As I put my memories to written word, I realize I cannot ignore the weightier things in my life. It has come to my attention that it is important to address not only to myself, but to my friends and family why I choose to expose these things publicly. I wrote a brief blog wherein I mention sexual abuse, only in passing as it contributed to that particular experience. I send all of my work to my mother before publishing for proofreading, (we come from a long line of writers and support each other in this way) and also read it to my husband, whom I love and trust has my best interest at heart.
The reflection of both these important people was the same. Why? Why expose that publicly? I know this is out of concern for me and my well-being, and so I reflected as to why. Trust me, there was a lot of hemming and hawing, it has not gone without very careful consideration. This is what I came up with.
Sexual abuse, just the words are like a stinging slap to the face, but one you walk away from because it’s ugly and uncomfortable and it isn't a fight you want to pick. It is something no one wants to face or acknowledge. But I am not going to deny it, in all of its ugliness it is still a part of what formed who I am today, and I love me.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I survived, and am surviving. I am a happy well adjusted Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, and Friend. Yes I have had my share of very dark and painful times, but with the support of friends and family I have been able to heal much of my pain.
I feel it is important for me to share this even if it only reaches one victim, one person who may feel alone and victimized, so that they may see that it can be lived with, you can be happy, you can take your life back. It is not necessary to live as a victim, we are not alone, sadly there are many of us, and if I can lend support, or put a positive outlook on an otherwise dark subject, I will.
We are NOT damaged goods! Many of us are perfectly (and imperfectly) functioning members of society I do not ask, nor do I desire sympathy or pity, I don’t need it, I am not broken. I am a survivor, I am strong, I am sympathetic, and I am loving.
But I will not deny or push under the rug any longer this painful experience, enabling it to live in the shadows. It happened; it happens, and continues to happen if vigilance, education, and awareness are not exercised. I will not be one of the many who turn a blind eye, I will listen, I will believe, I will lend a hand. I am done with shame and I am done with anger, if I can help one single solitary victim feel the tiniest bit less alone, I have done the right thing.
Here is the Original Blog:
Facing the truth is often a painful experience, and I know pain. I write this in regards to an epiphany I had; I believe I was very young to be making such realizations (I think I was about 16 or 17). I was walking home, to the glorified tent that was my abode at the time, most of us hippie kids lived pretty rustically compared to the outside world, no power or flush toilets, residing in yurts perched atop what were basically shacks. I was feeling sorry for myself for all that had been thrust upon me, thinking there was no hope and I was destined for nothing but failure.
The sun was out that day, the northwest air was fresh, and birds were singing, but I was sad, lost, and alone. But as I walked the winding trail, my mind wallowing in my misery, something clicked. It was only the briefest moment, when I asked myself, does the world really owe you something? The answer was and is no. The world never owes anybody anything. Yes you can be dealt a lousy hand, but they are still your cards to play, you can throw it all in and blame everyone else, or you can make the best of what you are dealt.
Broken home, sexual abuse, poverty, and an unconventional upraising in a hippie commune, all of these things were out of my hands, what was in my control was my mindset. Was I going to live as a victim and blame the world? Or was I going to demand something else, and who was I going to demand that from? Well I guess I was the only person I could demand anything from, and so I did.
It was in that moment I took responsibility for my life, I knew the only thing I had power over was my own outlook and no one else could possibly make my life for me. I could give my power away, and wallow in misery, or, take it back, get on my feet and point myself where I wanted to go. Where was that? It’s quite simple, happiness. And happiness is not being a victim of circumstance; happiness is taking what life gives you and making it work. That is my only power.
Is it easy? I think not, it is a daily struggle of self reflection, resigning yourself to what you can’t change, and changing what you can. There are dark times for sure, and that’s ok, that’s life, as long as you don’t stay there long. I think this has worked for me, to this day I understand the pull to be a victim, and I feel it, but I also have made a choice, my choice is happiness. It is my life; I choose to claim it, make all that I can of it; my life belongs to me and no one else.
Fall down, cry, be angry, and move on, life is full of pit falls none of us is exempt. I adore human frailty; I respect our resilience in the face of failure and harm, and our ability to persevere.