“Are you sure it’s a good idea to have it on Facebook?”
My mom teaches me and inspires my growth, often not in the direction she intends. I spoke with her on the phone a few days ago, she wanted to make sure that I supported the public testimony our arrest that James wrote on his blog and shared on Facebook. I assured her that not only did I support his writing but I helped edit the post. Letting out the details of our experience is one of the ways that James and I like to heal. Shining the light on the pain and trauma is likened to cleaning a wound, and sharing what happened in a public format is a powerful way to remove shame around what happened. I choose to set myself free from any victim mentality that was assigned to me when I was mistreated. I know who I am and I know that I am much greater than this experience, by letting go of the story I no longer define myself by it.
There are many secrets in my family, some that I just found out this year, some that I hold inside because it’s not my secret to share, and surely there are many secrets that I do not know about. I like to do things differently than generations past. I like to tell all my secrets and set them free. I believe that hiding my pain only causes me more pain, I would rather air out my wounds and disappoint a few people than kill myself slowly with the internal burden of secret pain. When I told my dad about abuse I experienced as a child he cautioned me to be careful who I tell, I assured him I would tell anyone I want. I refuse to hide in the shadows of my trauma.
Shame is such a controlling force if we let it sink too deep into our psyche. I have found immeasurable freedom in refusing to be ashamed of anything. I am proud of who I am, proud of how powerfully I have moved through very challenging situations with strength and grace (and sometimes as a hot mess and then back to grace). It is my goal to continually become more polished in my ability to process testing experiences and in the process I have inspired others with my courage, a result I did not set out to achieve but a massive perk in doing the self work.
Growth requires change. I am not a Twinkie that will remain the same for a hundred years, I am a living, breathing, actively changing and growing human person. This might seem trivially elementary to some but to others who tell me “you’ve changed” I say “yes, I am so glad that I have.”