Saturday, May 1, 2010

Making Ourselves Real

Thomas Merton wrote - We make ourselves real by telling the truth.
I think in my struggle to be real it is telling the truth, my truth, that has helped me the most.
No more pretending. No more escaping (or should I say I try not to escape). Coming out of the closet - telling the secret - makes me learn more about myself, who I am. I have covered ME up for so long.
So I comment on some news items about the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and I explain why we survivors take so long to tell the truth, why we hide from it for so long, and I think it helps. Some people really listen and ask questions.
I am calming down a bit. Less stressed about the ongoing news of clergy sexual abuse scandal. I listen to the news and discuss with hubby. Then I try to let go, relax, let my blood pressure go down to a normal setting.
I am still disappointed in the lack of understanding and compassion of people for survivors and why we take so long to tell the secret.
In the meantime, all I can do is keep trying to be Real. Keep trying to share my truth. And try to listen as well to others who are struggling to be real.
Becoming real takes a long time, especially for those of us who think we break easily. It is a daily struggle. It will take the rest of my life at least. But perhaps just recognizing that I am on the journey to becoming real is a way of being real. And I find some comfort in that. (from The Third Floor Window)


rox said...

it is so great when we do heal and not partake in pretaend though isn't it Colleen . I know it is still hard at times but life is hard at times , that is life but once out of denial one just has trouble returning to it after living in truth .
I read just yesterday or did I hear it on tv that I'd rather be with Jesus in the deep water then without him on the shore .
with Jesus I am fully content within the storms around me .
That is how Thomas Merton & others like Oscar Romero who focused on peace , real contentment ,help me be too .
I did tell two professionals as a young teen about the physical & pyschological abuse ( I had repressed memory of my sexual abuse ). They did not beleive me . It led me to just play pretend and play along in thier denial . I know I had choice but as a teen as a child who had been abused when drugs and other things are offered to help cover your pain it is hard to say no to those choices .
I had the strength to speak to trust those adults who told me to talk about the whys of my running away etc. the reality was they beleived I was the " problem " so when I talked of the abuse I saw it just made me deeper into being stuck in a pit with them . So I just shut up and took drugs .
Not getting the proper help and being unbelieved and the denial of the abuse led me to become a bigger victim and those people also played a role in my abuser abusing my own kids sexually & many many other children to this day .
That is why it is so imporatnat for me never to play that game of pretend ever again and stand up and say when it is wrong and not play pretend .
I lost my best friend I told you before , of 28 yrs because I would not partake in pretending her partner did not abuse thier kids . I can't even call him her husband because he is not deserving to be . I had to leave my relationship with her .
I pray the rosary for her all the time hoping she will come to at least now protect her grandchildren . people don't realize it is never to late to talk . Even if you are 96 yrs old and on your death bed it would be always best for us to speak the truth and get out of denial .
So yes I am a big supporter of being real !

Colleen said...

Thank you Rox, for sharing with me. I agree denial, while it is a defense mechanism for many, is also very harmful in the long run. The truth shall set us free! God bless!

sarah said...

being does take a long time but we're on the journey...moving forward...good days and bad...but never the way it was. Stay strong out there...Sarah

Colleen said...

Sarah, thank you! You are right - it is never the way it was! Hugs.

Just Be Real said...

Well, you know I am a big supporter as well to BEING REAL! Amen Colleen.

Colleen said...

JBR - I knew you would like this! :)

Darlene Ouimet said...

I think learning not to escape was the hardest part for me. I was at an event last night, trying to explain to someone how I learned not to dissociate anymore.. and it was so odd to be talking about it that way. When I started to learn how to be real and not try to run all the time, that was when I began to see me.. I think that I had to run before becasue they all convinced me that I was the problem, and when I finally stopped, and took a look at my real self, it was just so amazing.. I found out that I am really an OKAY person! I didn't know that before.

It is hard to right all the wrongs. it is hard to get to know ourselves, but you are so right, the truth is what set me free in so many ways! Hugs, Darlene

Colleen said...

Darlene, thanks for your comment. I agree with all that you said. I was also amazed to find out I was an okay person and I was not the problem at all. Hugs.

Paula said...

Denial kept me quiet for long. When we find our voice the rattling of the bones turns inot a far away sound, then not so present anymore, often overheard. Thanks for your support yesterday. I truly had a rough day and still a headache, yet I am here. I am ok, I am enough. Hugs across the pond

Lily said...

It's hard for people to understand what they have not experienced. I tend to be more patient with people who try to understand than those who ask those questions "Well, why didn't you just..." Ignorance is frustrating.

Colleen said...

Paula, denial can be so strong can't it? We don't even know we are in it!! Hope you are feeling better. Hugs.

Colleen said...

Lily, that is exactly how I am feeling! Ignorance is very frustrating! Hugs.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, you have grown so much in the short time that I have known you. Yes, ignorance can be frustrating, especially when that person wants to tell you to just get over it or get on with your life or tells you to get off of your pity pot. I hate the pity pot one especially.

We are allowed to feel what we feel. We are allowed to grieve as long as it takes. When you are abused as a child, you often have a lot of grief to work through before you finish with it. We are allowed to feel every bit of anger and hurt that we have, in the past, stored in our body or stuffed down with food, drugs, or alcohol. I am proud of all of the work that we have done as survivors of things that children should never be exposed to.

Patricia Singleton said...

I am so proud of you and the healing that you have done in the short time that I have known you.

Marj aka Thriver said...

"We make ourselves real by telling the truth." That is one of the best quotes I've heard in a long time. So simple. So powerful. So true!

I'm glad you're here, telling your truth. And we all do it in our own time, when we feel safe enough to do it.

Colleen said...

Patricia, thank you. That means a lot to me. I have commented on your blog about your interview!

Marj, thank you so much. You are right, we all do it in our own time. That is why when we do feel safe to speak out, then we need to for those who cannot. I am glad you are here, too. Your support and your blog carnival all are so helpful to me.

Colleen said...

Patricia, I especially hate - "get over it" - or - "why did it take you so long to tell anyone?"
Thank you for your reminder that we are allowed to feel what we feel and to grieve...I forget.
Thanks also for your support. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Your post was refreshing! It's a powerful thing when we become "real" with ourselves and everyone else! It has a great healing effect. Thanks for sharing.

Colleen said...

therealme29 - thank you for your comment! I agree, it is so healing when we are "real!" Hugs!