Progress from trauma comes in the form of big steps, little steps, small moves and big moves. For me, any move is accompanied by high anxiety, great fear, confusion, and doubt. I've been making big moves lately that I hope will carry me to more freedom.
I recently confronted another abuser. I didn't receive what I was hoping for from that person. That's always a blow to my psyche and my gut. Swirls of emotions occur, frustration sets in, and anger hits. Taking a chance, like confronting, takes my super power strength. I literally feel ill, nauseated, and second guess my intentions prior to it. You see, even though I didn't get what I needed from him, I was able to speak my peace. I was able to tell my side. I explained the way I was affected, and how his abuse still affects me. I left feeling a bit numb and needed time to process it all.
This situation took some twists and turns that were also very hard to process. Nothing about this is easy.
I released some mental weight 3 weeks ago by having a family session with my parents and siblings. For the first time, I went in to detail about some of my abuse and the actual acts that occurred to me. If I'm honest, it was one of the hardest things I've had to do so far. NONE of what I had to say was easy. The week leading up to this day was dreadful. I second guessed my desire to do this a million times. I couldn't, and didn't want to imagine what my family would think. I knew I was going to be challenging them by putting these visuals in their heads, describing details that would forever be imprinted on their brains. This $hit just doesn't fade away from your memory.
Of course my family was up for the task, no matter how hard it was going to be. They have shown me so much support in the best way they know how with all of this. I'm so grateful for their support.
The day of the meeting, I couldn't eat. I had such high anxiety that if I let myself think about it, I would just start sweating and shaking uncontrollably. It was my idea to schedule the family meeting, though. I have fully relied on God to reveal to me what my next steps should be. This meeting was necessary because I needed to be more understood by my family. Because of this, THEY could help carry my burdens and secrets so I didn't have to do it alone. They would be able to see more of the big picture. They all agreed to take on this role for me. Revealing the details to them would also help explain why I'm still struggling, why I sometimes hit a roadblock, why things can be very challenging.
We met for an hour and a half with my Social Worker. It went well but it was pretty awful. It was super hard. It was very embarrassing. It was heartbreaking. Shame always rears its ugly head. A lot was discussed. A lot was learned and a lot was accomplished. I received feedback, discussion, support and love. We left with a plan to meet again to further discuss this multilayered mess called sexual abuse.
The victim is the victim but the abuse is far-reaching. Similar to suicide, it affects everyone who loves that person in one way or another. I won't pretend that my abuse and depression doesn't challenge everything - home, family, work, friends. It's a daily struggle. It's in my thoughts daily - daily! Since I started writing this blog and "came out" about my sexual abuse, I continue to be overwhelmed by how many people that have reached out to me and are victims/survivors as well. Sexual abuse doesn't discriminate either. It's everywhere. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you. Thank you for trusting me enough to share your story with me - you know who you are :-)
In conclusion, progress is hard but I'm super proud when I go up against the enemy. I may lose a few years from the stress of it, but I'll take the progress. My wish for fellow survivors is to expose the darkness into the light - whenever you are ready. It's a process and it's challenging but suffering alone is suffocating and too heavy to bear alone.