My secret stayed hidden within the darkest places in my soul until it almost destroyed me. This is the power of shame. But what I have come to understand is that shame can only survive in the darkness. The moment shame is exposed to the light, it loses its grip over us.
My shame allowed his power over me, as did my silence.
My shame almost destroyed me, until the moment I said no more.
No more will I allow this to happen. No more will I believe I have done something to deserve this. No more will I allow another human to destroy me. No more will I hide in the dark. No more will I be afraid.
No more will I be ashamed.
No more will I be silent.
No more will I be the keeper of secrets.
It is over.
The sound of children’s laughter from across the bay arrives on a warm gust of wind. I breathe the air deep into my lungs, hold it there, allow it to fill me anew with life, for breath is life and I have been dead too long. My warrior heart beats again, the one he tried to destroy. The one he almost destroyed. But not quite. Here, in this place, I once again find life.
I will not speak his name out loud. I carry no bitterness, for this will only destroy me. I am instead thankful for the way this struggle has transformed me. Through this, I have become aware of the parts of my childhood not reconciled. I understand more of the human condition, of the way we operate out of our unhealed wounds, and project them onto other people and other relationships. I understand more about the hearts of women who live with abuse, the reasons they stay, the reasons they cannot leave. I am wiser, stronger, braver. I have found my voice, and I will be the voice for my sisters still trapped in their silence. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the rights of women. For them, for me, for my daughters.
There are reasons people enter our lives, reasons they become part of our journey.
Sometimes those reasons are to break us wide open.
I walk deeper into clear water, feel the sand squelch between my toes. The shock of cold awakens my soul and I run, dive, break through the surface, plunge beneath, deeper, deeper still, until I lift my face to the sun and rise back to the surface. I emerge, and I am weightless, washed, made clean.
I am born again.
Much has been broken; there is much to be healed.
But sometimes, brokenness carries its own kind of beauty.
Originally appeared on Kathy Parker
Published with permission