The other day I was confronted with the idea that my blog isn’t the right way to be healing. That it maybe a selfish thing and may hurt people involved in my story. This is a fear I have had from the first moment of my blogs creation. It is so scary to go out on a limb and share a journey that is so personal and a story that has been a secret all your life, giving up the control you have over it and letting the world in to see it thru their eyes. When I first started talking I only talked to people I trusted deeply. It was completely about me. But as I continued to shared something amazing happened. My journey became other peoples journeys too. Not people in my story, but people on their own journey. I helped them take the first step.
Now everyone heals in their own unique way. What feels right to one may feel terribly wrong to another. That can make this hard and scary. But it is also why I believe it needs to be an open conversation. We need each other. Even if we don’t know it yet. We don’t have to walk a healing journey perfectly, but by doing it openly we help others learn from our mistakes and we encourage them to get honest with their fears and secrets. By taking the first step we encourage others to take their first step.
After a conversation this week I had to look deeply at what I was doing by writing this blog. I didn’t sleep much that night (but as we know, that isn’t much different then any other night for me). I have agonized over writing this blog since the beginning. I have thought long and hard about who it effects and who it may hurt. I have written entries that I will never post, I have read and rewrote and read and rewrote ever blog I have posted. I have worried and pained over what others will think. I have given myself anxiety over every word. I have cared so deeply about the people in my story that I have often forgot about me. And that right there is terrible. Yes, we are taught to care about others, to love others, sometimes even above ourselves. But this breaks down as soon as you realize that no one was doing this for you. This breaks down as soon as you realize that you also need to love yourself and care for yourself. My emotions, my feelings, my journey is my own. I decided to be a light in a subject so dark that it makes everyone uncomfortable. I have decided my voice is important and real and it needs to be heard. Childhood sexual assault victims often feel like they have no voice, as they didn’t all their life. So now I have found mine and I will use it.
I am amazed but the reach of my voice. The morning after the conversation I mentioned above I received a message from someone I don’t know well. She has heard my voice and needed help for a friend. She remembered me, and that I maybe able to help. In that moment I knew I was doing right. I have spoken before about people coming to me to tell me thanks to me they have taken a step in their healing journey. So how could this be wrong? Even if I only helped one person, it was worth it. Wearing my pain on my shoulder, wearing my journey on my shoulder, so visible is a scary and wonderful thing. Yes, it leaves me open to attacks and to more pain. But it also helps others, it also loves others, and cares for others. And, selfishly, helps me. For the first time in my life I am helping me.
I am in a wonderful moms group that meets Wednesday mornings. Today we had an amazing speaker (who I am lucky enough to also call my friend) come in and speak to us about anxiety and fear. Talk about the perfect topic for me right now! She said something so powerful and true;
If you give it a name, it losses its power.
How amazing is that!? Give it a name. Talk about it. Don’t be afraid of it. So much power in that, so much healing in that. I am Sandra, I am a survivor of childhood sexual violence, I have anxiety, I have pain and I have fear. But I am a voice, and I will be okay.
That conversation I spoke of earlier also confirmed that some of my biggest fear surrounding my journey have come true. I am going to be very honest right now, I am not doing okay with that. Knowing that things I was scared would happen, have happened is so painful I don’t currently have words for it. I can’t describe the pain I have been in the last week as it is something I have never felt. We learn as children that our family will always have our back, but what we don’t learn is that family doesn’t always mean blood. My support system is wide. I have the most amazing people in my corner. But what do you do when you are confronted with the fact that the people you thought would be in your corner, aren’t? In my case, I cried. I got angry. And then I messaged my support. And again one of my amazing friends said the best thing;
Family are the people who have your back, support you and do life with you regardless of the blood in their veins. You have family, amazing and strong family HERE who ARE team Sandra and here for you, no hesitation. Embrace them and cut loose the others.
I have amazing family. It may just not look the way I thought it would. I have the most amazing sister in the entire world. I can’t even write about her because there are no words to describe her strength, her love, her pain and her ability to do life. She amazes me daily. I have the most amazing husband in the entire world. He never makes me feel like I am doing wrong. He loves me with my flaws and with my pain. I have children who adore me. And I have friends who I call family.
With that being said, I am truly sorry if anything I have written about my journey is painful to read. I am sorry if I trigger something in you that you don’t want to be triggered. I am sorry if by trying to be a voice for those with no voice has been too loud of a voice for you. I am sorry if by finally telling the truth and worrying about myself I have made it harder to hid from your truth. I am sorry. But, you do not have to read this.