It’s been a very interesting couple of days for me. Since writing about my own experiences with sexual trauma my mind has been a bit all over the place. I felt a bit bad about using another person story and whole heatedly hoped that it didn’t seem like I was comparing myself to her, because I was not, my situation was no where close to hers and I’m certain our experiences the same.
As God would have it, I discovered an entry I wrote on my computer almost a year ago, I don’t journal but for as long as I can remember when something is weighing me down I will write about it, because of this I have random word documents everywhere about everything you can think of. I read this particular one for the first time since it was written almost a year ago. When I read it, I heard God say it is finished, the chains are broken and you are set free.
This entry was all the battles I struggled with in my mind and heart, it’s basically my thought pattern, I don’t actually remember what was going on when I was writing it, other than I was sitting in the middle of my backyard and just typing what came through my head.
And I don’t know what this is about, but i feel proud when i read it, proud of who i am and my journey and what I’m doing with myself now…
Can I really be a different person?
Am I being a different person or am I just finding who I am?
Can I really be a proper dignified woman or does my past prevent me from that?
Proper and dignified by whose standards?
Shame and Guilt
● Sexual acts with minor whilst a minor
Truth is I was sexualised very young. I’m judging my actions when I was under 12 with the understanding of an adult. In my thinking then I didn’t know it was wrong, I didn’t really know what was done to me was wrong except for discomfort of it being an adult. When I was made to do certain things with a younger boy it didn’t feel uncomfortable so I did it, twice with a 2 younger boy( only 1
was younger than me) and twice with younger girls(only 1 was younger than me).
I hate myself for it because I recognise the damage being sexualised young did to me and my life, and I contributed to doing something similar to someone else. I wonder if they look back at it and hate me for it. Do they remember? I do so why wouldn’t they? How has it affected them? Has it affected them?
Should I have known better? I was only young. I didn’t know better myself. I didn’t trust why I felt uncomfortable, maybe I was just being too much, overthinking it? Was it really wrong or was I just being a spoilt brat. Maybe it just is what it is? I spend so much time on my own, I didn’t know how the world really works. And if I’m being honest I still don’t know how the world works, I’m judging myself, my past using what I’m told by the world. No matter how I look at it, I’m no different, I’m not a victim because what was done to me I did to others. Or am I? I didn’t teach or lead anyone there, God knows what they went through before what happened. But I don’t know. I never asked for anything I followed, I said nothing and I just
did it. But I don’t trust myself, maybe I’m just trying to justify myself.
This one is too big for me alone. Can ‘I was only a child’ be ok or is it me just escaping responsibility? I think this will always be a Jesus fix it moment.
● Am I a failure?
I feel like it a lot but I wonder, how can I be a failure when I haven’t tried. I know for a fact 90% or my life has involved avoiding trying or only doing the bare minimum because otherwise I will extend myself and then end up failing.
So am I a failure? Maybe by virtue of never trying but am I really a failure?
Why did I think I will fail? Simple answer because I was told I was, i hate to sound like a goddamn attention seeking spoilt brat, but I spend my childhood being told I can’t do anything right. So is it a case of I heard it so much I started believing it myself? I never tried in school, and I was told my results were all I’m good for. I knew deep inside I wasn’t trying but it got to point where I felt, if I can’t do anything right what makes me think that putting any extra effort will make a difference. And so I didn’t, at school at home etc.
It wasn’t until I was alone that I did, I put in effort to keep my house in order, to be a good mother, to be a good friend, to be good to myself and to actually do well in school and uni…and that’s why I got where I am.
So why do I struggle with thoughts and feelings of being a failure. Because I only show the success side of me to myself. When I’m with my family, the one group that matters to me, I go back to being the girl who can’t do anything right. When I’m with mom I don’t put any effort, when I go back to Botswana I don’t put any effort. I tried but they believe that I can’t do anything right even more than I do, so much they just assume when I did, it must have not been me.
