Sharing negative experiences = Slander….huh?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post, on another blog of mine, going into a slightly more detailed version of some of things that have hurt me in the past. Writing about my past isn’t unusual on this other blog, but the response I suddenly got was. What happened next totally spiraled out of control and left both my husband and I spinning and wondering what the heck just happened. and it is because of what happened that has caused me to start this blog to gain a sense of anonymity as I work through and heal from my past.

Now…allow me to back up a few steps.

I have been through a lot in my short life. I am the oldest of a large family, and therefore have had a lot of responsibility put on my shoulders, starting when I was very young. I practically raised several of my youngest siblings while my mom went through a year a breast cancer, and then chemo. I ran the house, did grocery runs, made meals, cleaned up most of the house, did the laundry, all when I was 12. My dad was prone, and I suppose you can say still is, to massive outbursts of anger. I came very skilled at avoiding his outbursts, and helping my siblings learn the ropes of staying out of the way when daddy lost it. I watched my parents fight, and fight hard, and I hide in my room, crying and worrying that it was my fault. Who can explain to a little 10 year old that her parents’ fights have nothing to do with her? My siblings “hated” me for getting to do things that they weren’t allowed to do, but how I could I explain I hated myself? We were all split up in twos to go to different families from church when mom went through one of her surgeries that year she had cancer. I was paired with my youngest brother (and sibling at the time), but when the family came to get us, I was told, inadvertently, that they really only wanted my brother, but I had to come along anyway.  For a 12 year old, barely having reached womanhood half way through the year before, and already struggling with feeling accepted, this was hell. Pure, straight up, lonely, burning hell. I still have some pretty sharp feelings regarding that family.

Jump ahead to year 14, we were moving yet again. With my dad in the military, this happened every 3-6 years. I hated moving. I hated leaving behind the very thin friendships I had formed in that short time, knowing that no matter what promises were given to me, I would never hear from those friends again.  This time, moving was different though from all of the past times we had moved. I was older, mom was literally just finishing her last round of chemo, and as soon as the truck had left all of our stuff, my dad got really sick. He never gets sick, and so once again, I was in charge, and I unpacked the house since mom had no energy left after the chemo all but destroyed her body. It’s incredibly scary watching your mom deteriorate before your eyes, and not really understanding what was going on with her, or why she didn’t have the brilliant memory she used to have.

About two years after moving in, I found out a very damaging fact about my dad. It broke my heart and destroyed any trust I had in him. I couldn’t look him in the eyes for about 6 months after my mom, in desperation, told me what was the root of all of their marital problems. that same day she told me, I caught 6 of my siblings gathered around one of the school computers, laughing and looking at porn. My heart was ripped to shreds that day. That was the first time I severely broke down. I cried out to God and asked “Why?!” so many times. I became increasingly depressed and had to fight each day to make it through the day. I was now 15, sucking the life from the few friends I had who were brave enough to come near me. At the same time, I start deteriorating physically and being an avid pianist, this was torture. I couldn’t sit down at my beloved emotional release and pound away under the pain in my heart and soul was pushed back into it’s Pandora’s box. My wrists and shoulders hurt so bad sometimes, it was all I could do to curl up in a pain and sob. I was an emotionless robot that hurt very deeply. The only way I knew to make it without killing myself was to shut down.

4 years later at 19, I had finally been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, had been told by my dad that I was a big disappointment, met the man of my dreams, had been told to stop playing the piano because I was going to severely damage my hands and wrists, among many other things. Add those years to an already painful life, and sure, my life has been full of “negative” experiences, and honestly, those have been used to create the person who is writing this post today.

Skipping forward to today, here’s where I’m at right now.

After getting kicked out of the house and being told by my dad that he had had enough of me and didn’t want to deal with me anymore, I married my beloved husband 3 months later, and have now been happily married for just about a year and half. Everything written above has never been dealt with, and I am slowly cracking open that Pandora’s box. It is certainly hard to let just one hurt come out without all of the other connecting wounds follow. Through blogging about some of these, in very slim detail, on my other blog, I have been able to start slowly dealing with my past. And to deal with my past, I have had to write a lot of what I wrote above. There’s no way around it, my dad has severely hurt me, my trust in people is very thin and yet very strong, and I have had a lot of pain inflicted on me.

