This is MY story. 

I feel guilty for writing this blog.

I feel shame.

I feel guilty for sharing my version of a story that has been quiet for so long, that had been told a certain way for so long. I feel guilty for acknowledging my feelings around things. I feel guilty for calling my childhood traumatic. I feel guilty for even having feelings that are different than the ones I was ‘prescribed’ – even if nobody meant to prescribe them. 

Every time I press ‘post’ I’m stuck by this overwhelming fear that what I have written – my raw truth as it is right now – will be found. 

Which is interesting because I wonder what would really happen if they were found by my family, by people who know me. 

I’ve struggled so long to narrate my own version of the story. In my codependent immediate family everything I defined as ‘normal’ was prescribed, or dictated. With both parents in politics and public service and a severely mentally ill younger sibling… what I could and could not say about life was predetermined for me.

When I could and could not call for help was predetermined. I learned not to call 911 in an emergency because we may become a story. The story may get out. I learned that mental illness was something to hide which later when I developed symptoms of, I waited too long to get help. 

As a result, I don’t know what MY story is. I do not know me. I do not know who I am without them as part of the dialogue. Sometimes, I don’t know what really happened to me. Other times I don’t believe it was bad because everybody else was telling me it was okay and “that we can’t tell”.

Nobody – outside of my brother (but he “didnt know what he was doing“) – was malicious. My abuse was subtle, underhanded. I was ignored, had no privacy, had my story written for me and God forbid I deviate from that defined path. The first time I met A she told me I was so strong to have made it this far and I scoffed at her – so she read me the definitions of trauma and emotional/verbal/physical abuse. I couldn’t, rationally, academically, walk away from the facts after that. There WAS physical, verbal, and emotional abuse and neglect in my life for over twenty years. The physical was sibling abuse, but the rest was from all sides.  

I hold a lot of shame and guilt – like I should have fixed it. Like I should have figured it out. My Mom is always bragging about how smart I am – because my intelligence is clearly her accomplishment – and yet I couldn’t make things work. I couldn’t put them into place. I couldn’t figure out the rules. 

Sometimes I get caught in the comparison game. Or, even worse, I don’t think my experience was traumatic because it was mostly subtle and underhanded. There are days still where I think I must be crazy and they are actually normal and it takes someone affirming me to maybe snap out of it.

Some days it feels like it  will never get easier. 

I know I’ve protected myself here. I know it’s not easy for my words to be found. I know even if they are stumbled on that my family wouldn’t recognize them for what they are and wouldn’t see themselves in the words because they are still living our story, just without me.

So I keep hitting post. Because it’s about time my story got told, my way. 

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12 thoughts on “This is MY story. 

  1. Release the guilt, like we have to release the shame, back to the person or people who should really own it. Keep posting. It’s for your mental health. Maybe one day you’ll be able to share it all with the world, maybe not. Until then, you are helping other victims (I call us warriors) by letting them know that they are not alone. And you my friend, are not alone either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The guilt and the shame you feel really resonate with me. I hope this doesn’t come across too therapist-y, but I’m trying to release the guilt by reminding myself that guilt is a mechanism to make us conform with community’s expectations. But the community here is telling us that our pain IS real and legitimate, even though it’s different to theirs, so the guilt has no real purpose. Keep telling your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this– “it’s about time my story got told, my way.” That is so true.

    I have to say, I agree with Andi. I think some of the deepest pain from abuse was what was bordering on normal, or the things very easily hidden in plain sight.

    The trauma I suffered from my parents, was exactly as you describe. Nobody’s fault, really, but still hurtful all the same. This is where Bea and I did a lot of work on being able to hold two things…..that I can hold my truth AND understand my parents were young and dealing with their own trauma. It doesn’t have to be one OR the other, it can be this AND that.

    Keep telling your truth. It deserves to be told. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still remember the first day I realized you could love and be angry at someone at the same time – I was in my mid 20s.

      I find it really difficult to have hurt where there is nobody to blame. And yet, I don’t want to make excuses for the people who have hurt me.

      The work you did with Bea sounds very healing, and I have to learn that it isn’t one or the other that it is often messy and can be more than one thing at once.

      Thank you for your kind words Xx

      Like

  4. Absolutely. Abuse use not an Olympic support- there are no winners. I relate to your shame about writing a lot. But you deserve to tell your story! Also, I wanted too say that although I suffered all kinds of abuse, the subtle and underhanded stuff is what I believe did the most damage. Perhaps because it was always the hardest to really identify and articulate to myself or others. What kinda seemed “normal” or “not that bad” is actually sometimes even harder to recover from. I hope that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re so right. There are no winners.

      I have always struggled because it really is hard to articulate to people…

      I have never experienced the more obvious, malicious abuse some of those around me have. I also do not have openly malicious or angry parents — I truly believe they did the best they could and that generational trauma plays a huge role.

      But that just makes it more confusing, somehow. It’s nobody’s fault, really, but I’m still hurting so much.

      It makes sense – thank you for your comment, Andi, it helped.

      Liked by 2 people

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