When I came to Australia I vowed to change my life (funny right) and I was in high school my parents were too busy with their lives and paid zero attention to what I was doing so that was my first test to really seeing what i could do. End of my first year in high school I came first in 6 out of 7 of my classes (turns out math just wasn’t my thing), my parents dismissed it as I was either favored and given answers to exams or the school is shit and giving out awards freely.
I went back home that year and I was being a good child, one day I cleaned up the home, they yard and everything. I cooked and really gave it my best, everyone and I do mean literally everyone concluded I must have had help.
So after all that I concluded they will never see me as nothing but a failure. The only time I’m happy and can grow and do better is if I can keep a distance from them and do my growth in solitude, but damn it a part of me wants their approval, for them to also change their thinking and realise I am good enough, I’m not a failure, because as long as they do, a part of me will too. I can’t be the only judge of my failure or success right? If no one else that matters can’t see it, maybe it’s not true, I can’t even talk about anything I’m proud of that I’ve done cos then I’m boasting and it may not even be a success to other people.
My life was a highway to hell, whether it was circumstances beyond my control or I made it like that, whether I was a victim or I self harmed…somewhere in me, deep and shallow, if I had never decided to get my shit together I wouldn’t be where I am. I think I do good sometimes. So I guess trying to hold on to my family is also keeping the grip of my failure.
● Am I a good person? Role model?
I wanna be a good person. Why is it so hard? Or maybe I’m just being hard on myself.
Funny how my first thought is Good to who? As if I live in some island all by myself with no one around me who cares. I don’t feel I am a good person or I can be a role model, I cant be a good example to anyone let alone my children. I don’t like the person I allowed myself to become, I know I didn’t do anything bad or radical but I still don’t like that person, the things I did and things I allowed to be done to me. God knows I try to change, be a different person, make different choices but more often than not something or someone would make me feel like a fraud.
I’m only in transition now, I remember very clearly the day I realise I need to change my life, wasn’t that long ago. I don’t have any strongholds, anchors like mom say and that’s why I quickly slide down this rabbit hole it doesn’t take much to make me feel like a fraud. All it does really is lie to me, the first thing is tell me that life doesn’t have to be so hard, so I feel tired, tired of putting in effort, tired of having to remind myself and constantly battle with old habits that won’t leave me alone, tired of challenging myself and choosing the better way which is more often than not the harder way.
But I wanna keep doing the right thing, I am a product of this world and if I’m a fraud then that’s fine, if I’m a dreamer and live in dreamworld that’s ok too, Lord knows I have had enough of the world anyway. But I refuse to let my children be a product of this world, I don’t want that for them, I want them to know better, feel better and do better. I want a different life for them, I wanna stop doubting myself and questioning whether I’m right to want a different life for them, I wanna stop feeling guilty for pulling them away from the world. So maybe that should be my
anchor…but it can’t. My anchor needs to be me. It needs to be my heart. Peace in my heart. And I guess that worth fighting for, I know it is.
Side note; I need to stop guessing things I’m sure about and being sorry for things I want and am.
To answer myself
Can I really be a different person? YES
Am I being a different person or am I just finding who I am? NEITHER, I NEED TO RE-FRAME HOW I VIEW MYSELF.
Can I really be a proper dignified woman or does my past prevent me from that? I CAN, THE LESSONS FROM MY PAST CAN HELP ME
Proper and dignified by whose standards? MY CHILDREN’S WORTH.
When I was a growing up my family used to tease me about my supposed “laziness”. Apparently as a child when I played with a toy and it rolled far from my reach I would let it go and move on to something else, instead of going to get it. That, clearly transpired into every part of my life, because I tell you I have been (past tense) the queen of letting things go, i never allowed myself time to process or deal with anything.
The hardest thing for me these past 18 or so months has been bringing all those things back so I can actually deal with them. It was so scary some times the fear made me feel like I’m going to die, but as I kept talking about it, speaking to God reading the word and engaging in therapy, I realised that the dear, it was nothing but an exaggerated shadow.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.