Tonight, the sexual abuse support group that I attend had an evening picnic. I was hesitant to go. Social gatherings make me anxious. To make things more difficult, we were supposed to bring letters to our abusers, read them aloud, and burn them. We were also supposed to bring a picture of our abuser to tape to a board and throw darts at. 

I have spent several weeks struggling with identifying and feeling anger for my abuser. I had a really difficult time making myself go tonight. It also meant missing one of my favorite yoga teacher’s classes. In the end, I decided to go.

I did not write a letter to my abuser or bring his picture. I did bring copies of the letters that I wrote to my mom and my dad about their role in my abuse. I burned both letters, but I chose to only read the letter that I wrote to my mom. This letter had less details about my abuse, and instead focused on how many amazing things my mom is missing out on in my life. In a lot of ways, this letter was “easier” to read… it had less to do with my abuse and more to do with what a crappy mom I have. 

Everyone cheered for me when I talked about how many days it had been since I last cut. They all agreed with how amazing I am. And they all clapped for me when I finished. 

I thought that burning the letters would have more of a “relief” type of feeling, but really, I think I got more out of reading my letter aloud. I have read it aloud to my therapist, but no one else. Actually, I never share my therapy work with anyone. Even on my blog, it is heavily edited. Sharing it aloud in front of a group of women whom I hardly know was empowering. It made me feel like I have control over the situation now; my mom’s decision to distance herself from me isn’t weighing me down. And it isn’t my fault. 

I am anticipating some heavy trauma work these next couple of weeks as I continue to work on directing anger towards my abuser. I have a Thai Massage next week that I desperately need. Right now, I am trying to just take things one day, one hurdle, at a time: