Whenever I write about something personal which hits on a sensitive topic or tells about my history, I always have this nagging concern it will come off wrong. The critics in my head often scream, “What are you whining about?? You had both parents, you were (physically) provide for, other people have suffered way more trauma than you, sit down and shut up, no one gives a shit about what you are saying. You sound like an ungrateful little bitch, your life didn’t suck that bad, you are just sorry and weak”.
When I hear this voice in my head, it makes me want to delete my blog, delete my social media and give away all of my art work. The critic in my head is an unhelpful bag of shit. I heard that voice loudly this morning. So far, I have fought the urges to delete some of my more difficult posts on this blog, until today.
It is a difficult thing to bare one’s heart and soul. It can be an extremely scary thing, especially if sharing those tender parts of your heart got a bad response. In the post I deleted, I touched on emotional neglect and abuse. That’s a topic I haven’t known much about until I went through therapy. Many aspects of my experiences were validated as I learned more about the effects of emotional neglect and abuse. My past started to make sense. Behavior and thought patterns I had developed over time also made sense. Getting that validation was huge and it has helped me process the mental walls which have held me back.
I learned in my last psychology class that we are all “wired” similarly however, genetics and environment effect who we become. To put it simply, nature and nurture shape us. Funny thing is siblings can live in the same house, have the same parents, be exposed to the same events but have drastically different recollections of events. We are all unique in our resilience. An environment in which one person thrives, a different person could be destroyed.
Emotional abuse is a tricky thing because it does not leave physical traces but it scars the soul deeply. I absolutely hate the idea that I am a “victim” of anything. I have been accused of having a “pity party” when every I tried to speak up about things which made me upset or sad. Having a voice and finding my voice has been a struggle because that is something which I was always taught to suppress. It has been difficult to admit and accept that I was raped (always something which I tried to explain away) or that I was intimidated and bullied by family (and I was always made out to be “overly sensitive” if I reacted). There has always been that internal dialogue which tries to invalidate what I think and feel. Acceptance of the past events is continuing internal battle.
I write and paint. Both have been cathartic. Creating has made me feel more alive and has helped me realize, it is actually OK to feel. Writing has helped me articulate the spinning mess of thoughts in my head and it’s given me a voice. Organizing my thoughts has been wonderful, sharing them was terrifying but it felt necessary. There are always those difficult to write posts where I don’t get much feedback and I wonder if I’ve gone too far or exposed too much of myself. It is a fight not to run back to my shell and hide in the safety of silence and anonymity. I honestly fight that urge to disappear often but there is another other side of myself which is screaming, shouting and longing to be heard.
I worry, I cringe, I fight and I won’t stop.