This is the hardest post I’ve made so far.
Shame is a hard topic for me. I hate parts of myself and I am working on healing them, but honestly it has not been easy for me.
I spent years feeling ashamed and alone. I had this idea in my head that if I let anyone get close, they would inevitably hurt me. I fought against myself. I would run away from relationships or I would let someone in and then push them away.
I started to add more Shame on top of the shame I already had. I started drinking to numb the pain, and all that did was cause more pain. I was stuck in a vicious cycle.
It wasn’t until a counselor told me that I had it all wrong, did I really start to understand the root of my fears. He taught me about transferred emotions. An idea that was foreign to me.
He explained that when we are young, under the age of 10 or so we don’t understand what shame is. Yes we know the difference between right and wrong. We can feel bad about something and scared of being punished, but at that age, shame is something we can only feel if it is transferred to us by someone else’s actions.
This is not to say you can’t have emotions transferred to you as an adult, you certainly can and it happens all the time.
For me it was the daily abuse, and eventually sexual abuse (at the age of 7),that I suffered from. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I truly understood what happened. I felt dirty and unclean.
I kept asking myself questions:
Why did this happen to me?
Was I a bad kid?
Did I even deserve to live?
The last thought plagued my mind for almost 15 years and still surfaces now and then.
NOT YOUR FAULT
I don’t know if I’ll ever be fully healed, but at least I am trying. One thing I have figured out, is that I am not to blame for my abuse. There was nothing I could have done to change what happened, it wasn’t my fault.
I did make some choices that I am not proud of, and while I probably made some of these choices because of my trauma, they were still my decisions.
I am making amends with my choices in the best way I can, by being a better person. I have been sober for years and while there have been some slip ups, I have never stopped trying to be a better person.
I hope this helps other people who have gone through, or are going through similar situations. While writing this is harder than I thought it would be, it definitely makes me feel better than I thought it would.
So, if anyone out here has been through verbal, mental, physical or sexual abuse, it’s not your fault.
People make choices and no one has the right to abuse you, and you don’t have the right to transfer that emotion on to another, just because you were abused.
Abuse is never an option and you deserve better.
#savingme is the column where abuse victims can publish their experiences just to let go and find comfort and support. Maybe it doesn’t feel like much but just publishing your story for others to read makes you strong. You can send your story about the abuse you went through to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can choose if you want it to be anonymous or not. More details here.