Something that seems to be constantly thrown in my face though is happy families. I must admit that sometimes it's hard to face something I never had and possibly never will have. Coming from a disjointed family makes it rather difficult seeing others who appear to be so happy.
I watched a movie today that featured a large family. Although they had clearly been through a lot together, watching them have fun didn't make me laugh but made me feel sad. They went through bad times together but spoke openly about their feelings and emotions, something my family could never do. In my family, feelings were expressed through shouting, violence, anger and arguments. It was a lot of hot air for nothing that left everyone feeling deflated and upset. I'm lucky to have a supportive brother and parents; it's just a shame about many of the others:
- People who just want to sweep my past under the carpet yet bring up other petty grievances
- People who deny what happened to me and say they have no evidence
- People who don't want to blacken the family name
- People who knew that I was abused but kept it a secret in order to protect the family name rather than an innocent child
- People who say that we must forget about it and keep quiet
- People who ignore the subject completely
These people aren't my family but just people who happen to have the same ancestors as me. I don't want to see them, I don't deserve any more upset. I will continue to speak out no matter what they say as they are ignorant cowards.
Christmas and holiday times are never easy for survivors especially as it often means getting together with other family members. The intense stress and anxiety can be a reminder of the awful things we went through, especially if they took place during the holidays. Imagine being forced to sit at a dinner table with a family member who abused you. Alternatively, having dinner with family who choose to bring up the past all the time forgetting, or perhaps ignoring, the biggest crime of all that took place.
I've become stronger now and no longer choose to sit at dinner in silence as I did for many years. I choose whom I see and don't see. The last time my family started speaking about my abuser I merely said, "If you continue to speak about this topic, I'll walk out of here and you'll never see me again. I don't need to hear this."