Last week in therapy part of our discussion was on identity and my journey in letting go of the things that were either never true or are no longer true. One thing I have consistently struggled with is embarrassment. This goes deeper than I first realised. While in some areas that embarrassment has eased (particularly with my T) I continue to struggle with it even after 20 (ish) months of therapy.
I guess the embarrassment and shame are combined, I can’t always differentiate between the two. I hope when it comes time to face that shame again, I can let go of the embarrassment too.
When I look at people who know of my past, I wonder what do they think of me? Do they see me as a victim? More specifically, do they see me as the rape victim? Those thoughts often cross my mind as I struggle to make eye contact- the embarrassment and shame makes it so hard.
In some ways, the more I separate from my teenage self, the more embarrassed I feel. I struggle to understand how I was taken in, I struggle to relate to the feelings I had back then, because it isn’t something that I would accept now. And while I know that’s why he picked a teen (a grown woman would not have been taken in so easily) my feelings are not so rational.
Lately, I feel more like me than I’ve ever felt before, yet I don’t quite know how to be me around others. What was done to me is part of me. Sure, I’m letting go of the victim identity, but what he did won’t ever just go (which is a whole other blog post) and sometimes I wonder how to be me, without denying my past.
How can I be me, the mother, the wife, the employee, the daughter, the sister etc while also a survivor of sexual abuse? How do I make all that fit together, so I can be free to be me all the time? Perhaps it will be easier once I am over the embarrassment and once I’ve let go of the shame?
Am I alone with these feelings? Is it normal? Part of the process? For now, even though I know all the reasons it shouldn’t, the embarrassment still remains.
I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was groomed. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was a victim for such a long time and I am embarrassed and ashamed that I was raped.
I look forward to the step forward that leaves the embarrassment and shame behind.