A very long post that must be written. It’s been in my brain for years, really. Today I decided that enough was enough. It may or may not be eye opening to some people that are closest to me. Most people have at least the gist of the story, if you know me. But still, this is a mental health blog, physical health blog, growth blog… and I just gotta get this out. So, sorry for the length, but if you can, I would appreciate your endurance to the end. It has a happy ending, I promise.
Warning: This post is serious. It’s raw, painful, honest, and brutal. I am putting up a trigger warning for those who are sensitive to sensitive topics like abuse, sexual abuse, depression, self harm, and neglect. If reading about tough topics like this send you in a downward hate spiral, or set you off into an emotional tear, or trap you inside your own mind this post is not for you. (can you tell I’ve been there before?) Remember if you need someone to listen, please call 1-800-273-8255.
I am still recovering from whatever that yuck was that I got last week. After I got over being sick, I went on a small vacation to a beach that is about an hour away from where I live for the weekend with family. It was a great little get away. Then we came home and reality hit me like a ton of bricks the way reality does. I’m in the middle of a big project finding my roots. I am adopted, so we did our DNA testing earlier this year. I’ll save that post for another day. In addition to our DNA results, I have taken it upon myself to do my birth family’s ancestry. I’m waiting to share what I discovered with my brother and possibly my birth sister before I divulge that information here, and of course I won’t share without their consent.
Oh, that word, consent. That’s why I’m here writing tonight instead of next Monday, like I thought I would be. Consent is such a strange blurry tricky thing. I had a breakdown today. The first one I’ve had in quite some time, actually. It was over the most trivial little thing, but it reminded me that boundaries are important and it is crucial to be honest with yourself about what those boundaries should be. It takes immense courage to do that, but in addition to that, it takes courage to voice your boundaries Out Loud. Without giving too much away, someone very close to me got a gift for me and my family. The gift caused me to get upset because unbeknownst to the giver, it sent me into a downward spiral of depression and bad memories. I had a break down, spoke to my brother who calmed me down mostly and then called my mom and had yet another breakdown. Mom said I need to talk about this stuff more, but it happened so long ago that I honestly can not remember the details too well. I only really remember the feeling that came with the events. So, I cried and then I spent the rest of my very busy and overwhelming day processing how I felt then versus how I feel now. Gosh it has been a long time coming.
It’s a long road when you open your adoption file and learn the truth about who did or did not take care of you during your first year of life. It is a measure of how much assurance one needs to this day in marriage, in friendship, in love. I am constantly asking, do you love me? How much? Are you sure? Events that transpire to one so young are bound to leave their marks. Addiction is a powerful thing and I am not blaming anyone. I am saying that this is one of many scars on my heart, one of many weights I have to carry.
It’s a long road when one year you are entering middle school naive and full of smiles and the next year the economy falls, 9/11 happens, and you grow up way too fast. You aren’t even in high school when you put yourself in dangerous situations and learn that peer pressure is a real thing. You struggle against the current to remain your age but you’ve witnessed and experienced events that no one person should ever have to see. You tell your friends… who are just as young and unequipped as you are. Rumors spread like wild fire. Self hate is an actual thing, but you don’t know it at the time. All you want to do is cope. You take very desperate measures to do that. Gauze and bandages can only go so far, so most days you cover up wearing a hoodie and praying that people don’t think this is cool. Fate is against you and you set every bad example in the book and then some. Your friends think you’re actually cool and your only hope against hope is that they realize how NOT cool all of this is. You fail. You fail yourself, you fail your friends. You just fucking fail. So they chalk you up to being dramatic, which you are, and just leave you to it. Unfortunately for you, they all are able to move on. The pain is real and it is still there. Even at 28. That’s what…15 years later?
My best friend, Hunter asked me how those around me dealt with this stuff when it happened. I said that I didn’t really know. To be fair I was too close to the project at the time, too busy making really shitty choices and putting my trust in the wrong hands one too many times. There was even a point where my best friend at the time betrayed me and I really needed her. But she did not believe the truth behind my words and while she wanted that confirmation for herself, directly asking the very person who harmed me “did you do it?” is hardly tactful. As if this person would own up. As if ANY of them ever did. (okay, one did, but again, it’s still a painful memory and their owning up doesn’t take away my pain) But I digress. I think I told Hunter that we didn’t talk about it a lot within my family (after they found out) but when we did we glossed over the details. I said that I thought they were embarrassed by me. I mean, wouldn’t you be? Maybe it’s the judgement in my INTJ personality traits or the fact that I am a libra, but yes, I am shallow enough to say that I’ll judge you if you keep making poor choices in your life, and yes, eventually I’d probably be embarrassed by you.
(Hah! I say that, but my best friend in high school made horrible choices while she was alive and she never once embarrassed me. I loved her unconditionally. I miss her every day. That’s another story for another time, I suppose but I guess I will need to open up more on here. Navigating that will be super fun.)
Anyway, I was so young when it began and it did not stop until I was 19. I made bad choices all the way until I dropped out of college after making one of my biggest mistakes to date. And those scars are permanent. Now I walk with a physical reminder every single day of “YOU DID THIS.” It is in my blood and blood cells betray you, too. (this is the first and last time I will discuss the college incident. Out of respect for everyone involved, but for the sake of the tangibility of this post, I did decide to go there)
So, yeah… the pain? Its very real. Its ironic because I have this big smile on my face but oh my god it is so much to get through and to think about. I think I worded it very well earlier this year when I encountered The Last Time I Will EVER Be Bullied: “I think I am a very kind sometimes naive person who has certainly been through the wringer. Some people grow thick skin when life gets rough. Unfortunately, that’s not me. I have learned to make lemonade from my lemons, sure, but I honestly feel that every time something fucking terrible happens I am busy trying to understand the why that I totally disregard myself and the healing that needs to take place. I am quick to forgive and to run back into the fire especially if the other person needs saving. ”
Yeah, that’s me. So now, its time to untangle this mess. To understand the why’s and to move on. I feel that I have been carrying this burden for far too long. It is way too much for one person to go through. I am in the midst of finding therapy. I’ve had a few good recommendations. I have tried therapy before, but I was not ready. I just can’t live stuck in my own head forever. The cycling has been monumental in me beginning to process all the years of abuse. But I won’t do this alone because I know that its okay to need people. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not be okay. Instead of saving them, now I am going to save myself.
The best part of this is how strong I realize I am. How strong I am physically for enduring. For riding against the wind on my bike. And for how strong I am mentally. I have already been through the hard stuff. Now I just need to cope with it. JK Rowling had it right when Dumbledore told Harry that he needed to talk about what happened during the triwizard tournament. Yes, reliving the pain is horrible, but there is something in getting it out. Exorcising the demons so the truth can break through and I can carry my torch forward with the brightest light.
That’s where I am tonight. I’m going to do everything I can to get the right help that I need and to work through all of this. It’s making me very vulnerable. I am pretty scared to say the least, but it’ll be okay. So, here’s to me. Unfiltered. Raw. Honest. I refuse to omit parts of who I am to accommodate every one else’s needs. For those who have hurt me, I pray for your happiness and joy. I know you are human. Everyone makes mistakes. I hope you were able to reconcile with the truth in your actions. Please know that I don’t blame you. I wish nothing but the best for you. If you should ever come across this post, just know I am praying for you.
Remember to be kind to yourself and if you or someone close to you is in serious distress or simply needs to talk to someone, please call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.