Is it all not my secret?

My blog is about NOT MY SECRET. I put it all out there. Everything. Everything that has happened to me. Every detail. Everything in my family and my life that has occurred after the abuse. I have felt such a strong urge to break the stigma of silence in abuse that I started this raw honest blog about abuse. Even about me personally. My health. I mean look at this. This is no pretentious facebook bullshit pretty picture world. Yes, I do post pictures that are pretty, but life is not always pretty and so I post what is real. So this is my face. It is not pretty. My eye swelled closed. I got hives all over the side of my face. We have no idea why. I went into a restaurant. Came home. And this. I honestly didn’t even realize my eye was closing until my daughter stuffed a claritin down my mouth and said OMG mom you look scary bad like epipen bad. I will gladly show my less than pretty face and reaction as these things are part of my day to day frustrations and I am not ashamed to show the real me. 


My daughter took those pictures. 

The PTSD is in a completely different realm of real and raw though. I wish I could divulge the honest to God truth. But that truth, the depths and magnitude of the PTSD is just revealed to God. I cannot discuss this secret. It is my only one. The diagnosis is not a secret. The details of the experiences of the PTSD moments are. I have shared some PTSD moments, but because, I am married, and I have a daughter my PTSD depth is a secret. Their friends and coworkers can read about my sexual abuse because it had nothing to do with me. They can every read about the choices I made after because those also did not have to do with me. Those were all rooted in abuse. I have no shame in those things. But my mental health…there is so much judgment out there on mental health issues. The real truth, unfortunately, has to stay a secret with me. It is a sad but real truth of mental health. The stigma is real. The judgment is real. The repercussions and ramifications of my truth could affect others in my family. So I have to keep them to myself. Shit I am sure my extended abandoning family members are reading this right now saying, “yep, she’s got problems, and that is why she wrote that letter.” My stupid ass parents will always find some reason to blame me for their faults. This is just fuel for their fire. And I find that sad. It is a part of me that I still have shame over. Even though it is completely out of my control. I know that it would affect others in my family negatively by insensitive ignorant people. So I have no one to share these day to day experiences with. I wish I did. Secrets damage the soul. But my husband and daughter are important to me. They don’t need people caling me “crazy”. They can handle “oh your mom is an abuse survivor,” but why put them through the judgments of the real ramifications of abuse and what it has done to my mind. So although my  blog is about NOT MY SECRET> I suppose we all have a few that must remain hidden. Not for ourselves. Bot for the rest of the world who stands in judgment and cannot handle the truth in its purity. So once again. A secret has made me alone in my suffering. But this time it is my own choice. Not one put upon me. I hope I am doing the right thing.

33 thoughts on “Is it all not my secret?

  1. It’s completely understandable that there is only so much you feel comfortable talking about.

    I’m not sure that you have to air everything on a blog for it not to be a secret though. If you’ve shared with your husband the depth of what’s going on, it’s not a secret. You have to also keep yourself safe remember. What you share is your business.

    The stigma bullshit sucks. It’s completely ridiculous…a word I’ve been using a lot in the last few days. But it is. PTSD is just as physical as any disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, MS, Central Core Disease, etc.

    Our brains have been effected. If we were abused in childhood, our brains didn’t have the chance to develop the way they were meant to. Our amygdalas don’t have the same connections, our hippocampus is generally smaller than the hippocampus of someone who was not abused. So how can our brains NOT work differently than someone who does not have PTSD?

    It’s a physical ailment as much as it pertains to our emotions. It’s ridiculous that when the brain is afflicted it’s seen as something to stigmatize. Imagine stigamitizing people with cancer.

    That’s awful about the hives/reaction. Good on your daughter for looking out. I hope you’re OK, that can be so scary and it sounds like you had a really severe reaction.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bethany. My heart goes out to you. I feel the same I can share the physical parts of my PTSD but the emotional, the thoughts that go through my mind I have not yet spoken. I had behind anonymity, my choice I am not ashamed of that. You should know reading your blog, what you have chosen to share is such a gift. It has helped me with my feelings of being alone. You have a right to your privacy and telling your story your way. Much respect to you for sharing as much as you have. The fear of judgement is real and holds me back too. I don’t think many can understand the gravity of the fear of judgment we have. I tend to open up a little and then retreat from friendships due to this fear of judgment that holds me and controls my every thought and move. It is truly mental illness. One of my dearest friends whom I know won’t judge me still doesn’t know. I’ve only known you a short time you have helped me personally and helped me understand and guide my daughter. You will never know what that means to me. Your strength and courage to put a face on this disease and pain is so encouraging and empowering for me. And many others women reading this as well. I’m having so many emotions as I am typing these words to you tears streaming down my cheeks blurring my vision. YOU HAVE HELPED ME. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. This has moved me to tears. Just to know that i have individuals OUT THERE who understand what I am going through, the struggle, that in that i have still helped you. It means the world to me. Thank you. In that moment of despair and flashback and trapped in a ptsd moment it scares me and I feel so isolated. I’m so glad i wrote this so I could read through those who really took that time to write to me, that means something. Deeply to me. Reminds me I matter, I mean something, i am not alone. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are always inspiring to me. I think about it this way; not everyone has the right to know all our story. What you share is putting a voice, a face, a heart and soul…a person, to this terrible illness! Im with you every step of the way. ❤️

