“When we don’t claim shame, it claims us.” Brene Brown
I consider myself claimed. That’s the truth. My shame has claimed me via anxiety, depression, OCD, anorexia, codependency, abusive relationships, financial ruin, unfinished, or never started endeavors of furthering myself, and a thousand other ridiculous, insane, self defeating modes of behavior.
So now, I’m claiming my shame. Not because I am ashamed. Not because I’m shameful…but because at some point in my life, at a moment I cannot remember, but am certain happened, I was made to feel shame. Someone, somewhere, sometime, took the equivalent of my beautiful four year old daughter, and caused unspeakable, unforgettable, and as of YET, unforgivable harm…THIS in turn, left me with shame.
And a long, long journey behind and ahead of me.
But please, don’t justify those things. I don’t need justice.
My unpopular opinions are…
My unpopular opinion is that I don’t want revenge. I don’t want the anger, rage, or desperation that comes with this suffering. I know I ask, “WHY?”. I know I often think, “How could they? Where were they? Why didn’t they…” But the truth is, I just want all of that gone and so much so, that for a very long time, I just pretended like it wasn’t there.
“Acutally, I was abused as a child…it was horrible. Well actually, I don’t remember the first time…and it’s not a big deal. It was a long time ago…”
What horseshit. I’ve lived my life on the surface for so long that I don’t even know how deep the layers go…I just know that they are deep and determined to get out by all means necessary. So I can’t unsee me. I can’t unsee what was done, what I’ve done, what is going on, what I’m doing…The only thing I can do is look at what’s here now. I’m here. My unpopular opinion is that the key to this mess is love and forgiveness…of all parties involved and by that I mean, ALL.
I know what you’re thinking…what if it was one of my daughters?
I can’t tell you that. I can tell you that I feel relatively confident that in my life I have been the kind of parent where my children aren’t put in the same situations I was. I can tell you that I know that guarantees nothing. I can tell you that I hope I would be able to forgive, help my child to heal and do the loving thing for all of us. ALL. But it’s all just speculation, isn’t it? It’s all just a bunch of what ifs in life…
This is what I turn back to- my belief that a person will only hurt another to the extent that they themselves feel hurt…and I’ve been subjected to people who were in a lot of pain. Why am I different? Why haven’t I hurt others the way I was hurt? It’s a good question…I don’t have a “right” answer. I think that for me, I decided that I deserved what happened and no one ever told me otherwise…so for me, I hurt myself instead…but make no mistake- that hurt others as well. A prison by any other name is still a prison. In the end, we hurt ourselves and we hurt others. We hurt others and we hurt ourselves. It’s all one in the same. The only way out of that is to stop hurting period. Do I want to meet my abusers? Nope. Do I want to ask them questions and understand? Not really. In The Shack, by Paul Young, God tells Mack that he has to forgive the killer of his daughter…NOT have a relationship with him. NOT be his friend. But forgiving others is how we can begin to forgive ourselves. It’s how we let go of their shame that became ours. I know in my heart that someone, somewhere hurt the person that hurt me, and that person was hurt by a person that was hurt by a person that was hurt by a person that was hurt….See? Someone, somewhere then, has to be the one to forgive, to stop the madness of that. Is it easy? Bah. Forgiveness is like anything else you want to get good at- it takes practice. Forgiveness is an art, not second nature. It’s not natural- not anymore. But it can be.
The truth is, I can’t unsee me, nor should I want to. The key is to reveal me.