I didn’t expect to be writing about this publicly, at least not now, probably not ever.
But this morning as I walked my dog in the blackness of 6am, a steady voice from somewhere, nowhere, I don’t know where, said clearly, “You need to talk about it. There is nothing else you can write today.”
I didn’t want to talk about this here or now. This was a darkness I would deal with on my own. This was a darkness that still scared me.
* * *
I never considered myself a victim, and certainly not a victim of abuse.
Victims are weak, I am strong.
Victims are whiny, I am stoic.
Victims are scared, I am brave.
Victims can’t get over it, I would never allow myself to be bogged down by whatever happened in the past.
Victims need other people, I can manage it on my own.
And if you had told me the same about you, chances are I would have rejected your “form” of abuse and suggested you get over it and move on sooner rather than later. (I am sorry for that.)
“Blows to the consciousness are like blows to your body. They take a toll.”
Now I am learning that words can cause trauma. Far-reaching, affect-every-single-corner-of-your-life trauma.That the grimy and powerful residue of the attacks, the blame, the criticisms can run deep and stick around for a long, long time.
I am learning that getting to the heart of the pain is the best (and the only) way to heal it.
I am learning that I am healing but not healed.
This book gave me the great gift of validation. The feeling — finally! — that I am not alone. That this is not my fault. That I did nothing to deserve or encourage it. That I am the good, kind and respectful person I strive to be. That even if I fall short, I am still that good, kind and respectful person. That the reasons this person heaped this abuse on me are not my reasons. That their problems are not mine. That I can and will repair the damage. That in fact, I owe it to myself to repair the damage. That I deserve all the good in my life, that I deserve every bit of all of the good that will continue to come my way.
“…you have survived the oppression of verbal abuse. Imagine what you can do when not subject to it.”
This book gave me hope. It showed me how far I have come. It allowed me to see that I am not at the beginning of moving past this. To see that I am actually clearing the last hurdle. That its grip on me is being released, that the work I am doing — writing, sharing, opening my heart, saying no to this toxicity in my life — is the most powerful and important work in my world right now.
I am no longer hiding behind it or shying away from it. Instead, I am using it to fuel me, to strengthen me, to remind me — and I am moving forward with it, unbroken and powerfully.
“There is a secret message in verbal abuse. The message is that the negative statements you’ve heard most about yourself reveal your greatest gifts.”
We are amazing beings, and we can move forward and blossom despite whatever shit we have endured in the past. But, eventually, there comes a time when we have to address everything — all of it — if we are to truly move past something and live a life in which our “IT” no longer defines or even speaks to us.
This is my “IT” that must be addressed. This is why I happened upon this book when I wasn’t looking for it, this is why my ever-stronger gut gave me such a message in the darkness of 6am.
“You need to talk about it. There is nothing else you can write today.”
If any of this resonates with you, I urge you to read this book. I feel strongly that you will address your “IT” when the time is right. In the meantime, know that you are not alone and that you are good and you are loved.