Life goes on, even when the past sucks

6 May

Warning: This post isn’t warm and fuzzy; nor is it related to being a paralegal.  We’ll return to the regularly scheduled office snark and mommy talk that I normally provide momentarily. This post talks about child abuse, and if that bothers you, please skip it and tune in next time.

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Life is supposed to go on.  I’m supposed to go to work and be productive.  Earn my pay.  I’m supposed to make dinner.  Be a caring and responsible mother.  Feed the cat and pack lunches.  Make holiday plans to see family.  Smile and pretend that I don’t mind being there. 

And I can do it, mostly.  I go to work, but being productive is another story.  Being efficient flew out the bloody window already.  I make dinner most of the time.  I am always a caring and responsible mother.  Even when I just feel like running away and hiding for a while.  I’m still caring and responsible because that wasn’t something that I had as a child.  The pretending that I don’t mind being with family sometimes is getting harder to do.

I’m sitting here staring at records for an emergency room visit for a car accident case.  I should be typing a compelling account of the accident and the client’s injuries for the demand letter.  I just can’t get my head into it.  All I can think about is the crap from the past that has been bouncing around my head for days.  For weeks, really. 

I’m nearly 40 years old.  Why am I letting the trauma and unfairness of my life from 30 years ago unravel me today?  I wrote a post for Band Back Together.  A post that really makes me feel proud.  I wrote it months ago.  Before I knew that I was ready to travel the road back to the past.  Before I knew that I could unpack the burden of that past and leave it there.  Seeing my words, edited and ready for publishing on someone else’s blog, makes it all seem so real.  I’m putting it out there.  I’m taking it out of my head and placing it into the real world.  Into the world where it is tangible and visible.   I’m still using my pseudonym.  Maintaining my anonymity.  It still makes me feel exposed.  Like carrying a big banner that says, “Hi!  I had a fucked up childhood!” 

Putting it out there, even being anonymous and as vague about it as I have, makes it real.  I’m putting it out there because I don’t want it anymore.  I should not feel ashamed of the crap that happened to me.  It’s not my shame to bear.  I am proud of myself.  Proud that I have accomplished as much as I have.  I’m proud that I’m the first person in my family to go to college and get a degree, even if it is an associate degree.  I don’t have a destructive home life. It maybe somewhat dysfunctional at times, but aren’t we all? I’m smart, funny, a caring friend, and I’m beautiful.  My son tells me so, all the time.  I’m proud of him.  And I’m proud that I’m strong and I’m a survivor.

None of us have it all together.  I have alluded in past posts that I have “issues.”  I’m a survivor of childhood trauma including sexual abuse and emotional abuse.  I’ve had postpartum depression and anxiety, which doesn’t understand that I’m way past postpartum and it should leave me the hell alone.  Even though I’m married to a wonderful guy, we have struggles in our marriage but we’re still fighting for our happily ever after.  

I am writing all of this because it helps me.  And it’s my blog, I can do what I want.  Maybe getting it out will stop all these thoughts that are bouncing around my head and keeping me from my life. But I also hope that by being honest and discussing the things that are affecting me I might help someone else.  Some sources say that one in three girls are sexually abused by the age of 18.  Is that not the most ridiculously screwed up thing you’ve ever heard?  It’s astounding, but I believe it.   Chances are that at least one of my readers has had a similar past.

No matter how old you are or how much time has passed, you are worth it to be happy and healthy.  You are worth forgiving yourself and not carrying around someone else’s shame.  You are worth it to be kind to yourself.  I AM WORTH IT.

9 Responses to “Life goes on, even when the past sucks”

  1. Jaime May 6, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Wonderful post! I could feel the pain in your heart as I read it…and then the relief and gratification you felt as you ended the post. I can totally relate to you, as I was a child of sexual abuse. It’s crippling, and I fear it every day for my two precious, beautiful daughters. You are a fighter. Keep up the good work!

    • Momalegal May 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

      Thanks so much. I’m sorry that we have that in common, but knowing someone can relate always helps. The best thing we can do is make sure it doesn’t happen to our little ones. Hugs to you.

  2. maryaquino May 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    You are all of the above. Add strong and vital to the list. Sending prayers for long-term healing! You are awesome!!

  3. Grumpy Humbug May 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Truly admire the courage it takes to write about this subject. Writing about my alcoholism was pretty difficult, but can’t begin to understand what this must have taken.

    • Momalegal May 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks for all the kind words everyone. It wasn’t easy to post but its what’s on my mind and maybe it can help someone else. Besides, there really shouldn’t be a stigma about things you have no control over.

      Grumpy, you da man. It takes a lot of courage for any of us to post about such personal things.

  4. Cher May 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    *BIG HUG FOR YOU*

    Child abuse, in any fashion, should just never, ever happen. It seems to always linger for years; some find a way to deal quicker than others, but it’s always there in the deepest, darkest part of the mind…and unfortunately, it’s often kept alive because our closest family members remind us of whatever it was that happened. They don’t do it on purpose, of course…most of them are never even aware that abuse has taken place…it’s just their mere presence that’s the painful reminder.

    You’re doing exactly the right thing. The first step to healing is to TALK about it…especially with those who have dealt with the same things. Feeling justified in your thoughts and emotions is huge, and sharing with others who have gone through similar situations will bring just that. Understanding and accepting the fact that nothing was your fault is another big step and often the hardest.

    Having a current strained relationship with a parental figure doesn’t help, though. Instead of getting justification from that figure (which would certainly help with the healing), it ends up being a constant struggle just to get along on a superficial level, much less one of intense personal depth.

    You ARE beautiful. You ARE intelligent. You ARE creative. You ARE an attentive wife and a caring mommy. You ARE a loyal sister and daughter, despite all. You ARE a hard worker. And you ARE one of my best friends for all these reasons and more.
    :)

  5. Kimberly September 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    I stumbled across your blog and all I can say is, if I didn’t know better, and I had ever put my thoughts/life in ink- this would have been about me! I enjoyed reading this very much.

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