I never thought this day would come to be completely honest. Although I’ve shared my story of being abused on this blog and on many other sites by now*, it’s time to take another leap of faith. I need to keep moving forward and breaking down barriers that have been up for a long time. I’ll be talking to my kids about my past trauma. That includes the childhood sexual abuse, bullying, and invalidation by my mother throughout my younger years.
They are, as I write this, 21 and 19. My daughter has just finished her junior year in college and my son is starting his own photography business. They both, along with my youngest son, 14, are the light of my life and I’m eternally grateful that they never gave up on me during so many difficult years.
I’m starting to write this in the afternoon, and I’m going to talk to them both tonight, so this is a bit of how I feel now leading up to that talk and then I will continue this post after I talk to them and let you all know how it went and how I feel.
As of right now I am extremely nervous. I don’t think they will invalidate me and I’m fairly confident they won’t think less of me. I do need to stress to them that regardless of what issues I have with my mother in terms of how I was raised, I don’t want to try and change their view of “GMA and GPA”.
Other than sharing my story with my sister in law previously, this is the first I will speak of this abuse in person to anyone other than my therapist J. Talking about it in the safe confines of her office is one thing, but talking to my own kids, I can feel the anxiety rising by the minute. I know I need to do this though.
I’m choosing this time now, partly due to a letter I’m writing in therapy to my mother but also after talking to a mutual friend of my middle son and myself, she advised that he already knows I have this blog! I honestly don’t know if he reads it or not but he knows about my Twitter account at least too. I feel the need to get this out in the open now, whether I’m ready or not.
Stay tuned for the rest of this post after I get home this evening.
Well the kids are gone now and I did talk to them for a bit about this. We went to dinner first and just hung out doing what we usually do. Then after a stop at the pet store and getting back home, I got up the nerve to share with them.
I didn’t go into a great amount of detail but I did share that when I was 5-10 years old I was the victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a neighborhood teenager. I shared where it happened, and some general memories, and also about how I’m working through this in therapy. I showed them my blog, podcasts, and my Twitter account. They now also know that I was bullied and the way that it affected me for so long, and some specific instances that stick out as being extra traumatic for me then and still now.
Of course I talked about the issues I have with my mother; the invalidation and the lack of trust I have towards her.
I stressed to them that I would never, never, try and drive a wedge between them and their GMA and GPA. My struggles with my mother are my own issue and I will work it out in time. Their relationship with their grandparents is important to me and I know they love them dearly. Even if my mom does drive my son up a wall sometimes.
As it turns out, and I suspected as much anyway, my middle son already knew about my blog and said he has been reading some of it. He was very supportive and happy for me being able to share and seek help. He’s proud of me for my writing and how far I’ve come. When I shared with him that I am going to be making a major career change into the Trauma Recovery Coach field soon, he was ecstatic!
My daughter gave me a hug and told me she loved me. She was not aware of what happened to me, so I’m glad I was able to be the one to tell her, to share my story in my own terms. She handles stress differently than my son, and it will take some more time for her to digest this I’m sure.
I can feel a pretty good sized weight having been lifted from me tonight. I’m still a bit numb as I write this but I’m processing the fact that my kids now know and they heard it from me. Each of them sent me a text when they left that made me feel good too.
At some point I will share with my youngest son, but I don’t think the time is right just yet. He does know that I write in a blog but he doesn’t know any of what really happened.
As sit here and finish out this post, I’m looking at a picture I have on my desk of all 3 of those amazing kids and I’m just proud.
So, I just wanted to share this experience with you all and hopefully it will encourage you to reach out and share your story when you are ready. Even for a dude like me, who thinks I can’t ever share with my family, I’m finding out that it’s ok to do so when the time is right and the people involved are validating and safe.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments.
*you can see a list at the top of the page under the menu item, “Find me on These Other Great Sites”