I wanted to share my story publicly on a broader platform. I reached out to other survivors who were writing about their experiences and discussed my fear of retaliation from my abusers. They advised me to own my power and to tell my truth. So, I did. I started a blog called Blue&Lavender which shares the wisdom gained from my wounds of childhood incest and illness and how I recovered from both. I began writing articles for other publishers to build my platform. Eventually, people started to reach out to me for more opportunities to share my story and I am doing so.

After about six months of consistent writing, I started to doubt this passion as my future path. My entire 32 years of life up to this point had been devoted to surviving and recovering from abuse, why am I now choosing to devote these next years to this work? I let myself take the work at my own pace, slowed down my writing, and allowed myself to be nourished. I was invited to attend the SheRecovers conference in LA, an all female community devoted to the support of women recovering from anything - abuse, addiction, eating disorders, codependency, etc.

At this conference I met all kinds of women. Without ego or competition, they shared their stories just to help out the next woman in the room. I attended a gala and thought- this is what recovery looks like now- my years of horror, loneliness, puking, and purging of memories were over, recovery now would be about support, admiration and helping the next survivor become a thriver. No one is abandoned here, no one is expected to do this work alone. I also noticed at this conference the hesitation that some still had around talking about sexual abuse. This reservation only fueled my fire: I’m ready to talk about it and am going to. So here I am talking about it, writing about how I recovered from incest and the abandonment associated with it.

My first blog post started on a dock running away from the abuse and abandonment of my past, and on a dock I sit now celebrating my arrival to a place of safety and fulfillment. Legs over the wood, feet touching the cool water, a cup of Joe nourishing me, a family waiting for me, and this work awakening within. I can’t do it alone and I know that I don’t have to.

Please, reach out and join me in ending the epidemic of sexual violence and beginning healing in our communities. We can do this together.    

Anne Lauren is a word weaver, a woman warrior, and a wisdom wayfinder. She authors the blog, Blue&Lavender, which speaks of her experience recovering from incest and illness and seeks to educate and inspire others to do so. She runs her own coaching program, speaks publicly about her experience, and publishes writings to spread her hope for healing. Check out her blog at She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium @BlueandLavender and on Instagram @Blue_and_Lavender.

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