Once again, it’s been another 4 months since my last blog. But this time, something in me has completely shifted. I know now that I am back to writing for good!
When I wrote my last blog post, I’d only publicly disclosed my child abuse very recently. The memories, the trauma, the heartbreak, the shame, the tears – all of it, was still so raw. I wrote my last post with both a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. At the time, I didn’t know if writing about the pain I was experiencing was the right thing. Then, I realised, it was. It was the right thing for me. It was the right thing for so many others going through immense pain. The right thing for those who needed reminding that they weren’t alone.
There are still days where I’m driving my daughters to school and tears are running down my face. There are still days where I grieve for the childhood that I didn’t get. There are still days where I’m furious. Absolutely fuming that I was 9 years old when absolutely perverted acts were done to me… 9 years old – the age that my eldest daughter is now!
But then there are days where I amaze myself with my persistence, my determination, my courage to speak openly and publicly about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.
Starting to heal
Yes, it’s been another 4 months since my last blog. But in the past 4 months, I have done an incredible amount of healing.
In my last post, I talked about finally living life. Finally being who I want to be. And this could not be more true of the past few months.
Despite coming out with a 20 year old secret just one year ago, I have made so many gains in my life. Gains that would never have been possible if I had continued to live my life in fear.
For instance, I’ve always found it difficult to have my voice heard. I’ve always had difficulty in truly believing in what I had to say. I’d second guess myself. I’d question whether my opinion or view was even valid, even important, even worth anything.
But since coming to terms with my childhood trauma, I’ve become so much more confident. I don’t care so much about what others think and I believe in who I am and what I have to offer.
So, I’ve joined two school P&C committees (for my daughters’ two schools). I’ve volunteered at bake sales. I’ve put my hand up before anyone else has to take over projects. I’ve shared my ideas even when I knew it was possible they might be shut down. I’ve given new experiences a try, even when my anxiety kicked in and tried to convince me that I couldn’t do it.
If you’ve been a reader of my blog since 2011, you’ll know that my blog’s original tagline was “Sharing my experiences so others don’t feel so alone”. This tagline is why I continue to do everything that I do. Why I’m here, writing, at the most difficult time in my life.
People sometimes ask if I write for myself. To some extent, I do. I do it for my own emotional release. For cathartic purposes.
But you know what? All that essentially is a by-product.
It’s never my intention to help myself.
My intention is always, first and foremost, to help YOU. You, the person going through a challenging time. You, who sometimes struggles to see the positive in a negative situation. You, who needs someone to remind them that they’re important and valued.
A new chapter
As I write this, there are no tears. Just smiles.
Smiles because my life is the best it’s ever been. My husband knows everything about me and he loves me even more than before. My children have held me when I’ve cried. My friends have reminded me time and time again, how lucky they are to have such an amazing, inspiring person for a friend. My in-laws insist that I am their family.
This is a new chapter for me because I’m conquering all the fears that have held me back my whole entire life.
I’m managing the anxiety I’ve lived with my whole life by going to regular sessions of counselling.
I’m confronting the traumatic memories of the child sexual abuse.
I’m no longer ashamed that I live with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), I finally understand and believe that it doesn’t define who I am.
It has been almost exactly 1 YEAR since I disclosed my abuse for the very first time. To my husband. And I remember vividly crying and telling him, “Please. Promise me you won’t tell anyone. Promise me you won’t make me go to counselling. I told you because I trusted you.” And I remember shaking all over. I remember the way the fear swept all over me. The child part of myself still feeling absolutely terrified of what my abuser would do to hurt me again.
Then I look at myself now. Talking about it publicly. Going to counselling. Putting the people who hurt me behind me. Not letting threats stop me from living the life that I deserve.
I sit at my study desk and I feel excited. Absolutely excited about what’s to come. Now that our family has moved into the home we’ve built and I’ve finally finished unpacking, I can continue to inch myself closer to becoming a Youth Worker again.
I know it feels hard right now, but please don’t give up….
To anyone reading this, please know that you’re not alone. That you are AMAZING even when people try to tell you otherwise. That you are WORTHY of love. That you are DESERVING of the future that you want for yourself. That you are CAPABLE of achieving your dreams. That you CAN overcome whatever it is that you’re going through.
I may be past the major crisis points of my healing and recovery, but I will always have days filled with depression, anxiety, anger, grief, and/or resentment.
But on those days, I have to continue to remember what one of my friends quoted to me:
“So far you’ve survived 100 percent of your worst days. You’re doing great.”