One of the questions that naturally arose as I've healed from abuse was: "What do I do with the good?" - What do I do with the memories that bring a smile to my face, but include people who abused me? What do I do with the life lessons those people taught me? What do I do with favourite songs and bands that I was introduced to by those people?
I have come to understand I can keep the good I want to keep. Even if the process is complicated at first, or for a while. Even if the person was complicated (who isn't?). Even if the person allegedly hurt someone. Even if the person hurt me or another person. Even if...
For me, it always comes back to music. I love music. After I've been friends with someone long enough, there is bound to be a memory which includes music. So, do I toss away my enjoyment of songs by groups like CCR, Fleetwood Mac, and Linkin Park, just because of an association with someone who harmed me? No. But the process involves intentionally connecting those songs I like to safe memories. I continue liking CCR songs which remind me of sunny summer days of my early childhood, I connect Fleetwood Mac songs to my Europe trip in university, and Linkin Park is tied to fun movement and my healing journey.
Keeping the good I want to keep is a way to reclaim my power. Abuse tried to steal so much of my power, my choice, and my voice. By intentionally healing my memory of even one favourite song, I reclaim some of the joy my abusers tried to hoard for themselves.
I can keep the good.
We can keep the good.
You can keep the good.