Love: The Antidote to Shame

Childhood sexual abuse is not something I usually speak about. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been re-visiting my experiences as some issues have come up for me. This time I am looking at the abuse with the wisdom of years behind me.

For me, the fear and shame surrounding the abuse kept me closed about it. In fact, it wasn’t until I had started living alone that some memories surfaced. I worked hard to keep the old thoughts locked into the past, but nothing I could do at the time kept them hidden.

Looking back, I can see that much of my struggle in my early 20s related to the this. But to move on in life, I had to find a way of leaving it behind so I could focus on the present. Simply put, I had to get my feelings together to keep a job, take care of myself and start a life alone. Struggling with the memories made the loneliness more painful and my eating disorder worsened. Comforting myself with food was the only way I could keep my thoughts and feelings in control.

I wish now I had the courage to face my shame and fear at the time as it coloured my perception of life for so long. It had penetrated my soul and I believed I was bad to the core. My self esteem was low, and I had very little confidence in myself.

It was not until my closest friend convinced me that I did matter, and I was loved that I questioned these core beliefs. You see, when I knew that I was loved I realised I could not be bad in every part of my being. I could then let go of some of the shame surrounding the incident.

Nowadays I can still be haunted by the old feelings and thoughts. I question myself and wonder if I have imagined it all.  I recall the story I was told as child that I was too young to remember, and I am just a demanding, complaining person and my feelings are not legitimate.

Why am I sharing this? If you were abused as a child, please know that you are not the only one. You are not alone, there are many of us who have had the same experience and we understand your pain.

My main go to is to ask, “what would love say?” Then I embrace my dog, Dreamy as I know he loves me unconditionally. Because love is the only answer to deep pain. It knows us, and understands that we are hurting, and we matter.

Please message me if you want to chat.

In love, Jenny

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