I am going to share a taboo topic: therapy, abuse, and mental health.
In previous posts I wrote about the stress I’ve experienced this year and the onset of my Dad’s illness. There was a family quarrel the weekend of Halloween so I decided to schedule a meeting with my therapist, a specialist in child abuse. For most of my life I’ve hid that I grew up in an abusive home. There are a variety of reasons why I did it, to save myself the shame and stigma more then anything else, and to also try to move on with my life. I was also confident no one would believe me. Why? Because there were warning signs that most teachers, school admins, and others caught onto: abnormal attendances, bruises, sleepiness in class sessions, and odd writing pieces. It was never reported though but questioned many times. When I was seventeen I unsuccessfully attempted suicide as a mechanism of getting out of my abusive home. I figured, if the school and church couldn’t help me, I could surely try to help myself? I never intended on failing, it was not a cry for attention, and to this day I’m not sure why it did not work. Anyone, who specializes in abuse and truma, very much knows that pretending it (trauma and abuse) never happened, is a recipe for disaster.
Which is what happened February 2018, ten years after I left home and never went back.
My counselor calls it a survival mechanism I no longer need, but a mechanism that was needed when I was a teen and child. Why am I sharing this? Well, writing is my healing modality and until I start acknowledging my truth, it will weigh on me like an unending burden. I’m sharing this because for most of my life I put on a facade that everything was dandy, perfect, and fine. It was not. I felt like a dead poster child for most of my life. I experienced horrendous forms of trauma and abuse(s) at the expense of pride, reputation, and greed from a young age into adulthood.
Only the people closest to me, or the ones who grew up with me, will understand this.
So where am I going with this and why am I sharing this then?
I pretended that I grew up “just-like-everyone-else.” With a cherry on top, of course! I wore makeup, curled my hair just right, posed perfectly, and smiled straight into the camera. Like a good person should. But I’m a complex human being. I’ve made mistakes, am the product of mistakes, have overcome many hurdles and barriers in life, and most of the time I did it alone or by myself (with a lot of help from God).
All of this is to say, your family consists of the people who love you unconditionally. It is not the one you are born into. Your home is the place you feel safe. Your life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you. You are not stagnant, pre-determined, or set. You change, make mistakes, learn from mistakes, grow from experiences, and evolve. It’s one of the many amazing things that makes us human, but in order to do that – we all need to take care of our “self.”
“Self,” means something different to everyone. It is a combination of the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. If our mind is not well and we are thriving physically, emotionally, and spiritually – we will experience depression. If our life is great but, there is no reason to live, we will feel emptiness. If we are happy, spiritually attuned, surround ourselves with joy but physically deprive our health – we will prematurely die. Life is a delicate balance and dance.
How is your dance?
Love and light,