Hiding ourselves

by Mrs. Smith on August 16, 2018

Trigger warning: #metoo stuff, which (if you don’t know because you were off-planet last year) means sexual abuse.

This quote is a little out of context, but it gets its own post anyway.

“We were taught as children to isolate it and try to work it out on our own, because we thought we had to keep it secret. And now as adults, we need to come out of keeping things secret, keeping ourselves secret –

“So it’s not even about how we choose to keep sexual abuse secret or not.
“It matters more that we come out of hiding ourselves.”
– Linda Meredith in this video

Can I get an amen??

THAT is why I was overwhelmed with the awe and – yes, I’ll say it – majesty of the #metoo movement. THAT is why it still makes me feel like a freaking amazon warrior when I think about the #metoo thing. THAT is why I’ve been kind of counting down the days ’til we get to the 1 year anniversary.

Are we there yet?

No. It was October last year…

Yeah, I just looked it up. I don’t remember the date exactly when it hit my newsfeed, but Facebook better give me one of those “one year ago today” reminders or I shall be very disappointed. 

And all of a sudden my newsfeed was full of #metoo.

All of a sudden, I was not alone,
and they were not alone,
and even if they didn’t have a #metoo to post,
and even if they did but didn’t come out and post it (which was a perfectly acceptable choice) they knew.

They ALL knew.

None of us was alone any more.

It was amazing. It was incredible.
It was scary to post my #metoo…
Do I want everyone knowing I’m one of them? Some people will never see me the same again. I don’t want or need pity, I don’t even really want or need sympathy! But this is about solidarity. This is about strength in numbers. This is about NOT CARING if there are those who judge you by your past, whatever may be in it. This is about walking the walk, man, instead of just talking it out behind closed doors…

So of course I knew I had to. I am not the keep-it-to-myself type any more if there’s an appropriate place for me to take action.

And this was definitely an appropriate place.

Oh, how I loved every single soul who added their voice to the discussion!
I loved those who jumped in right away.
I loved those who hung on a few days or even weeks.
I loved those who shared their stories.
I loved those who said not another word about it.
I loved those who shared why they didn’t want to talk any more about it,
and I love those who felt no such obligation. You don’t owe anyone anything in this arena.
I loved those who blasted their #metoo publicly, and
I loved even more, if possible, those who sent their stories to me in private messages, saying, “I’m not brave enough to own this out loud yet, but I need to tell someone…”

Yes. The intense shame associated with abuse will dissolve when you share it, and it doesn’t need to be shouted from rooftops. Just to air it out to someone who’s safe, to someone you can trust… it makes such a big difference.

That’s why the #metoo week was amazing to me. It threw light on a dark subject.

It was also AWFUL, and although the energy was overwhelmingly healing and positive, it was… wow. As the days rolled by and there were still more and more of the #metoos coming out, I couldn’t keep my head from shaking. What? No! Not #youtoo!

It’s something so awful, you would hope it doesn’t ever happen to anyone, on any scale…

But it’s a thing, you guys.

It’s a thing in our world today — Sexual abuse and incest have gone on for a lonnnnnnnng time and largely no one talked about it. The victims just suffer with the wounds deep inside and muddle through best they can. The perpetrators don’t get the healing they need either, and the cycle repeats over and over.

NO MORE.

The world is DONE with shoving stuff under the rug.
No more pretending it isn’t there, no more pretending it’s not a big deal when it does.
No more pretending this never happens to boys/men.
No more pretending if a kid is young enough that they can’t remember, it doesn’t matter.
No more with people thinking they should be strong enough to get over it by themselves.
No more with people thinking they are “weak” by being deeply, negatively impacted by sexual abuse.
No more with people thinking they’re the only ones that “broken.”

And no more with those who manage to make to adulthood “unscathed” thinking that there must be something wrong with you if you can’t just get over it.

Um, yeah.
It hurts. It does damage that can be permanent if it doesn’t get the right kind of help.

For the record, I stubbornly continue to think that the damage can be fully repaired… but… I’d be lying if I said I was living proof of that, seeing as just this morning my whole torso shook in involuntary, seizure-like spasms (again) because I wanted to snuggle up to my adoring husband and my body didn’t like that idea.

Apparently, I’m not “there” yet.
$#@#$%^&*&^%$#$%^&#*&^%$%^&*!!
So frustrating.

Anyway.

That quote was amazing. The whole video was great, actually, for the way it validated the last 4 years of my life. I knew most of it already, but it’s still lovely every time I hear someone else talk about all this stuff that feels so bizarre and beyond my control, and spell it all out as par for the course with the stuff I’m healing from. Totally normal, thankyouverymuch.

And that feeling I’ve been working with for a while now — she talked about it! The one that’s really hard to explain, but basically, I feel like a stranger in my own head. This person I’ve been for 30+ years… was making almost every single decision, all day, every day, coming from a place of fear.

And that isn’t really who I was created to be. That’s not really who I am.

As life rolls on and things keep healing, I’m left feeling like… wait, so, who the heck am I???? How do I do life differently?

I’ve felt like I don’t know what my true “default” personality actually is, honestly. Am I shy? Am I not? Am I bold and vibrant and daring? Or am I quiet, subdued, and sensitive? I get that we are all over the spectrum and we’re different things at different times, but also, let’s be real. We have our “defaults,” our “autopilot” styles of living and being.

What my energy-type says I am is not what I’m comfortable with at all, nor have I ever been!

It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. Even weirder than the bright green bubble gum one of my kids stuck up his nose when he was 2.

I’ve been quietly trying to figure it out this year, thinking it was completely bizarre, and not even really having words for it.

But it’s not bizarre.

It’s what can happen when there’s sexual abuse (or other severe trauma) in your early childhood. She totally calls it out and talks about it in that video. Ha. I love it. I’m so glad she’s speaking her truth, and glad for the opportunity to speak mine.

Thanks for listening.

Stay weird,

~Me

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