I have a secret. And one I haven’t shared in this forum, on this platform. And one, that I don’t like to talk about because it’s personal. Because it deals with family. Because I was taught it’s no one’s business. Because it still breaks my heart. Because I cannot believe, after all this time, I am still so affected.
I have been bullied and abused my whole life. Yes, it’s true.
There I’ve said it.
Abuse is such a strong… aggressive word. I don’t use it lightly. I don’t like to use it because I feel it detracts from the overall lucky and blessed life I’ve lead. The abuse I refer to is the subversive kind: the emotional and the verbal. The kind that affects you more than you know until you’re cracked wide open like I was just over a year ago.
You get used to the dynamic of ‘this is how it’s been, this is how it’s always been’. But I must, for me to heal, have to come to terms with what it means to reject the notion that this is how it’s always been, so this is how it’s always going to be. I don’t want any part in that kind of a life. Even if it’s just around the holidays. This is how it’s always been? That can lay to rest.
Abuse by whom? Well, it was one small step to share last month’s post, hinting at the steps I’ve taken to live a healthy and more authentic life. The real truth is, however, I have two family members that cannot help themselves. I understand, perhaps limitedly, the social constructs that have led them down the path they are presently on. Their inability to fully comprehend the hurt they dispel. One’s a parent, the other a child, and incidentally, my brother.
I, super sensitive, an orchid, if you will (though really they are quite hardy survivors), has taken the abuse for so long. I continue to bounce back, to be that eager dog looking for affection and love. I idealize what a family can look like. Can be. And we are not it. There are fleeting moments of whatever the it I so desperately want, but they are very fleeting. And even so, are never real. Not to me at least. Sprung out of duty: It is my birthday, therefore we must provide a card, a gift, sit and watch you blow out candles. Duty without love.
Though I am an idealist at heart, I’m also quite pragmatic, to know that history will, in fact, repeat itself. I remain hopeful for the change in others as I continue to work on myself, and try and be the best person I can be, however, I understand that while I value personal growth, others do not. Some people are content with the wool over their eyes. To not change. To allude themselves. To not grow. Remain stilted. And unfortunately, continue down a sad path of verbal insults flung at random, out of nowhere, in my very specific and direct direction.
I am not perfect. In no way am I perfect. I don’t pretend to be, I am too quick too often to let you know I am not perfect. I am more vulnerable and open than is justifiable from surviving a team of bullies that make up half of my family. I am glad for my eternal optimism, my vulnerability. My sensitivity. I only wish I gave less fucks when it came to The 40% I’m forced to interact with. In this case, at this time, solely my brother.
It is a sad truth. But what would be sadder is if I simply accepted the ‘this is how it’s always going to be’. Laying that to rest now.