I believe I am stronger for it, and not only that, through sharing my story, I am, in a way, reassuring myself that I am not imagining the pain or heartache. How people respond to my story, as unfinished and bare-bones as it is, has greatly helped in being willing to pry the lid of the box open even more. But it’s those who decide that me sharing that my dad hurt me, or even hinting at that, is slander, that makes me so pissed. Receiving an email explaining to me in detail about how what I am writing is disrespectful to my parents, slanderous, and dishonoring to God, and here’s scriptures to back of those points does little to make me receptive to any sort of thoughts this person thought they could share.

I’ll be bluntly honest here. I may seem strong, intimidating, unshaken by the world around me. Believe me, I wish I could be. I am always doubting whether or not I am worth anything, whether or not I am beautiful, precious. my heart hurts, and some days I am on the very verge of tears. it has taken an amazing husband willing to put aside his misunderstandings of what I’ve been through, and love me for who I am, to hold me when tears come and I don’t know why, and to listen when I am trying to piece together a memory that has left me broken again and crumpled in a heap on the bed to believe that I am truly worth listening to, and that I am beautiful. But when someone decides that it means to be a faithful friend to spiritually manipulate me into agreeing with them that I can’t share my story and heal, then that person has never walked in my shoes or those of others who have been through what I have.  To be continually pressured into agreeing with something I cannot agree with is infuriating to start with, but when my husband begins to be accused of not leading his wife well because we aren’t agreeing, I will not stand by and let this happen anymore. Is it too much to ask for care, compassion, and understanding instead of condescension, judgement, and manipulation? Is it too much to ask for questions instead of assumptions?

As I am already struggling with trying to understand, and pick apart, why I believe what I believe, being spiritually abused and manipulated isn’t going to help that process. If anything, it’s made me even more cynical towards church, church culture, and people how are so religiously legalistic. Seriously, how is sending a long email, carefully detailing where I have gone wrong in my writing, and giving me scriptures that back up that point, going to help me in loving God more, or cast aside my “sin” and seek God more? The brutal truth is that it’s not. when someone is more concerned about whether or not I’m blogging about them, and making sure that our friendship is all good, than asking how they can ask better questions to understand me, I lose respect and any desire for a close friendship really fast.

With that in mind, and without further ado,

Chryssie Rose

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6 responses to “Sharing negative experiences = Slander….huh?

  • W. Lotus

    You have every right to tell your story, pain and all. You are being honest, not slanderous. If the truth is ugly, so be it. The onus was on your father to treat you in such a way that you had a more beautiful story to tell, not on you to suppress the truth.

    Blessings and peace to you as you continue to heal.

  • Jackie C.

    As a parent of several adult children, I know that all parents screw up. But it’s not something we necessarily want to admit, or the world to know. So if you tell the truth, maybe our little world will come tumbling down-if other parents messed up, maybe we did too. What other reason than self protection could people have for trying.to silence you? It’s not biblical. It’s not of God.

    Keep talking. Talking is healing. Tell your story. I pray that with time will come healing. And remember we parents have issues that are in no way connected to our kids, but some parents find it easier to blame others.

  • Latebloomer

    I have encountered very similar responses to my decision to tell my own story…although usually the accusation is that I must be bitter or angry. However, I strongly believe that I have a responsibility to tell my story so that others can avoid similar mistakes; I also have a responsibility to face my pain and begin the healing process so that I don’t accidentally pass the pain on to my little boy.

    I found a really great blog post on the topic that helped me, and it might help you as well: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/phoenixandolivebranch/2010/11/anger-and-bitterness/

  • chryssierose

    I can definitely relate to those accusations as well. I have been accused of being bitter or angry many times. I agree, I strongly believe I also have a responsibility to share my story to help others heal and not make the same mistakes.

    Thanks for the link!

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