Looking Inwards and Reaching Outwards

After some thought, I have decided to post another comment from my anonymous visitor here, instead of responding on the other post. A few reasons for that decision, 1st is I didn’t want it on my poem, as I did not want to interfere with how readers interact with that poem. 2nd is that I think the ideas in here are worth exploring, even though I don’t appreciate the overall tone in this message, I think it is meant to get my attention.

So here it is – my full attention.

“Look Blossom, one may speak with all their heart to you and you are still likely to take words the other way around or twist them in your mind, just because you ‘decided’ to cultivate fear towards all strangers and fear towards communication with others. In your own words you are manipulative therefore confused, because you expect the same from others.”

Do I twist words around in my mind? Yes. I have many automatic negative reactions and cognitive distortions. Although I have come so far as to be able to recognize them, I can not yet completely prevent them.

Do I have a fear of strangers? Yes. Do I decide to cultivate this fear? I don’t think so, but would love to hear why you think I do. I may be doing something that I am not aware of. I know I tend to look up someone’s blog, and get a bit of history before I reply. I am unable to do this with the Anon here and maybe that does make me afraid to answer, not knowing who they are, what the background story is, why he/she is interested in me.

I don’t know that I have said in my own words that I am manipulative, but I have often admitted to being confused. And yes I do expect others to be manipulative, or have a side agenda. I am ready to recognize abuse and stop it. Always alert to the possibility. I don’t know how to turn off my “this person could hurt you” alarm, or if I even should. 

Your life, your choices though. I’m not here to exchange ‘my stories’ for ‘your stories’ because you expect them served on a silver plate, truth be told ‘your stories’ are available for free on this blog and ‘my story’ you would have to learn making an effort by speaking with me – which is something you’d rather avoid. Your communication with others on this blog starts and ends with ‘I love your blog’ – ‘I love you love my blog’ sort of exchage, or ‘my experience is’ – ‘so is mine’, that’s it, there’s no deeper discussion. Of course you are free to master one-sided confessions and rely on instincts you’ve developed.

This is my life, and I have made some terrible choices in the past. Although some of my choices I now rationalize as I was merely surviving, not choosing. It was only recently that I fully understood I have choices, that my life is my own, and that I was no longer a victim of anything except my own self.

 I guess I did expect this person’s story to be handed over to me, as other bloggers do, and I never thought about how that made me feel safe here, knowing how to respond to someone based on their perspective. And maybe this is where I might be manipulative(?), in a way, as I do choose my words to be most helpful, and never harmful. I would never be so bold as to do what this commenter has done to me, to throw out my version of the truth and attempt to wake someone up, or have them truly look inwards. And I guess I need to start answering as me – no matter what, and not customize or tailor my responses based on the person. Maybe. A little. Some of this makes sense, but I wonder how much of this still fits my need for acceptance and perfection? Ugh. I’m not sure about all of this yet.

At first I thought I needed to protect my readers from this portion of the comment, because I tend to agree. I thought it was just blogger etiquette, that most people simply say ‘thank you’ or ‘I like this’ or ‘good job’. Very few actually come back to challenge me, but some do. Some that have been willing to share their stories with me. I noticed I often don’t post comments of disagreement, and I never thought much about that until today. I also don’t follow blogs I would tend to disagree with. I steer clear of politics and religion and really enjoy the personal stories where the blogger comes to life for me, and allows me to feel connected as a reader. My blogging friends were my first step at reaching outwards. I could not have accepted much disagreement or conflict when I first started blogging, I can only guess that would have sent me right back into hiding. 

But now? what is the purpose of this blog? I’ve been wondering this lately, just like when I wonder the purpose of going to therapy. Is it still helpful? 

People come and go, but you stay sourrounded solely by people, like you, abused in the past. Abuse is what you put trust in, this is what you know. In my opininion your whole blog is dedicated to your dad and his protection. At 36 you protect your abuser within yourself, he is well and alive. So ‘bow down before the one you serve, you’re going to get what you deserve’. Beautiful monument you build, so true.

This one, this part, this paragraph really makes me think. OK, yes, many of my readers have abuse in their past, the common link that connects us, so we feel understood. I started this blog hoping to find a support group, to learn more about myself, and meet others with similar pasts to share the journey. I have been more successful in this than I ever could have hoped. 

