I have been spending a lot of time in reflection since Thanksgiving. Time looking at all of my best laid plans for a toxic free holiday...
Grief given space✓
Hard conversation had✓
Ways out considered✓
Then during yoga this morning deep into a child's pose the tears started to flow. And I realized I am exhausted!
Making safe plans
Having hard conversations with my kids about inevitable weird family stuff that could come up
Making sure they know I don’t need their protection
Talks about boundaryless people/boundary crossers
Ways of leaving toxic situations
Plans for confrontation
I am weary deep in my bones. And I can’t and won’t do this to myself any more!
Because what that means for me is outside of my family and friends that believe me- I feel like I am doing all the Fucking work!
Now don’t get me wrong. I believe I am worth the work!
Here is a reminder of what it looks like to believe someone
BE SOMEONE'S BELIEVER
Don't spend time with the abuser (if the parent, guardian, foster parent, aunt, uncle, friend, etc. knew of the abuse, took the person where there was abuse, invited a known abuser to family functions they are complicit in the abuse which means don't hang out with them!)
Don't invite the victim to functions where the above will be
Don't say it's water under the bridge
Don't say get over it
Don't act like the victim is the problem because their abuse/boundaries causes you some discomfort
Don't send photos of the abuser having fun, "being normal", at holiday events that the victim can't come to because it's trauma inducing
Don't say, do, insinuate that the survivor is crazy
Don't gang up on the survivor and try and manipulate them to come to family functions, group gatherings, places where their abuser (see first don't to remind yourself what an abuser is) might be
Don't trick them into thinking an event is safe only to have invited the abuser to that function because you think you're going to do some kind of healing work, you aren't and the trauma that someone could experience in that situation could be life-altering.
Back to me...
Do I keep trying in hopes that my family members will someday wake up, slap their own foreheads and say to themselves…
Oh shit! No one in their right mind would lie about their abuse because the loss heaped on top of what they have already suffered is never-ending, painful, and retraumatizing and no lie is worth that! Not to mention the lengths perpetrators go to discredit, shame, attack and humiliate the victims and try to make themselves look good by any means necessary.
So here are the conclusions I've drawn after this Thanksgiving's festivities and heading into the Christmas holidays. Loving and caring for myself need to look different in the immediate future. I have many skills/tools that will help me follow through with my plans, but I also need to find a therapist for help and support and try to not put to high of expectations on myself and leave plenty of room for anger and grief.
But there is one thing I do know. I am going to try to draw a line in the sand not to do that to myself ever again.
How can I say to my children and my clients that they don’t have to...
Stay in abusive situations
Show up to make others happy
Be strong so others can not do self-work
Spend time with people that don’t believe them
Pretend that everything is okay
I am modeling that I still think I am strong enough to handle it and maybe I am. But there is a point where I shouldn't have to handle it and won't handle it anymore.
I want to make a decision to let...
People hate me
Talk behind my back
Not agree with my decisions
Think I'm the bad guy
Never speak to me again
I will not put myself through that trauma anymore of showing up and pretending nothing is wrong! Because that's what it is! Trauma! It feels like I am denying something happened to me. And that little child inside of me saying to my now self-
When is enough ENOUGH?!!!
So I called to make an appointment to interview a new therapist today so that I can make room for more inner work to progress.
I'm saying this mainly for myself, but also to let you know that I know how hard this work is. And I know how often we won't be believed. And that we will be rejected by the people we most want to love us.
And I also want to let you know you are not alone!!!
There are others who came before us who have paved a path of honesty and freedom and faced all out-war against the truth, so that we could also be free and tell our stories without fear and that those who are still hiding will someday without shame be able to tell their stories and
Please take care of yourself. And maybe apply some of Russel Brands suggestion for how to live shame-free!