I sat down one day and felt the need to write a letter. Throughout my life I have kept so many details of the abuse I have endured to myself. Why do we keep some of the details inside? I think because we feel ashamed. We feel embarrassed. We think so much of what others will think. But I truly believe that releasing the details gives a freedom that only letting them out can bring.
As I was writing the letter I realized many things. That as an adult writing about childhood abuse, I was now seeing the abuse from an adult’s eyes. The abuse was much worse than I had kept in my own mind. I realized that the shame I felt was NOT MY SHAME. I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I didn’t want these things to happen. I didn’t ask for them to happen. I still felt wounded, but not ashamed.
The shame belongs on the abuser. The shame does not belong to you!
Because of the abuse I endured I made some very poor decisions. I had tremendous guilt and embarrassment over these choices. After writing my letter I realized that in that moment based on what had happened to me, that was all I knew how to do. I don’t think I was capable of making other better decisions. Abuse was all I knew.
I often hear people who have been through abuse say they feel as if they are tainted, dirty, as if the abuser has taken something they will never get back. And then I hear others who have not been abused say that no one can take something you don’t give and no one can touch what is inside your soul.
Unless you have been through an assault then you don’t know really what it feels like to ones body or soul. And other’s thoughts on how you should or should not feel and what was or was not affected really doesn’t matter. And everyone’s experiences are different. An assault may feel one way to one person and another to someone else.
What matters is how you feel. Do you feel tainted? Dirty? Like you lost something?
If you do then that is totally normal! You are not alone in these feelings. It is OK to feel what you need to feel.
My feelings have been after abuse that their is a residue. A residue that has been felt for 30 years. Some days I do not feel it. Some days I do. On the days I do, I let myself feel. But I don’t let myself stay there too long. And then I simply remind myself. It is not my shame. It is not my secret. It was not my fault.
Telling the details of what was done to me was very hard.
But I felt that I had to regain my own strength and power in the truth.
I have found that some people don’t really want to hear the truth.
Some people want me to be silenced, because my truth ultimately involves many other’s lies.
They don’t want to deal with the emotions that go along with that.
But that is not my problem. I have held so many of other people’s secrets for so long that it was eating me up.
I can’t advise someone to send a letter. But I can say that writing it, and even using voice recognition and saying it out loud, seems to have really helped me process the gravity of it all and the power in the release of it all.
If you cannot speak your truth right now, then maybe you can write it down. Seeing it on paper and reading it put it into a completely different perspective. It allowed me to really see my own truth in the things that had happened to me. It allowed me to release those who denied that truth.