Fear

1:20 PM


Fear has kept me silent before and sometimes it still does. I hate that kind of fear. It can be constricting, debilitating and shameful. It creates resentment of oneself. Even now and after many years, I feel uncomfortable just thinking and writing about it. 

I used to fear speaking out because of the violence and anger that it would create within my home. That is the fear that sealed my mouth shut and helped me pretend in order to survive.   

Now I am just fearful of being misjudged due to the social and religious stigmas attached to domestic violence. I have worked so hard to put my life back together over the last decade and I don't want to be perceived as victim again, EVER!

During recent years, I have had this strong urge to thoroughly write my own personal history as a way to continue healing, but I haven't done it.

I have dismissed this prompting many times by reminding myself that I have been given a new life and I need to move forward and that the person I was - is no longer and the years I lived with domestic violence are just faded memories of a very bad nightmare. However, 'stuffing' the experience has never felt right to me and it wasn't just a bad dream. It really happened.
This was the first family photo taken of us at the beginning of our journey of healing. The girls often express how this was one of  the happiest summers of our lives. I felt like a caged bird that had been set free. I was so grateful that my children were able to finally have a happy mama. I was determined to set an example of strength and courage for them.
Then I started doing family history and something quite amazing happened. When I started digging into the past, I discovered ancestral stories of sorrow and joy, death and birth, marriage and divorce. There were inspirational stories of journeys completed and knowledge gained. Spiritual and emotional growth were intertwined among generations where some individuals suffered addictions, loneliness, suicide, and trauma. 

Many of those stories were never spoken or told because of social norms or fear of shame. I knew that I needed to include them so that history of my family would be real and authentic. I felt that this knowledge would somehow bless the posterity of my ancestors. I just didn’t realize that these blessings would begin with me.

While I have been gathering and learning about the histories of the people in my family, I have become more confident and proud of even the most difficult parts of my own personal history.  Authentically writing the stories of my ancestors has helped me overcome the fear of sharing the hardest parts of my own. 














Reading about the tragedies, as well as the triumphs of my ancestors, has helped me to make personal connections with them across generations of time. They seem more real to me. I feel like my familiar support system includes those that have gone on before and they are cheering me on in heaven. I am strengthened by their examples and I am learning wisdom from all of their varied choices and different journeys.  

This type of perspective has helped me to see more clearly how the adversity in my life has been an important part of appreciating the joy that I now experience. My joy and gratitude far outweighs any fear that I may still feel and as Great Grandpa Goulé would say, "It has given me the gumption to speak out."


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5 comments

  1. You keep being you. Write courageously. Your babes are watching, their babes will be reading. Easier said than done, I intimately know. I'm a child who has come out of a home with a troubled parent and domestic abuse. That parent has died, but it reaches so much further... I've come to discover generations of broken and confusing households. I often thing, "this stops with me, now"... but my older living relatives still hang onto pain and some levels of secrecy... all of us nursing a genetic propensity for self soothing in the most destructive ways.

    I just want to drop all the shame... my naive wish is that we all come together as a family one day and acknowledge that addictive and compulsive behavior has been a problem for each of us in one form or another... and put some of the understanding firmly at the feet of an inherited quality that we, each of us, had really no choice to reject... only to acknowledge and protect one another from the pitfall. We all need a hug for this, an acknowledgement of it... and a roadmap for our descendants so that if possible, at least one or a few could avoid repeating this history.

    Happy hunting, and love to your girls.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You keep being you. Write courageously. Your babes are watching, their babes will be reading. Easier said than done, I intimately know. I'm a child who has come out of a home with a troubled parent and domestic abuse. That parent has died, but it reaches so much further... I've come to discover generations of broken and confusing households. I often thing, "this stops with me, now"... but my older living relatives still hang onto pain and some levels of secrecy... all of us nursing a genetic propensity for self soothing in the most destructive ways.

    I just want to drop all the shame... my naive wish is that we all come together as a family one day and acknowledge that addictive and compulsive behavior has been a problem for each of us in one form or another... and put some of the understanding firmly at the feet of an inherited quality that we, each of us, had really no choice to reject... only to acknowledge and protect one another from the pitfall. We all need a hug for this, an acknowledgement of it... and a roadmap for our descendants so that if possible, at least one or a few could avoid repeating this history.

    Happy hunting, and love to your girls.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved this.Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this.Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete