Sharing In Order To Heal

I sat on my couch tonight and cried my eyes out. I cried partly because I'm tired and stressed, but mostly because I'm ashamed of myself. I express my opinions strongly and openly and normally this is completely fine with me; I know the people I hold dear will love me regardless of my political or religious views. They'll still love me, hopefully, because I try to temper my actions with love and bite my tongue when I feel like spewing hate. But a few days ago I got really angry and I expressed an opinion with piss and vinegar that was condescending and rude. I hurt some people I really care about and I feel awful. Tonight, I realized that my anger doesn't evaporate when I choose to choke it back, on the contrary, it goes somewhere deeper, out of sight for a while, and it grows.

I don't like to wallow. I'm not usually melodramatic. I try very hard to learn, grow, achieve new goals, and move forward - the opposite direction of my past. But as I learn to understand myself I want to also be understood by others, not in order to justify ugly behavior but to become familiar with some of my building blocks, the things that make me who I am as much as anything else in my life. So know this and learn 'me' as I do the same: my past hurt me deeply. It shaped much of my thought patterns, it effects my physical, mental and emotional health, my ability to function in my marriage, the way I mother. Oh, that I could wish it away with something as simple as 'choosing' to be free of it. It simply doesn't work that way. I was wronged and it was compounded by nearly every person in my life telling me, essentially, to get over it. Or worse, telling me it was my fault. Like telling the person whose home has been burgled they should have locked the front door.

I am extremely hostile toward organized religion, it's no secret that I don't plan to ever set foot in a church again, unless it's for a wedding or a funeral. I do possess love and I try endlessly to cultivate love and acceptance for those around me, regardless of what I do or don't agree with, but I am angry, too. I'm angry that at 24 years old and as a mother of 2 young children, my childhood sexual abuse left me with a constant battle for complete control of my life. This manifests itself in some ugly, oppressive ways. I have an eating disorder that rules me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep. I battle my husband's expression of love toward me. I battle my own need to love myself by self loathing and punishment when I feel I haven't lived up to my own standard of perfection. I have unhealthy thought patterns that were so firmly ingrained in me that I fear I may never conquer some of them. I spent my life being told I needed to show others how Christ loved so that they, too, might want Him in their hearts and when I needed to be shown that same love I had the door slammed in my face and you'd better believe I'm angry about that.

Like I said before, none of this gives me a free pass to be nasty or unkind to anyone at all. I don't ever want that, I'm better than that and if there is one thing sexual abuse will never take from me, it is my dignity. Never will I stop fighting for what was taken from me, or stop trying to replace the pain with love. But I need my friends and my family to see me for what I am as well as what I am not - I'm not an angry, bitter woman, steeped in resentment toward those who hurt me, chained to a beast that won't let go. I am a woman with walls built up around myself, with claws I finally learned to sharpen, with a fragile psyche but a strong will. I fight for joy, for my pride, every day and I long to show others how proud I am to have at least some measure of love, not always enough for myself and clearly not enough for others, but I am trying.

Please love me even when I don't love the way I should, and please know how hard I try to step outside the shadow of my past that looms over my life and terrifies me.

Comments

  1. I am so ashamed on behalf of humankind for what you've had to go through in life, but wow are you ever a great writer!

    "Never will I stop fighting for what was taken from me, or stop trying to replace the pain with love." Words to live by for us all...

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  2. Thank you. I am also extremely hostile towards organized religion. I am also angry. 40 years on, I have raised a lovely young woman, and I am still in pain from childhood sexual abuse. I am still affected. Thanks for giving me permission to be angry. It is better than shame.

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