I'm often told that I'm too loyal. That I try to help people to a fault. I suppose the it was the same with my abusers. I tried so hard to understand them, to save them from themselves and whatever they were running from. It hits much harder when the abusers are family members. As a child I was trapped and was forced to endure years of sexual and emotional abuse. Still I strove to see the good in them, or so I thought there was good in them. I partially blame myself because maybe if I hadn't seen them the way I wanted to see them and instead saw them for who they are, maybe I wouldn't struggle so much.
Then it hit me one day, no matter what illusion I had created the facts were clear: Families do not abuse, lie, manipulate and keep secrets. They don't pretend to keep up appearances either. Yet, growing up that is all I knew. Even into my adulthood before I spoke up I lived as if I was a child.
I try not to be so hard on myself because as a child my options were limited, it wasn't my fault my family wasn't healthy. Now things that didn't use to haunt me, do. I still lock up and freeze during confrontation or I give in. Two things I wish I didn't do. Despite being in therapy for 4 years I still have a lot to work through and a lot to learn. One thing I have learned however is this: You cannot save people, even if your intentions are good. I cried for days after learning this. I suppose the reason I wanted to say them was because I wanted to be seen, loved, heard and validated. I just thought that if I worked a little harder or did better that I could make them stop their abuse, I could make them better people. Sad thing is, I can't do that. People won't change unless they want to-including family. I now how to redefine family for myself. Slowly I am learning that even though there were good times in between the abuse that the abuse still occurred. Slowly I am learning a lot of things that will help me heal completely. As heartbreaking as that lesson was for me, it really opened my eyes. I cannot make them do what I want. I cannot make them apologize. I cannot make them see they were wrong. All I can do is move on and do the best I can. Live the life I create for myself and continue to heal, learn and grow. Thank you for allowing me to share this with all of you. As always, stay safe and reach out if you need to. We are here for each other.
#SexualAbuse #EmotionalAbuse #Family #ChildhoodAbuse #SexualAssault #PTSD #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Hope #Healing #Lessons #Life