Several years ago I had this feeling that I needed to begin sharing my story here with all of you.
It wasn’t something I really wanted to do. But I have learned that when I hear that still small voice within me, I need to listen to it.
So with lots of tears and trembling fingers, I typed out that first post.
It wasn’t much, just me declaring to the world that I was no longer going to keep my story to myself. I just felt that by sharing, it could help someone else feel less alone…less ashamed…
More empowered to take hold of the story they have and embrace it instead of hiding away from it.
The thing is that keeping these stories in the darkness is the worse thing we can do.
That is how child abuse was dealt with for ages. Just pretend it didn’t happen and when you grow up, the lasting effects are supposed to just disappear. Unfortunately, all that does is leave SO many of us living broken lives, some of us are better at hiding it than others.
Since then I have shared bits and pieces as I feel so led.
Here is the thing. It doesn’t ever go away. But the pain that you feel when you are remembering how you were mistreated, can become less and less.
It has always been my heart to help release the captives that are still trapped by the shame of something you have had no control over. It’s really NOT fair, and I don’t know why us and not someone else. BUT I can promise you that there is nothing wrong with you that made them choose you.
I don’t mean to wear my abuse like a badge of honor, and I know some will even suggest that it is exactly what I am doing.
But for me, it isn’t quite that. I have been good friends with my old friend Shame, and know that when I am close friends with shame, I tend to blame myself for things out of my control. I withdraw from people and the world in an unhealthy attempt to shield others from my “brokenness” even though the one I hurt most is myself.
Living like that is so lonely and painful.
Why give your abuser that kind of control over you still today?
That is the question that was echoing in my ears one night as I lay awake trying to make sense of this life I was attempting to live. That was the moment I realized that hiding my story was the worst thing I could do for me. Declaring that I am an abuse survivor and no longer a mistreated child has this very powerful effect on me that makes that shame just disappear!
And so maybe I deserve that badge of honor after all?
And while I am sharing my story in a very public way, I do not expect that everyone should do the same.
Learn to trust yourself again, and do the things you need to do to feel like the strong and courageous warrior that you really are! And give yourself permission to embrace the things that happened as part of the story you have been given even if it means just being real and honest with yourself.
No more hiding, and no more secrets!
And please, please, please know that you are not alone.
April is Child Abuse Awareness month and I am joining over 50 bloggers to shine the light on this very dark topic so that we can end child abuse before it even starts.
If you have ever had any experiences with child abuse, know that you are not alone! You are part of an amazing group of the strongest survivors! I am honored to stand with you as we bring what was once a taboo topic into the light for all to see.
Yes, it is an ugly and dirty topic, but WE ARE NOT!
I hope you will join me as I learn to forgive myself and continue to seek out the healing I need to be stronger every day.
I am planning to share a few more posts about My Story of Grace throughout the month of April.
If you want to read what others bloggers are sharing about child abuse prevention check out the hashtag #endbeforeitstarts