Tonight I met a “friend” (we’ll call him “M”) for coffee. As we were discussing random things, the conversation turned to Choices and what exactly it was. As I was explaining what it meant for me and the aspects that I found most valuable in my life, I started talking about ‘ANTS’ or tapes as they are often referred to. My short definition of this is negative self talk. Thoughts that pop into your mind automatically without you really even realizing it. I know I’ve touched on them before but as I was explaining to M what they were from my standpoint and giving examples of them, the one that has hurt me the most kind of just fell out of my mouth. I made a quick recovery from the impact it had on my heart in that moment and covered it up with ‘they don’t have much meaning if you don’t give them a voice’. I went on to explain that its critter talk and how you can typically put a physical image to your critter. In that moment it was almost like I could feel my critter right there on my shoulder laughing and saying ‘HA I made you say that tape out loud and now you feel SHAME!’. Shame – the hardest single emotion that I have to push past everyday. So what did I spew out tonight to M that now has me caught in a funk? “The guys that raped you didn’t want you after – why would anyone else?” That is so harsh to say that it hurts me to even type it here. As I drove home and pondered if I should blog about this tonight, the immediate thought in my head was that I shouldn’t. “I’m sure people don’t want to read anymore about my shame story on my blog, I’m sure no one reads my blog anyhow, I’m not that good of a writer anyhow” – all of which I know deep inside are false however my critter took control tonight. As I’m typing this now – I’m taking back control because of all the things I do know – it’s that I started this blog to inspire people and I know I have. I started this blog to help me heal and continue to grow – both of which it has done. That is how quickly our critter / self talk / ANTS can take over our lives. I had a choice tonight to push how I was feeling down and ‘stuff’ it. I used to be really good at stuffing everything – just like when you fill a balloon with water and it explodes, the water goes everywhere and kind of spews everywhere and as much as you try to find it all and clean it up – you don’t always get it all. When I used to stuff and explode, all the thoughts, pain, hurtful things came spewing out and landed everywhere and no matter how hard you try to find all those things to make them right – you never do. So instead of stuffing it – I acknowledged it and although I feel better for sitting and writing, I know that it will stick with me for a while because that is one ‘tape’ that I need to work through very deeply. By making the choice to acknowledge my emotions around this – I have pushed through my shame and into vulnerability by posting about it. Being vulnerable is scary but for me I feel power in it. I feel as though by being vulnerable – I am being true and authentic and if people can’t handle the true and authentic me than they aren’t meant to walk this portion of my journey with me. What does being vulnerable do for you?
“I am a vulnerable woman” – that is still a tough one for me!!!
Yes you are! You are also very courageous in your vulnerability.
I too have shame for what had happened to me. Until reading your blog this morning I realized I am still stuffing over this particular memory but reading your blog gives me courage to take it out again and be vulnerable. Thanks for all the sharing you do.
Char – it does take courage to acknowledge the real emotions sometimes but “feelings buried alive never die”.
You are courageous and strong! Thank you for continuing to read.
Yes! Good for you Tanya. We teach people how to treat us — we also teach people how to inspire themselves to treat themselves too! Well done.
Thank you Louise, small steps forward become huge steps in healing I am finding.
Good for you for not letting those negative thoughts control you. You should be very proud of how far you’ve come. Yes, you are an inspiration to many.
It can be so hard to push through the funk and fall back into the shadows of shame. Learning to even just attempt to push through has been life changing. Thank you for your kind words again Tandy.