In sharing the ugliest parts of my experience, I exercise my gift to make others feel seen. For those who have not found the words or the safe places to share experiences that either defy articulation or are generally socially unacceptable, my sharing allows them to feel seen, heard, known, and unalone. Not just in things that have been done to harm me, but in my own harmful thinking and reactions to confusion, pain, and lack of safe connection. My absolute lack of healthy coping skills and ability to manage, things that were constant, covert, and unmanageable. My transparency and ownership over my choices allows me to show up as a trusted other, for those on the path, or seeking a path to recovery and healing. What if I were to only to report the misdeeds of others alongside the rightness of my ways? Who needs or benefits from that? There is no credibility, no value in that. I am mistaken, confused, and straight up wrong, much of the time—which seems odd given my family and marriage experience with those who are never wrong or sorry for their actual doings. Weird.
Because of my work in recovery, I am able to hear to the pain of others, with a listening and empathetic heart. I can not know their exact pain but I openly understand and acknowledge the grief, shame, disconnection, and patterns of abuse, that often leave victims feeling too ashamed to speak. Frequently, I am too eager to try to relate my own experience and make it about me which is an unwholesome behavior I am working to correct. Imposing my experience like THAT is very hijackery. Most people want to feel seen and heard. Except for those who absolutely do not: those who want others to only see, recall, reference, and believe as is required to maintain a group or personal image of goodness, happiness, infallibility. That is very gaslighty behavior. Toxic. To those people,my healing practices are a threat. My shining a light on and need to examine things they prefer to remain dark and elusive is upsetting. My efforts to heal and understand, are perceived as a betrayal and an assault. I repeatedly begged for us to do the work to heal together. I was denied. Emphatically. So, I do it on my own, here, with you.
Still, sharing is my greatest gift. Each time a hurting or hurtful person sees a part of themselves in my story which allows them to heal, forgive, acknowledge or amend— WELL, that is recovery at work. If detailing my life experiences and recovery makes a person feel criticized or bad, that is on them. That is their ego telling them that something is not right(which is true). AND It is easier for people like that, to label me the problem, rather than to self reflect, adjust, challenge their own unwholesome choices & behaviors, worthy of examination. They expect for their less pretty and glorifying behaviors to go unmentioned, unacknowledged, unrecognized, overlooked, denied. They will go to great lengths to avoid exposure, vulnerability, accountability.
All people deserve to be seen. I see you. And…I do my best to make myself visible. Here I am. Still.Much Love,
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