I’m pretty adverse to New Year’s resolutions, starting workouts or diets on Mondays, making any changes that start on Mondays, and Mondays in general. Too much pressure, too arbitrary and too much setting up to fail. I’m out.
Funny that I go to therapy on Mondays then…
It was good to reflect on the last week, on the boundaries I set, the speaking out I did, the taking care of me before others, the intention about rest. I am learning that when anxiety presents a challenge for me I can go to a place of stability. When PTSD symptoms kick me in the teeth I don’t have to challenge myself in that time, I can do the minimum and get to a place of stable calm before I venture out into progress again. Acting on that need for stability is in itself progress, and hard as last week was, I am now past two trauma anniversaries and ready to release that and go back to progress. Slow and steady, because my brain honestly won’t accept anything else right now.
I watched my social media feeds roll into “Me too.” statements last night, and I responded with love to each and every one of them. It fascinates me that at the same time that I am coming to terms with years of harassment, assault and abuse, often in the workplace, women are publicly speaking out about their own, similar experiences. I don’t have a name for the emotion I have about it yet, but it is AWESOME to see women validating their horrible experiences and throwing off the shroud of secrecy and shame.
WE HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
And that is how I am starting off this week, when I normally don’t start things on Mondays. No shame. I refuse to say I should have or shouldn’t have or blame myself or accept blame that belongs to others or make excuses for all the things I did or didn’t do because I was silently struggling with assault, abuse, manipulation and shame.
I’m not making it any more or less than what it was, and for me, and I speak only for myself, stating “it happened” is a statement of release. I don’t seek vengeance, I don’t wish to revisit the past, I don’t wish to confront the perpetrators or make a big public statement or start a campaign. I want freedom from shame and a path forward that ensures my children don’t have to live with the same experiences. My experience has informed a perspective that says that this shit thrives in darkness and dies in the light, and my children won’t be taught to keep it in darkness. They’ll know that they have value, that they can expect others to respect their boundaries, and that when their boundaries aren’t respected, they don’t have to be silent about it.
In the meantime, I’m doing what I need to do to toss off this burden and start living again. Maybe it’s slow steps, maybe it’s thoughtful steps, and ok fine, they’re steps that start on a Monday.