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  4. Sending you a big hug Bethany. Your brave writing has always encouraged me. We only have to share what we feel safe to share. Many families struggle with how to cope with trauma and abuse; it brings up fear, shame, anger …all the things you mentioned. Our society doesn’t teach us healthy ways to address abuse or support restoration so we’re all left to stumble through with fragments of resources. We can choose to be voices of healing, light, compassion and truth to inform what a more safe and sane world could be. Wishing you continued healing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I get it. You are brave, you are honest, and still there may be things that it makes sense for you to tuck away from public view. Because public view is not always as kind and understanding as it should be. Because the public still has a lot to learn about trauma and mental health.

    I hope you quickly recovered from the hives and swelling. xxoo

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I keep some of those feelings to myself, too. We don’t have to share everything…

    Have you had a 24 hour urine test for histamine and prostaglandins? Being my twin and all, you should rule out Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol! Damn girl! Stop being psychic!!! I just had an appointment last week and I asked to be tested!!!!!! She said she had already tested me for that a few years back and it was negative.

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      • Ha ha! Mine was negative, too. I swear it’s because they did not keep the sample refrigerated the entire time. I think they left it on the counter at the hospital for a bit before bringing it to the lab.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I swear I freaking have it!!!!!!
        I have thought for a long time. All my symptoms fit. Everything. So they down grade to chemical sensitivities. Really. Sensitive to chemicals. I’d say it is a hell of a lot more than that

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      • I see Dr Maria Castells in Boston. She said she’s been treating the director of the New England Mastocytosis Support Group for years without an official diagnosis. It took her 12 years of treating her to finally get a definitive blood test. She knew she had it though, and treated her right away and she responded well to the treatment.

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      • Does she think you have it even though it is negative? Are you being treated? I was given a blood test…tryptase a few times and it was negative but it was never tested when iwas in a full blown allergic type reaction so i dont think it was accurate. A hematologist said only a bone marrow biopsy would diagnose it. I asked him if me having osteoporosis meant that test would be a bad idea. He was unsure. Unsure was not the right answer so i didn’t get it done. But i wonder. I still wonder.

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      • My tryptase was negative during a full-blown reaction. It’s so variable that they don’t use a negative result as a diagnosis. She thought that I had it before I had any positive blood work and started treating me immediately. She put me on cromolyn sodium and I noticed results quickly. I then repeated the urine test and it came back positive for elevated prostaglandins. That gave me the diagnosis. I’m not sure if a bone marrow biopsy is definitive, either. You should really be talking to a mast cell activation syndrome specialist, not a hematologist.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Who is the specialist in that?i talked to my internal medicine doc and the hematologist and an immunologist/allergist. That woman really blew me off. So tired of doctors. But if the treatment is that simple and i have so many documented pictures of reactions why on earth would they not freakin at least try me on it!!!!!!

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      • I’ve heard of many people traveling out of state to get diagnosed. The holy grail is Dr Afrin in MN. I wrote to him in desperation describing my symptoms and he wrote back to me, saying it sounded like I had it. That letter is what got me into the mast cell specialist here in Boston

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      • I SPOKE to Dr Afrin!!! Called him on the phone and they let me speak to him! He felt I had it by just our phone conversation. I told him there was no way I could travel there. He told me he had a 2 year waiting list.
        HEY do you have a comment section on your “signs”? I couldn’t find it. OMG can we be any more like sisters!!!!!!!! Your signs are MY signs!!!!!

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      • Put yourself on the waiting list. That will give you two whole years to figure out how to get there.

        And yes, there is a comment from someone on that post, so not sure why you can’t 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I pray for healing and quick recovery for you Bethany and everyone going through situations. May Christ grant you health and wholeness physically, psychologically, emotionally and round about. In Jesus name. I cannot pretend to say I know I how you feel. But Jesus has your best interest at heart. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

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