“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” —Henry Thoreau
This quote came up today in something I was reading and I tell you now, it hit a sore nerve.
In my years of protecting others from the damage he did I realized it was shame about what happened to me that kept me quiet.
I protected his secrets when I was young because he told me too. I thought he would kill me, he said he would.
I protected my Mother from feeling guilty about her part in the abuse. Not that she was in the room with him, she was not. Nor did she prostitute me out, but she didn’t see me, or notice me. She was too busy watching his drinking and running around with others. Too worried about how she was going to survive with other even younger children. I protected my Mother from the details of the horrors I experienced right under her nose.
I protected my other siblings, submitting to him when he would threaten to go get one of them. He said he would go get one of the other kids they would do it.
To working so hard on self improvement to not only get over the damage, but make myself into a person that someone else would love and want to get to know. That the shame I felt was held in the idea that I was unlovable. That shame protected so many others, but not me. I used my feelings of shame to protect others from my pain and suffering, since I was so awful of a person, I would never reveal the most personal parts of me. I didnt reveal myself because it would make things worse for me I minimized the danger and damage. While I desperately wanted to love someone and have someone love me, I couldn’t do the things that help people love each other. Like talk, tell our life stories, share family and be open.
So, in effect I have spent my whole life thus far trying to work through the issues that come from being abused, thus far, it’s been 58 years old – 4 years (when it started)-13 years (it went on for that long)=41 years so far.
The years of self help, individual and group therapy, writing,etc things I have done to get over it have been worth it. And it’s still ongoing.