vulnerability is strength

We are taught to believe that vulnerability is weakness. I am choosing to flip that switch. Vulnerability is a source of strength!

I want to be completely vulnerable and open about my past. When I was 5-7 years old, I was sexually abused by our babysitter (who also happened to be our neighbor). I didn’t have the self awareness or mindfulness at that age to be open and say, “hey mom and dad, this is what happened to me” I was just trying to just get by and pretend it never happened. I felt really ashamed and angry. Someone took advantage of me without my control, without my consent. I thought that if anyone knew about this, they wouldn’t care about me, respect me, love me. I didn’t let anyone know about this. No one in my family, none of my friends, no teachers, not my husband…NO ONE knew. I was so ashamed and didn’t want to upset my loved ones, so I kept it a secret until the dam broke a couple of years ago. Why share now? This is part of my journey and this story is holding me back. The shame and self guilt I feel is holding me back. I need to stand up and be vulnerable and courageous to share my story to help me release this shame and guilt.

I want to create a safe place for others who have been sexually abused to do the same. I want others to know that you are not a bad person, you don’t have to feel guilty, you don’t have to feel shame, you don’t have to blame yourself, you can forgive yourself, and you can forgive the other person. Not being in a place of forgiveness really made me a prisoner. I was a prisoner to these negative emotions for 35+ years of my life because I was holding onto this resentment toward MYSELF. I NEVER resented my parents…they didn’t know. I NEVER resented my sisters…I was glad it wasn’t happening to them. I have forgiven my perpetrator, but I have not fully forgiven myself for allowing myself to be in that situation. I realize I was 5-7 years old at the time of the abuse and as an adult, my perpetrator was the one at fault, not me, but that self resentment is still strong. I also know that I would NEVER want anyone else (especially a 5-7 year old) to feel the shame and guilt that I’ve carried for the last 36+ years. By not forgiving myself, I’ve held on to fear, anger, and resentment. These emotions are not allowing me to move from the shadows and into the light…into my greatness.

In the last 36+ years, I have built walls around me to protect myself. These walls are armed with artillery and ammunition to fight back. The moment I start to FEEL attacked (doesn’t matter if the person was actually on the attack or not…my perception is that they are), I drop into defensive mode and attack back to protect myself. I have lived in a place of fear in relationships when it becomes tough or vulnerable. When things are good, I am good. If I feel threatened, I threaten back. I have developed the “must protect myself attitude” and lash back to protect myself instead of communicating in a loving way. This is something I am working on changing every day. Do you know how difficult it is to change 36+ years of behaviors that have been put in place to “protect” myself?! I am a work in progress and I am choosing to not give up on myself or my loved ones as I continue this difficult work.

You will process this however you want. There will be haters, and I’m ok with that. I didn’t write this for YOU. I wrote this and am sharing it for ME. It is part of MY journey, part of MY healing, and part of MY recovery from my trauma. I am choosing to talk about it and this is my space to do so. If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine.

My only request is that if you are a parent, you create a space of love and safety for your kids. Have conversations with your kids. Ask difficult questions and love them no matter what their answer is. “Is there anything that happened today that made you feel uncomfortable? Is there anything that you are feeling ashamed of? Is there anything you are feeling guilty about? How did you fail today?” CELEBRATE those failures! That is how we grow, we become resilient, we develop grit, we become more vulnerable. Please create the safe space for you and your kids to be open and vulnerable with each other.

This is me rising up like a phoenix, stepping out of the shadows and soaring into the light…into my greatness! Vulnerability IS strength!

5 thoughts on “vulnerability is strength

  1. Thanks for being brave. Many of us can relate to your story. I’m almost finished with the book “The Body Keeps the Score”. Much of it I had leaned in therapy, etc but I’ve had some major lightbulb moments, especially in relation to why I finally feel almost “normal” since embracing swim/bike/run. Hugs! 💪🏻🤗💙

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, communication with kids is so, so important even though it’s tough to discuss hard things. It’s so great to have you blogging again! I missed your posts and I adore that picture! Take care Kecia!!

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