Waking up kid-free, people free, day off, with only my dogs and an invitation to join trusted others without a requirement to do so is niiiice. The fact is I need lots of people-free time to recover. Not to recover from the people I love(ok, well maybe a little from them) but to recover so that I have something good to give them, not just my 48 years of fatigue. I have been learning about trauma. A reality that is taboo, too obscene and scandalous to speak of, yet honest dialog is essential for healing, no matter how many decades have since passed. Time does not heal shit. Truth does. The knowledge of our experience is stored in our bodies.
As children without adequate language or an enlightened witness to help process trauma, survivors are forced to internalize the abuse and to favor the abusers. And with that information stored in our cells and no healthy way to address the pain, we end up hurting others and/or being chronically, ill, tired and/or depressed, even suicidal. How can we expect unsupported children to grow up with any thrive and moral certainty after being demanded to tolerate the unacceptable? What screams for my attention is the idea of a moral code that says when we speak these truths, we are betraying or blaming parents. WTF??? Oh. Okay. So, basically with this morality, the truth is not important. Wholesome truth speaking, (healthy personal boundaries and asking for help) is never wrong, though does often make trouble. AND. There are no such things as innocent bystanders in the case of abuse. Positions of “neutrality” are cowardly and horseshit. Speaking truth and taking right action are as risky as they are right.
As parents, we are care-givers that either provide or deny the nurturing of our children from the moment they come to us. That is just a fact. Whether the denying or providing is conscious, does not change the results of having nurtured or denied a child’s whole self. I am still blamed for my own abuse and unlovability (while also, each of these things are emphatically denied. Wait!!-I caused it and it is not real). Denial is the opposite of healing. Healing requires asking questions, listening, experiencing empathy and love, not blame and shame. I have experienced no healing in my family.
I am attempting reclaim my energy so that I may be present and patient for my sweet sons and others. But the energy required for the repression of my own truth fatigues me at a cellular level, leaving me able to cope with and enjoy very little. My intention is to heal– with or without my family of origin. There is not a shred of doubt, that this is mine to do on my own. I am free to heal. Free…(not a total Squee moment, but still a blessing to have the tools and support). I am not free from their scorn or my desire to have an actual family. Grieving that is a whole nother Oprah 🙂 I have my sons and our sweet lil blended family and a few good friends who love us unconditionally. As I heal, I have more to give. Healing is not only my right, but my responsibility.
I know my truth more than any other person can. And I wished it were different and I have tried to not know and not feel the horror of what was allowed to
happen, repeatedly. It has been more desirable to make me feel or look crazy than to face the perpetration of me. I guess as the youngest in all of my family, even those who might have suspected might one day reflect less harshly, noting that I was younger and smaller and begging for an enlightened witness, in all the ways I knew. I did not cause or imagine my abuse. And the continued and collective suggestion would make any person go effing nuts. Of course, I was deranged with anger, confusion, paranoia. How the fuck are you supposed to be while living on those terms, hostage to those charged with protecting you? Nobody fucken protected me. It was required that I handle it myself, deny it, shut up, get small, pretend, and also to relax and quit causing tension. My lil body could not cope and neither could my mind. Constant illness, worse during family gatherings, and intense anxiety were manifestations of a truth I could not bear, articulate, or repress. It looked like my own instability,
anger, insanity. I think that typically, that is how it looks. So by standard definition, I handled the abuse in a perfectly normal way. I suppose my family did also. Today is Independence Day. I am grateful AF for the freedom to just be. No demand to socialize, lighten up, go out, like food and sounds and people that I find unbearable. Boys with dad today and tonight. Tomorrow we will celebrate with Sweet Greg and his son. For tonight, I may or may not join them. I am free to choose what is best for me. I am allowed to enjoy and relax and not feel banished. That is freedom and a miracle.
I have the privilege of parenting my boys with kindness and mindfulness of who they are and that they are not me, or an extension of me. Additionally they are being armed with awareness of abuse– to not tolerate abuse or alienation for themselves or others. Pride does not begin to describe how I feel about the undeniable courage and kindness that drives them. Sadly, this does create an inner dilemma for them as they are required to attend gatherings with my sister, mother and nieces, where if morality were at work, these gatherings would honor the sanctity of my sons and their parents. Trying to build relations with them as if I do not exist is insane. Literally. My sister on more than one occasion bragged to me that she raised “pleasers”. Well, I am raising lil protectors, love warriors. And so far, they are very pleasing as well….and they are aware, feeling compromised by her unwholesome-initiatives, what she chooses to continually do at their expense. —Flexible morality at its finest. From what I am reading about trauma, it has clearly affected her as well, and I hope she will find the help and healing she deserves. Happy, mentally healthy and well people don’t knowingly harm children in even the slightest of ways to meet their own needs and desires- and then justify it. Recovery also teaches that defending behavior ruins all relationships. There is nothing to defend. If we do wrong, we apologize and amend. If we do not do wrong and still cause harm, we can apologize, when we are mentally healthy and strong enough to tolerate and own imperfection.
“The stigma gone, Hester heaved a long, deep sigh, in which the burden of shame
and anguish departed from her spirit. O exquisite relief! SHE HAD NOT KNOWN THE WEIGHT, UNTIL SHE FELT THE FREEDOM. ? Happy Independence Day. Most Especially, to all the courageous and wholesome badasses sharing the difficulty and wonder of parting from people and things that are…. best, parted from. ?? Rejection is God’s protection. ?✂️✂️✂️
What are you grateful to be free from, today?
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