I understand how hard it is to talk about the abuse you experienced. To fear not what others think when you tell your story.
I feared the public eye for twenty-plus years. Here is a portion of my account, an upcoming memoir, Abused, Fear Not. I hope it encourages you to journal your story.
Upstate, New York, Spring 2012.
I felt unloved and ended our relationship. Afterward, I created a dating profile to search for a good man. At first, I kept the profile photos hidden, not wanting to expose my identity.
Then one man asked to see a picture, so I sent one, and he responded, “You’re beautiful, why do you hide away?”
I lived in fear of an estranged husband after fleeing for my life to a domestic violence shelter over twenty years ago, without my children.
His words encouraged me to changed the visibility setting to “Public Image” so everyone could see the identity of “PinkMusic.”
Afterward, a message, “Is that u Linda?” arrived in my inbox, twice. Confused, I clicked the profile name to view his photos.
The past rushed back like a tidal wave.
I clicked the logout button. I wanted to delete my account. However, I had a choice to live in fear or step out in faith.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” Isaiah 41:10.
Afterward, the wall around my heart shattered into a million pieces. That night, I sat on the living room floor and cried for over an hour until my spirit felt empty.
I could finally acknowledge the abuse on an emotional level, and the anguish and loss of two children was overwhelming.
In the months that followed, I created a writing blog and began to realize how abusive and dysfunctional our family was and its impact on every area of my life.
It affected the mindset I had about love, family, relationships, and sexual behavior. And this mindset became so embedded in thinking patterns it wasn’t abnormal.
These patterns were impossible to recognize amid this dysfunctional storm. It seemed like the mind was ordinary, but your thoughts become scattered.
The waves of life hit hard. The stormy seas changed from turbulent to calm and back to rough again. I made unhealthy choices and suffered significant losses. But always came back stronger than the time before.
I wasn’t a crazy Carleton!
I was born into a cycle of dysfunction.
I was the child my parents raised me to be. And the patterns of thinking, ways of acting came from them—my parents’ mindset.
They’re handed down, one generation to the next, without a thought for a resolution.
There is little to no chance for the children who suffer from this cycle of dysfunction to renew their minds, mend their hearts, and a slim chance for a victorious life.
The only way the children stand a chance is for survivors to speak out and share their personal experiences of overcoming child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence.
That’s me, the voice that will not be silent. The bold one who will bring these secrets out of the darkness into the light so you can see the power of rescuing grace.
I hope Abuse Journal helps you on your journey. That you gain wisdom and the courage to tell your abuse story. I understand how difficult it is to overcome fear, but you can do it.
Related Post: The Courage to Tell Your Abuse Story
Abused Fear Not, L.M. Carleton