Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Choose to Stop Devaluing Myself

The few days following the launch of my book were excruciating. I had exposed myself so publicly that all I wanted to do was stay in bed and keep covered. People in my life knew pieces of my trauma—the child abuse but not later abuse...domestic violence but not the child abuse…my struggles in court and with Steven’s family and his ex but not child abuse or domestic violence…or nothing at all if they only knew me professionally—no one in my life knew all of it except my husband Steven. After about two days I received the first text and it was from my mother. Her being an English teacher, my concerns with her reading it were twofold.  Was it well written in her eyes? And chapter one.… It was painful for her to read, but she found it brutally honest, said I actually showed restraint and kindness, and provided help for others who are struggling. And then she told me she loved me eternally. We have had some very meaningful conversations since.

I’ve gotten quite a lot of feedback since my book release and a lot of questions. Some adults and friends from my childhood are not only shocked, but a little angry they didn’t see anything. I did tell a teacher in high school (I actually wrote a paper about my child abuse) and he did nothing so my perspective was that no one believed me and being so ashamed, I didn’t say anything again. My roommates from college were texting me at the same time, as they read the book, and told me they missed me too after I left. My friend "Cassie" said that I was an amazing writer; the story was sad yet I have risen from the ashes and am stronger each day. And colleagues, that share they are reading my book, just hug me and some have said that it is emotionally draining to read. All feedback has been positive and there has not been any judgments, yet, at least to my face. 

I'm also getting a lot of stories about victims leaving, stories of child abuse and domestic violence and questions about how a person can help other family members and/or friends get out of an abusive relationship.

The number one question I’m getting is if writing and releasing my book was cathartic. At first I was offended by this and asked myself why I was so offended. Well, because I had to live it, writing it was painful and releasing it was even more painful. So, no, it has just been a really painful--and rigorous--process and I need to live in the pain of it for however long I need to until I’m ready to turn in the other direction of it being helpful in any way to my healing….

And then yesterday it hit me. Yes, in one area, it is becoming cathartic: I choose to stop devaluing my needs and giving without question. I am not going to let people inflict trauma on me; whether it be in response to an “unnatural or misunderstood” triggering event or simply the way they treat me. They are gone from my life until they figure it out and start treating me with respect. I also realize it's not my place to help them figure it out if they are choosing to analyze and judge me with misinformation--and not coming to me directly. And if it’s seen as an overreaction or paranoia, so be it. I “need” the trauma to stop so that I can heal. I need a break.


--I have made my book KindleUnlimited so it's free if you have that membership with Amazon

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Thank you for your comment. Positive feedback and helping those that have experienced the same tragedies are what keeps me going.