To want help because you’re hurting, but not want help because, then, people will know…
Even though her abuse and my abuse were different, my breath hitched in my throat when she said this, the way she said this, and I suddenly found myself 9 years old again, at the mercy of a trusted person who wasn’t a relative, for an entire year.
You can tell a kid that something wasn’t her fault because she was only a child and therefore not responsible (or consenting), but it’s still hard not to become your shame as you grow into adulthood. The struggle eases up sometimes, but never ends in this life.
“You don’t forget what it’s like to be putting on a show, wishing all the time that somebody, anybody who can help will say, ‘Is something the matter?’ and hoping all the time that nobody does because you have so much to hide.”
— Nurse Trixie of Call The Midwife, in tears, remembering her shame during her years as an abused child in poverty
READ: Linda G. Hill, One-Liner Wednesday — Life Is Too Short