I also started this blog to simply tell my story – the story I don’t share at conferences, meetings, parties, etc. Many in my real life do know my story. I think everyone who needs to know does know, and many more know as well. This blog was not about coming out or confessing. Nothing like that. It was a place to put my memories together in a way that makes sense. To document my progress, and see what path to take next. To get un-stuck. I have also been more successful here than I ever could have hoped.

To say my blog is about my dad and his protection? This one I just don’t see. I’d like more explanation here. I’m not afraid to look at this. I can’t even start to figure this one out and welcome any comments here. Do any of you think that this blog protects my abuser? I guess I can sort of see the monument part, as he is central to so many of my posts. The Anti-hero is still the hero? I don’t know. I don’t know how else to tell my story other than to just tell it as I recall, and as I recall, my dad was central to my universe and controlled everything in our home. My oldest brother even says he thought of our dad as more of a god than a father at times. That was how we were raised. I surely hope my blog has not been glorifying these events. Interesting to think about.

Am I doing in this blog exactly what I said the media shouldn’t do with traumatic events? I say no, because no one is looking to my blog for information. I’m not trying to sway anyone’s opinion or create policy or drive legislation. I’m just trying to find my place in the human race, and feel so grateful to finally belong, and allow myself to belong.

Is my abuser still alive within me? Yes. I have admitted to this in many posts. I don’t know how to kill the root completely. I have stifled it. I have trampled it. I have severed it. And yet a part remains. Now this commenter seems to think this is my choice, and I really do want to know why. I don’t know the next step to take to completely be free. But see, that hasn’t stopped me from moving forward and looking for the next step. I do not consciously choose to bow down to the abuser within me. So if anyone has answers for this, it will help a great deal of people struggling with similar burdens.

There’s no use ‘con-vincing’ you. You feel what you feel, you think what/how you think. Good luck Blossom. Good luck.”

This last line was just a bit too dismissive for someone who seems to care about me. I don’t think you would have written all of this if you truly thought I was incapable of listening or examining my feelings.  So we all know better. I am here to learn, and I am not afraid to face whatever I need to face to continue to grow. 

So thank you again, my anonymous friend, for helping me look inwards. Maybe you will help me find my next step in the journey to be me.

>(There you go, freshly displayed in black and white. Even the gray areas.)<


25 thoughts on “Looking Inwards and Reaching Outwards

  1. If this had been a speech I would have stood up and applauded you. Only someone with huge inner strength could reply to a comment like that in such an insightful way. Well done!

  2. To be honest, I’m not sure what this person is trying to tell you, but I am glad you are willing to look at it and inspect it. I think that shows progress.

    You had talked about how you avoid situations in which you might have to disagree or discuss differences. It takes strength and some sense of self in order to engage in those dialogues in a mature way (lots of people can just argue and yell, which does not suggest strength to me, but weakness). So, I think that for you to ‘clean house’ in your own heart before you run out and worry about others is a good thing. You need to get your mind in order, figure out who you are before you can engage in these kinds of discussions in a healthy way. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    And it appears to me, that you are starting to venture out, which again show progress to me. I’ve found comfort in these blogs, a place of belonging too. A place to know I am not alone. A place of some safety where I can sort it all out. I’ve spent a lifetime thinking no one would understand and not allowing me to be me because of it. Within this safe place, I’ve been able to find me.

    What you choose to do, how you chose to blog, even how you chose to respond is up to you. And if you are not ready for those kinds of interactions, that’s fine. But the fact that you are choosing to address this on your blog, indicates to me that you are making big steps in moving out of and away from that temple of abuse you were made to live in. And that’s great too.

    • Yes Jessie, within this safe place I have found me as well. By finding others on their own life-journeys. Your last line made me smile, in a way, only because you are right in calling it a temple of abuse, and in that I am moving away from it. This post has turned into a powerful tool for examination.

  3. Well said. xx That was very insightful and mature, the way you disregarded the commenter’s holier-than-thou tone and addressed their points in a balanced way. Eyes wide open. Good for you. I don’t think I’m in a place where I could do that either.

