As a young girl I remember being told, "what's done in the dark always comes to the light." It was one of those words that kept me from telling lies to my parents. I just knew the moment I decided to lie about something, it would come back to bite me right in the ass every time.
Another old Southern clique I remember is "stay out of grown folks business". That was a way of keeping children in line and warning them that their opinions had no weight in adult conversations. But the big one that I will never forget is, "don't tell anyone what goes on in this house."
That one really stuck. I think the reason why it stuck so well is because during the time of my upbringing, my younger brother and I only had one another to share with when things seemed unfair in our house. Since he was 3 years younger that I, his understanding of what I, as a hormonal, anxiety filled, insecure teenage girl was little to none.
There were so many things that I couldn't understand during that time, including myself. I was afraid to share my feelings with my mom because according to her standards, a child didn't have the right to an opinion, or the right to have any objections to what was happening in the home, or anywhere else for that matter.
I went years feeling like my opinion and my right to my own feelings were not to be shared, and not very important. I just allowed things to happen to me and whether I liked them, or whether I felt that they were wrong, or not didn't matter.
Well knowing what I know now, many of the old sayings and Southern cliques that I thought were just being told to me in my upbringing have come full circle for not only myself, but for many others too.
I've finally come to a point in my life where I feel comfortable coming out of the shadows of all those childhood secrets, stuffed feelings, and unexpressed opinions.
I finally feel free enough to stand in MY OWN TRUTH (even if it means at the expense of others) and use my story as empowerment not just for myself, but for others too.
So many of us have been taught that if we keep all of our dirty little secrets in the closet and act as though we are without blemishes, or to look in the other direction when we know we have been treated badly, then we and the others connected to us, look clean and wholesome. But that is just such bullshit!
Often, many of those secrets go unaddressed to the point that the longer the secrets stay hidden and covered up, they begin to fester and grow into bigger issues, bigger hurts and pains, and bigger guilt compounded with bigger shame.
We can now see from the recent development of the "TIMES UP, and Me Too MOVEMENTS", that truly what's done in the darkness always comes to the light.
Eventually, all the bones that have been collected and kept in the dirty little secret closet, come back to haunt us and the perpetrators too.
For me, never having anyone to share things with, and feeling like no one cared anyway... had come to the light and started to show in the way I approached life and relationships.
Quite frankly, it's still one of those things that I struggle with subconsciously. Although l have learned to identify and deal with those unaddressed wrongs, suppressed feelings, and self doubt when they show up in my life, they still linger nonetheless.
If not attended to, those old wounds will start to infect every area of our life. What's done in the dark always comes to the light.
In most cases, the perpetrators that may have caused the hurt and shame, or allowed it to take place, won't ever come to terms with it when you as the victim, are ready. Somehow they have stuffed the emotions too.
Some don't ever realize how you have suffered, some will not acknowledge anything ever took place, and some just don't care. There have been many men and women who have mustered up the courage to speak out and finally talk about what took place in their life and how it hurt them.
Some have gathered even more courage to actually confront the ones who caused the pain and shame and have to play that shame out in a other ways because the perpetrator often lies about it, or the victim is made to feel as if they did something to cause the wrong doing.
So, now it plays out all over again. Now you are a liar and your feelings are still unimportant.
But it's okay...you have to be strong and have courage to release all bones you've been collecting over the years. You have to finally stand up for yourself even if it's standing up to your own self. If not, it just becomes a vicious cycle of pain and shame that continues to play out with your own family and sometimes your children's too.
For example, my guilt, pain, and shame started to show up in the way I cared for myself (or should I say, DIDN'T care for myself). I allowed myself to become severely overweight, I didn't see myself as someone who mattered so I just wanted to fit in and be loved. I allowed any and every one who wanted to come into my life and poison it even more. Any man who said he loved me, I loved him too. That lead me straight down a rabbit hole of abusive relationships. My self worth was in the shitter and I was not a good example for my two sons. I let them see me neglect myself and allowed them to see me letting others mistreat me in the process. I just couldn't take it anymore.
It wasn't until recently that I came to terms with what I was doing to myself.
At some point, the cycle has to be broken!
STOP! allowing others to dictate your truth, or how those dirty little secrets have caused pain in your life. You are not alone. So many others are dealing with, or have dealt with guilt, hurt, and shame. There are plenty of people who have been keeping secrets for too long.
Unfortunately, not all of them have the courage to come out of the shadows and shine the light on their issues. That is where the problem lies. Because even if you never come out to anyone else, you have to come out to yourself.
This is about you so if the opportunity to confront anyone about the things that were done in the dark never come, you still have to continue on being productive in your life.
You cannot allow the things of the past to hold you back any longer.
When there is no one else there to support you, you still have to do you and be the bad ass that you are and STAND UP for yourself.
Find it in your heart to finally forgive yourself first.
What's done in the dark will, and must come to the light. You are the light.