We all have baggage and we all have a past. How we choose to deal with those things turn us into who we are. Sometimes we make the wrong choices. Sometimes we don’t know until it is too late. Sometimes we choose to just deal with the pain because it is the lesser of two evils.
My past has been bubbling to the surface lately. It has always been a part of me, but it has always been locked away in a chest at the bottom of the ocean. But somehow, it has started to creep it’s way up to the surface. Not enough to traumatize me, but just enough to annoy and remind me vividly.
I am a product of abuse. Physical, mental/verbal, and sexual. Growing up wasn’t easy, but then again it wasn’t completely horrible either. The abuse started at an early age. Age 4/5. I can’t remember which came first, the physical or the sexual abuse. Both were prevalent. I was strong enough to deal with it somehow. A lot of it was swept under the rug. Of course, I thought it was all normal, because I knew nothing else.
There was a time when the sexual abuse stopped. It wasn’t long lived. But it still happened. Once I got older the other forms of abuse took hold. I was constantly being told how stupid I was and belittled. I was constantly getting hit. I dealt with it. And it all got swept under the rug. But it did last until my teens. And I was the chosen one. I got the brunt of everything. I would gladly take it so my sister didn’t get it.
As the years went on, I forgave the people that hurt me. Not to their face. It has never been brought to the attention of anyone. Only once to a therapist, and she made me look at myself in a mirror but I couldn’t do it. It made me feel too uncomfortable.
Even though I chose to forgive the abusers, the acts have never left me. I don’t think they ever will. They are forever engraved in my psyche. I chose forgiveness, because I hate confrontation. I chose forgiveness because in my head, there must have been something wrong with them to do these things. Maybe things they couldn’t control or understand. In some instances, they didn’t know any better, it was the way they were raised. In some cases, the people most likely don’t remember they did these things.
I eventually broke the cycle. Not soon enough though. My oldest daughter got a good helping of abuse when she hit her teens. I was undiagnosed and unmedicated. That is in no way an excuse, but it is an explanation. I’ve since apologized, but she still holds it over my head and reminds me what a horrible mother I was. That is ok, I deserve it.
I don’t know why I felt compelled to share this information. I think I just needed to find a way to purge, in hopes to stop the leaking chest at the bottom of the ocean.
Everyone has baggage. Everyone has a past. The way we choose to deal with it is how we define ourselves. Be kind to others, you don’t know their story.