Since I have started this blog, I have had people reach out with such kind words and apologies. They have encouraged me and made me realize this was definitely a good way to share my journey and help other’s that may have or currently are experiencing a similar situation.
You would think all the amazing feedback would stand out the most as it is very meaningful. Yet the apologies are what have made my wheels turn continuously. People reaching out to me telling me they knew it was bad but didn’t realize it was that bad, they would have done more, they wish they did more, etc.
The bottom line is I only let people know bits and pieces, necessary information if you will. I could not bring myself to tell it all as it happened. I am not saying this was my life every day. We had good days, weeks, months and even years. Well, I may be pushing it with the years. Nobody could keep their sanity for as long as I have if it was like this every day.
In many bad situations, you will always have the good that pokes its head in occasionally. Therefore, people stay in abusive relationships, toxic relationships, bad jobs, etc. You see the bad, feel the bad, live the bad, but then you are given an ounce of hope for the good and you grasp it with everything you have and justify the rest.
Since I could remember, my stepfather always said whatever happens in this house stays in this house. This wasn’t always the case as he was in the newspaper very often for his arrest, or I would have to reach out to friends to stay at their house because they got into another fight. My neighbors would know because they would hear or see the fights. My teachers had a glimpse of it because I expressed with caution in many of my stories that I turned in for projects (thinking I was being slick by changing the characters.)
I fell into the stigma of keeping “The Family Secrets”. The family secret was the secrets of what happened in the walls of our home. This ranged from the drug abuse to the domestic violence and everything in between. I knew that we had issues, but I would just look forward to the good days.
I never told anyone the full story of what went on in our home because what would happen after taking that step was far scarier to me than what I was living through. In my house, I felt like I had learned how to handle the chaos. We always had food in the house, heat, hot water, a roof over our head and everything material I needed. This was more than most people.
What I imagined would happen if I took the step and gave someone the whole truth was horrible. I would lose total control over my life. I would end up a ward of the state, living in some group home and who knows where that would be located. I could no longer protect my mother or even my stepfather at times. My future was questionable in this scenario as well as the future of my parents.
I kept it to myself and pushed it all down and kept moving in a direction to be better. In this environment I could still have my support system as needed, make sure my mother was safe and stayed alive. I was able to make sure my stepfather was safe from himself and at times my mother. I could keep going to school and striving to be better. These were my goals.
So when people apologize I have to ask please don’t. I know that you would have done more if you knew. I know that I could have asked for help or told someone all the details and people would rush in to help or save me, but I do not believe it would have saved me. I made the choice to stay, learn and be better. So please do not carry guilt for the things I did not share with you.