Shame, part 2

Why do I want to cry out right now? How can it be, 3o plus years later, I continue to feel traumatized? The anxiety is centered in my chest and I feel scared. Didn’t I work through all of this childhood sexual abuse stuff in my 20’s?

A familiar sense of fear has enveloped me and all it took was a simple retelling (in my last post) of childhood experiences. The horror of sexual abuse is not the whole picture. The aftermath is what still haunts me. Following early events, I began to act out in self-defeating ways. The impulses were driven by something out of my control and I’m overwhelmed by memories of a life full of drugs, alcohol, stealing, lying, extreme anger and sexual promiscuity.

I wonder if anyone else can relate to the feeling of their adolescence being an out-of-body experience. Doing things and acting out in ways that are not like your true nature? From the ages of 13-17 I was one bad-ass girl. I had no fear and anything that was risky and dangerous was what I sought out as fun. My behaviors with sex, drugs and alcohol were your typical teenage rebellion but the memories are surreal and seem like they are from a different life. Looking back on that time, it scares the shit out of me.

Fortunately, at age 18, I saw the light and I changed my ways. But, man, those 5 years were wild and out of control.

The life I have now is so predictable and settled. It’s nothing like my adolescence. I went off to college, focused on my school, met my husband and settled down. No one believes my stories of being suspended from school more than 12 times, telling teacher’s to “f-off” and ultimately getting expelled from high school.

Fast forward to the present…

I’ve written in previous posts about a feeling that I try to live without any drama because I fear my past would rear its ugly head. That fear is so irrational. I’m a 40 plus year-old married woman with children, for God’s sake. I haven’t lead that life for years. But my fear feels real and right now I’m staring it down.

I’m thinking this is the issue I should address with Lynn in therapy; more so than focusing on the relationship with my mother.

Where there is a sense of fear and anxiety there is also an issue that is holding you back or, perhaps, even a reason for reoccurring major depression.

4 responses to “Shame, part 2

  1. Reading your posts excites me! I can’t stop. I can see how you’re so on the right track now.
    as far as doing crazy, reckless shit as a teen goes… I can SO relate.
    I used to sneak out of the house about twice a week and go and drink and be promiscuous and only come in just before sunrise. I used to walk and even hitch-hike to the local bars, and this in the rape-capital of the world! I can’t believe I did this. And I’m ashamed. I told my brother back then; that I was sneaking out…I’m not sure why… probably bravado… and he was pretty shocked but never did anything to stop me. And he didn’t tell my mother. I wonder why not?

  2. I’m glad you shared your similar stories with me. It really helps to know others have regrets and shame (although I don’t want you to). I also hitchhiked and did other stupid stuff that put me in dangerous situations, some of which did not turn out great and it’s scary to think back on it. What the hell were we thinking???

    My closest brother knew about some of the stupid shit I did, too. I think brother’s are just too busy living their own lives and can’t be too worried about what their sister’s are doing.

  3. No. A brother that stands by while his sister is on a path of self-destruction, very possibly death, while knowing that she’s messed up because of HIM is an asshole. I still cant believe he just stood by.

    • You’re right and you’ve got more guts to say it then me. I intellectualize everything way too much. The truth is both of our brothers are assholes! I’m with you on that.

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