What Me Too brings up for me
When the Me Too campaign started, I turned off from the outpouring. I needed time to process. I wanted to know why on a deeply spiritual (and Universal) level this was started and the purpose it served.
Then I discovered that it was initially started by Tarana Burke over ten years ago.
Alyssa Milano then resurrected it on Twitter without knowing that Tarana was the originator.
This is incredible and blows my mind with the power that this brings to women, and actually, all beings. As we stand together – all of us we can evolve. This is eve-olution – a slow burn until it’s ready to ignite, has been triggered.
My mind raced as I read stories and comments and I felt anger.
Not for anyone sharing a story, my anger. Anger that I was unable to stop two unhealthy men, one when I was ten and the other when I was a teenager. One a babysitter who was given authority and trust to look after ‘my parent’s children’ while they could go out to play.
The other a rather vile man who, I later, discovered, used his wife in the most degrading way. Although on reflection she was complicit in his grooming. With conflict at home and a deep sense of being unclean, but not knowing why, I was easy to exploit.
The stories we tell ourselves
As a young child, I did not know that the things that the babysitter did were wrong, I can clearly remember it all as a game. That was a defence mechanism and a story that I tell myself. Because I did not know that it was wrong, I couldn’t and didn’t tell. The irony is that the babysitter in question shares my name.
Recently I looked at Google Maps and stared at the house as if that would offer up some clues. But it looked just like a house. And thankfully there was nothing left.
The second incident, I have argued (my story) could have been averted.
But could it?
Now older, I’ve reasoned, I ‘should’ have known. Here’s the rub. As a rational adult, I know how insidious abuse is. I only have to look back at recent history to see how my last husband’s behaviour drove me, unwittingly, into a dark hole. I only have to talk to other men and women who live, have lived with narcissists to know how they work. I can remember telling my friends how kind he was. Really!
The brain and chemicals
What happens when you are blind to what is going on is that you convince yourself that everything is ok. That it is safer to be anywhere other than at home.
Not fully understanding the science of the brain, it seems that chemically there is a process that protects the person from accessing the trauma memory. This explains why I can only access the memories when I visualise the houses in which the incidents happened. I have almost perfect recall of the room layouts. I’ve been told that this is normal.
What I also know is that neurotransmitters involved in the love process play a part. We become addicted to the feelings that an abuser arouses in us. How crazy is that? Once a bond is formed it is difficult to break and because you believe that this person is a good person you will introduce others to them as if they are normal.
Is it my fault?
Later when the spell is broken, you can start to rationalise that it’s all your fault and it’s your fault that others got involved as well. This, of course, is not the truth but it becomes your truth, and when you own that, more damage occurs.
People who have been abused hide the memories and feelings because our prime directive is safety first.
The museum of your mind
Hiding memories with processes and techniques, in my opinion, don’t work. At least not for me. I want to know. I want them out.
I forgot everything for years, blocked it out of my mind until one day I was watching TV and the memories came flooding back. Boy did they come back. What followed was years of processing and dealing with anger and guilt. Not just for me, but for others. Trying to understand how this man’s wife could have been complicit and then knowing that she too was trapped and helpless. She was easy for me to forgive, not at first, but later. Then I as I thought about how she befriended me and when I introduced her to my friends, did the same I unforgave her. Despite her pain in this relationship, she played her part, as did I. I feel conflicted and in pain for us both.
I couldn’t forgive me for being stupid. How could I have thought this was safe and how could I have let them meet my friends? How could I? I have asked this so many times, but I cannot remember how we all met. I know it is not my fault, yet I felt shame.
I remember lots of people in their kitchen, and I’m wondering why they were there. Having baked beans in front of the TV, was that to get me out of the way? Being given nice clothes that weren’t theirs to give which were difficult to explain away, was this a bonding technique or to assuage their guilt?
Mostly all I can see is the house layout and two very explicit incidents, and I try as I can, I cannot recall anything else. Just like with the babysitter I can see the houses, two episodes and nothing else. But my insides are raw.
