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Monday, March 9, 2009

Shed the Shell of Shame

This was the comment I wrote:

"My sister was afraid of leaving her husband. She was afraid of leaving the state with her kids. Her county and "local" women's shelter was of no help. I drove up to her home, a state away, and packed all her belongings. I rented her a UHAUL. I rented her a storage unit. She became afraid...she knew if her husband found out she was leaving him, he would hurt her. I helped her file for divorce. She was afraid, yet she didn't want to leave for fear of the unknown. A month later, she was found dead. Don't let that happen to you."

I've never written publicly those words before. For the last ten months, just thinking about what happened to my own sister has been difficult for me. I haven't wanted to think about what happened to my dear, sweet sister Shelly last May. Still, I feel angry, helpless and confused over her untimely death. Her death was ruled accidental--we may never know the truth about what really happened.

After I wrote the above comment, I had to stand up and walk out of the room. I cried--the emotions of how I have felt and hidden for ten months finally revealed itself.

Someone asked me last week why I was sharing with the world what has happened in my life. They wondered how I could be so comfortable sharing something so intimate. To be honest with you, I wonder each day if sharing my life experiences with the world are worth it. My hope is that I am reaching out to someone else. I am also healing. Truthfully, I am more nervous about my own family reading this than I am about anyone else reading. Family can be more judgemental--more critical.

My family has never fully approved of me sharing with others the abuse that occurred years ago. Their solution has always been to keep the past in the past. Shameful things are to remain hidden. However, I have learned that hiding shame promotes protecting evil.

It was by fate or destiny that a friend of mine sent me an email one night about a website she was posting on. This website, Violence Unsilenced, promotes helping all victims of abuse to shed the shell of shame and find help. The website has encouraged me to let go of the past by writing about it.

I encourage you to read the stories of women and men affected by abuse in all its forms. May you too help to shed the shell of shame.

If you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Also, I have created a blog where I am compiling all my experiences into one. It will make it much easier for new readers and those unfamiliar with my story to start from the beginning. It is a work in progress, but I have added a photo link in the right column on this page where you click to go to Screwed Up: My Life. Check back often, as I will be adding to it in the next coming days and weeks ahead.


Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Therapy is whatever heals you. For some people that's art or exercise or a shrink. For you, it's writing.

If writing this down for the world to see helps you heal, then do it.

Richard Reeve said...

Your courage will have efficacy in the world...we are all as sick as our secrets...peace.

tcyarbs said...

Some people just don't get the whole "getting it off your chest" thing. That's fine, they can do whatever they need to do. I am with you-writing/telling your story is very liberating.

I have such a hard time commenting on this story. I hate to just drone on and on about how sad it is. You already know that. I do find it so remarkable that you are such a good wife and mother-clearly with no role model. And it is tragic beyond comprehension that your sister endured the same insufferable childhood as you, only to have life cut short for no good reason.

I am glad that you can write this story-and I respect you for it.

mrs. r said...

found you through cjane and feeling an overwhelming sense of hurt for you and your family.

i am so sorry this happened to you.

i am starting to become more and more aware of domestic violence as the birth mother of our youngest has written about the abusive birth father. our hearts ache with her and they do with you.


Screwed Up Texan said...

Thank y'all for the support. I hope each day that I am touching someone for tbe greater good.

Jeb Dickerson said...

If sharing is what helps to heal, than it's precisely right. I know a little bit about the shame of secrets, and the power that shame can have on you. Whatever alternative you find to that is time well spent.

Your story is important, regardless the naysayers. Keep it up.

suzanne cabrera said...

Oh Allie----

I can't even begin to compose a comment that in any way lives up to what your honest post deserves. This is an incredible piece of your life to keep stored away. I'm sure that by sharing it, you can help others.

My thoughts are with you...

Ashley Ann said...

Found your blog through CJane. So sad about your sister...her poor children. Thank you for writing the truth. You are a gifted writer, and obviously there are many who are or who have been in the same shoes. Best wishes to you. Keep it up!

Candance said...

My God. My stomach turned reading that. I don't even know what to say other than you're one brave lady.

belle said...

found you through candance, thanks for sharing your pain. I believe that it is only through the strength of women like you who are not ashamed to share (or share even thru the shame)that some victems will find strength to reach out for help.

Nancy said...

Ohhhh, please please say you still get to be involved in her kid's lives!!?? As you can see I really really like the full story!

Scrappy Doo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scrappy Doo said...

Hi just found your blog. I typed the previous comment and made a major mistake in wording. So I want to correct what I had typed What I meant to say is..
What happened to your sister Shelly was horrible and you writing about it is something you should not be afraid of. I know this for a fact because my sister Lisa Jean Hnizdo was murdered at the age of 35 on May 24, 1996 by her ex who shot himself after he killed her at a daycare in Hurst (no childeren were hurt) My sister has taught me so much even to this day. She taught me that on the day she died that there is a GOD and even though I dont know all the reasons WHY its ok because she is OK I love talking about her because it keeps her alive. I think its when you stop thinking and talking about them is when they truely slip away.
Thank you! for sharing
Donna aka Scrappy

Karen said...

I can't imagine losing a sister and certainly not the way you know in your heart, that you did. I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you are finding ways to heal and making the world a better place for it.

In the short time I have been reading your blog, you have touched me in more ways than I than I expected. Your ability to be so open about your past and being so optimistic about your future is truly inspiring. You remind me everyday of the reasons I am here. Thank you.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Again, thank you for your support. I've never recieved support like this from anyone and especially not from my own family. Keep reading in the coming days and weeks as I reveal more of the story.

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