Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Talk Too Much
I love to talk about what's on my mind. For a lot of my young life that involved sorting through what was happening to me. Though I have no memory of threats related to not telling about abuse, I can only guess that something was said.
I didn't tell my mother the babysitter lady beat on me. I only told my mother abut the sexual abuse when she separated from him. She did deny that he could do that. When I was an adult she told me she did that to protect me. That's total bullshit.
When I was a kid, we didn't have all those talk shows like Oprah, but we did have daytime shows sort of like The Talk or The View. Only usually hosted by men or a couple. Guests would sit down and talk about their lives on particular topics.
Because these daytime shows were mostly on while I was at school, I only saw them on rare occasions This one called "Hour Magazine," hosted by an actor named Gary Collins was one of my favorites. They had segments kind of set up like the night time talk shows where they'd interview a celebrity, have a cooking segment and possibly a new product demonstration.
One day, I remember I was about 12. They had a dark haired lady talking about being an alcoholic. How once she quit drinking that all these memories of her difficult childhood started to come up. She had been molested and started to drink to suppress all the confusing feelings that comes from surviving that kind of childhood trauma.
She said that in order to recover, she had to talk about and deal with those feelings. I watched my mother and her husbands drink and realized they must be covering something up as well.
I never wanted to drink and this made me realize that I had to talk about and deal with my own experiences. I see that I bet I drove people, especially my mother, crazy with my talking.
Mom and my sister Kathey constantly told me to "stop dwelling on the past." I wouldn't, couldn't stop. I wanted to be happy. I didn't see how being silent helped make anyone happy.
So I sought out every chance for guidance. I went to counseling and support groups. I count myself lucky to have found a couple of good therapy people who helped me sort through major and minor traumas and to realize that I can be okay.
Because my family and my ex husband all gave me the message that I talked too much, I felt somewhat guilty about talking about my past. I still did it, I still do it, but that guilt was a bit of a sting.
Meeting my Murry changed that guilt during a drive one day. I noticed I was talking a lot and I said "I'm babbling too much, I'd better shut up. " Murry casually says "Talk as much as you want, when you're done, you'll stop."
The acceptance in that simple statement still blows me away. I don't even think my therapy people gave me the permission to talk as much as I needed to.
I sort things out by talking. Repeating the same story, reduces its emotional impact. It hurts less. It becomes a historical account rather than a painful memory.
Pain unexpressed, festers in dark shadows that lead to emotional breakdowns. Murry said, I see your pain and because I didn't cause it, I can hear it. It's weird that as an atheist I discovered the value of confession. Only I'm not expressing the burden of my sin, but letting go of the weight of my personal suffering.
I'm a gonna lay down, this heavy load.
Kind comments encouraged.