Later I heard some of what he did to his wife until she was able to escape. That got to me. Suddenly there was a whole other world of rubbish potentially going on in their house.
Thankfully, my involvement was short lived. Overhearing my dad, I realised that he was suspicious of where I spent my time. This woke me up and that was the end. Over, I never saw them again.
Despite locking things away, I never forgot.
When I watched the program about the three girls in Harrogate, I cried buckets. I was lucky that this scale of horror didn’t happen to me.
But somehow in my head, once again, everything he did was my fault.
But here is the rub.
I wanted to share this with someone I loved, however, my head was a jumble, was it my fault, was it my fault that they met my friends, how did I make all of this happen? I needed someone to help me piece it together, to help me to understand, to be understanding and not treat me like shit under their feet. Their reaction was not ok.
This led me to lock it away again. I shrank. Hid. A person of no value and little worth.
The net result was I imploded. Not visibly, but my inner world collapsed, and I made choices that I unconsciously thought I deserved.
Later I tried again. It was brushed off as ‘well it’s over and in the past, get over it.’
What I get is that it’s hard for others to process. That they don’t care and why should they?
My experience has been that in their heads it is our fault. Women are to blame. We made these things happen.
No, we didn’t.
There are many factors at play here, not least the biological processes that occur during abuse, the way that memory works and how trauma is processed. Sexual abuse and assault are complicated. Humans are complicated.
What I learned about me
The knock on effects are many. Each person who has had something done to them will deal with it differently, and that is ok. There is in my experience not a right way, only our way. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about me.
- A desire to prove I am not stupid by taking lots of high-level qualifications
- Getting pissed off if anyone treats me like I am stupid
- Aggressive behaviour in response to male and female harassment, manipulation and bullying
- Needing to feel safe
- Wanting to protect others and becoming a fixer
- Yearning to be heard and seen, but scared of being visible
- Poor mate choices
- Lack of self-love
What is scary is that abuse changes us biologically. The pain in my ribs gets worse when I am angry, and I thank her (I’ve named my ribs Mabel) for letting me know that I need to deal with things.
Healing takes a lifetime.
While I may have processed all of this through many different methods, there will always I feel be fragments stuck in a corner somewhere – as there are today.
Several things have helped me
- Eating cleanly
- Forgiving, letting go and letting love
- Learning to love me
- Tearing up of soul contracts
Eating clean and ridding my body of processed rubbish has had a profound effect on my ability to grow as a human. When I am clean, I can function well. Without the chemicals of mass destruction running amok in my body I am strong and can make conscious decisions.
Writing is a powerful way to connect to the unconscious mind, higher self, highest true self and source. I call all of these my muse. Writing takes many forms. Journaling, scribbling and writing stories and books. On each of the full and new moons, I write and burn my thoughts. What comes up as the focus is used, I set a releasing intent, write and do not read, burn the writing in Rosemary and hold a crystal while I let the flames lick my wounds. As part of this process I forgive, let go and let love.
Learning to love me has been most profound. What a change this has made in my life and my identity. Self-love is the foundation from which I can be. In this, I have learned that I do not have to fix or mend others and how to ask for help. That if anyone treats me like I am stupid that’s their stuff. And aggression is now much more assertive. Best of all I am now prepared to add my voice and be visible.
Soul contracts. This is part of writing and loving me. A process where I see the contract, write it and then tear it up. Once burnt it helps me to heal.
I am wondering how the MeToo outpourings on Social Media in whatever form affect you? How you process and if like me, it is an iterative evolving cycle of things?
Before I close, I want to tell you that despite the spikes in my emotions, there is much love, inner peace and contentment in my life. As I am sure, there is in your life. This is I think a shift of consciousness again.
I also think that this current campaign has opened a vortex of Universal healing and I hope that we can all heal, expand and transform. Mother Earth can take the energy around our stuff; she can use it and create goodness from it. Let her help you.
Resources (aka stuff I have read)
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