Disclosure

20 years.

I have made a decision after twenty years to tell my parents about my childhood abuse. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and I am consumed with it. I think about it all the time, it is distressing and worrisome. Anxiety and Depression have creeped back into my life. Meanwhile, I am finding a way to care for myself as I care for others.

I was convinced that I would never tell my parents. I read that children do not disclose abuse to parents if they are worried about their reactions, worried their parents cannot handle it or worried that their parents will be unable to validate them. Ditto, ditto, ditto.

I had convinced myself that disclosure would never be an option because my parents would not understand, would not be able to handle the emotions and would not be able to respond maturely. I lived with the burden of this secret and the pain of forever isolation for 20 years.

I am still worried about these things. The only thing that has changed is the clarity I have gained about the impact this secret has on my emotional health, my relationship with myself, my parents and my partner. I do not want to keep this secret anymore. I don’t want the burden anymore. I did nothing wrong.

I did nothing wrong. But I worry. I am standing up for the little girl inside me. I am giving her a voice. I am giving her visibility. I am highlighting her struggle, I am highlighting her pain, I am highlighting her isolation.

20 years. Everyday I dream or dread the possible reactions they might have. Most of them are negative. I have started to distance myself to prepare myself for the worst. I am unsure if this is the right thing to do. But, it is my coping strategy at this time.  Everyday, is getting harder to wait, 20 years and now 20 days seems dreadfully long.

I hope and pray that it will come out the right way. I hope that my integrity and self esteem will remain intact after the disclosure. I pray that the anger will not take over. I pray that I will be prepared and able to survive what comes after.