There is always that awkward silence that follows when I talk about my childhood abuse with people for the first time. Over the years, I have gotten much better at filling in the gaps with reassuring words. I have understood that unlike talking about the recent death of a loved one, people just don’t have the words to say and when you are talking about child abuse, you can’t go to the safe place of “I’m sorry for your loss.”
There was once upon a time I took the retracted reactions from people with a little bit of disappointment. I had placed too much expectation on the other person to perhaps give me some enlightenment or maybe even some validation. I expected them to just know what to do. Instead of helping them understand what had happened to me in some capacity, I was placing a little piece of burden upon them. That was wrong of me, but to my credit, I was just learning to accept the abuse myself.
I have grown to enjoy those awkward moments when people struggle to comprehend what they are hearing from me. It is then that I have the power to educate and enlighten. In a world filled with distraction, I am gifted with a brief moment of undivided attention from another human being. At that moment, I can assure them that through great pain comes ultimate personal renewal and that I am not broken.
We are not broken.
Instead of expecting comfort from those I talk to about my abuse, I can comfort them.
Each and every one of us has some level of pain in our lives. When that pain comes to the surface, our reaction is the beacon of light that either summons people to help or warn them to run away. We all want help from our pain, in fact, we need it; we can’t fix it ourselves.
When you are in those situations where your pain is called upon, find the opportunity to grow from that interaction. What you may perceive as negative, could very well be the moment that heals you. There are things to learn and things to teach in every interaction, but we allow our raw and sometimes idiotic emotions get in the way.
Seek the uncomfortable times in life, trust me, there is a lot of room to grow there, and it only takes a moment.