The definition of shame is: A painful feeling of humiliation or distress, caused by the awareness of wrong or foolish behaviour. Disgrace and dishonour are the noun forms of the word.
How many of us feel shame for struggling with mental health,or for the abuse we’ve been through? I know I do. Is it really mental health, or is it the effects abuse has left us with? How can we not be mentally affected when those who were supposed to take care of us and protect us to the best of their ability, are the very ones that abused and neglected us? I loath that there’s such a stigma attached to mental health issues. Those of us who struggle with them, are often shamed. In fact I don’t like the word mental health. I prefer the term survivor. Our brains were literally damaged thanks to our abusers. How is that our fault? What do we have to be ashamed of?
When I read the definition of the word shame, I realize even more, that we have nothing to be ashamed of. I want to put the shame where it belongs, and that’s back on the shoulders of our abusers. We did not ask to be abused, we did not do anything to deserve it, and we don’t have to put up with the negative things people think about what we’ve been through, or how it’s affected our mental health now. We’ve been through enough.
I’m coming to a place where if people can’t handle my truth, then I don’t need them in my life. I’ll bet I’m not alone on having friends and or family walk out of my life because they can’t handle the reality, or they would rather camp in denial.
Well not me. I have a voice now, and I’m not going to be ashamed of what I lived through, nor am I going to sweep it under the carpet and pretend that everything is okay when it’s not. If people don’t like that, then oh well. While abuse doesn’t define me, it has affected me, therefore it’s a part of who I am.
I live with C-PTSD and BDD, I’ve battled depression, I’ve overcome self harm. I will do my best to take what I’ve been through and use it in a good way to help others, but I will no longer be ashamed. I’m a survivor. I’m proud that I survived and didn’t become an abuser. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in recovery. I have a long way to go, but the progress I’ve made, tells me it can be done, and I will do it.
If anyone wants to judge me, or look down on me or any of us, here is my message to you…You haven’t walked in our shoes, be thankful. Until you’ve walked in our shoes, you have no right to judge. If you so choose to do so, I’ll show you the door. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.
Do you struggle with shame because of abuse and or mental health issues? If so, it warrants saying again…You have nothing to be ashamed of. You have everything to be proud of because you survived. Let’s lay down the torch of our abusers and walk with our heads held high.
There is hope!