  4. My perspective: What blog is anon reading? DId they pick out key words shared among many blogs and confuse you for someone else? Since you asked for a different perspective:

    “Look Blossom, one may speak with all their heart to you and you are still likely to take words the other way around or twist them in your mind, just because you ‘decided’ to cultivate fear towards all strangers and fear towards communication with others. In your own words you are manipulative therefore confused, because you expect the same from others.”

    I’ve never had you twist my words. Ever. See them from a different perspective, maybe, but different isn’t twisted. Cultivating fear? How? Telling the truth? Yes, some people find the truth scary. I’ve found you inspiring and helped me overcome my own fears. You are doing things you didn’t used to do. You are interacting with people on your own blog and other blogs, in a respectful manner I might add. Frankly, I find anon dangerously manipulative, implying they know you and know what you mean and have magical insights into you.

    “Your life, your choices though.”

    Such a narcissistic thing to say, ie, they point out what’s wrong with you and then pretend like they don’t want to influence you. And why didn’t they point out what was right with you?

    “I’m not here to exchange ‘my stories’ for ‘your stories’ because you expect them served on a silver plate, truth be told ‘your stories’ are available for free on this blog and ‘my story’ you would have to learn making an effort by speaking with me – which is something you’d rather avoid.”

    Served on a silver platter? What are they talking about? Now anon is oh so superior because they don’t offer their story for free. And here comes the challenge. Yep, There it is. Can’t these narcs ever be original?

    “Your communication with others on this blog starts and ends with ‘I love your blog’ – ‘I love you love my blog’ sort of exchage, or ‘my experience is’ – ‘so is mine’, that’s it, there’s no deeper discussion.”

    I thought this was you sharing your story? Who is anon to declare that isn’t good enough? Clearly anon doesn’t know how to have a deep discussion in only a few words, as evidenced by their lengthy comment. Did anon every consider that “deeper discussions” happen when someone posts on their own blog because a door was opened from what they read here? If anon doesn’t like what’s here, why are they here?

    “Of course you are free to master one-sided confessions and rely on instincts you’ve developed.”

    What? This doesn’t even make any sense. It’s a nonsensical statement that sounds sophisticated but means nothing.

    “People come and go, but you stay sourrounded solely by people, like you, abused in the past.”

    Well, duh. This blog is about surviving abuse. What did you expect?

    “Abuse is what you put trust in, this is what you know.”

    Trust? What a joke! What trust? Finally got something right: Yes, this is what we know.

    “In my opininion your whole blog is dedicated to your dad and his protection.”

    What blog are they reading?! Yes, some of this blog is about him because he was the primary abuser. Huh, imagine that. Protection for him? Ummm… no. If you were protecting him you’d say nothing at all. That being said, I’ve been following this blog a long time, and it’s about surviving and learning to thrive. I’m not sure anon has actually read anything more than a few posts…. oh, they’ve been reading your story… Seems you hit a nerve.

    “At 36 you protect your abuser within yourself, he is well and alive.”

    Why anon felt the need to point this out is baffling, unless they intend to wound. Sadly, yes. I’ve yet to meet an abuse survivor who doesn’t abuse themselves more thoroughly than their abusers ever did because it’s an inside job. We berate ourselves and hate ourselves and repeat the same nasty words and worse without them being there to do it themselves. Part of the healing process is learning to recognize it and that’s where blogs come in. We share our experiences and discover what we thought was us is really the abuser. Slowly but surely, we put the past to rest.

    “So ‘bow down before the one you serve, you’re going to get what you deserve’. Beautiful monument you build, so true.”

    Wait… they’re spitting back your poetry? Really? They do understand that poetry is symbolic? They do understand that poetry creates powerful images in as few words as possible? Maybe they need to stop reading poetry… maybe they’re jealous of your wordsmithing…

    “There’s no use ‘con-vincing’ you.”

    Now I’m starting to wonder if this was supposed to be a poetic piece. It failed. Whatever it was meant to be, it’s rubbish. It was condescending, judgmental, and deliberately inflammatory. I would have trashed it. Oh, wait, I just did.

    Roots to Blossom, you are a tenderhearted soul and I am grateful and honored to count you among my friends. I’m awed at your ability to take such an unpleasant piece of narcissism and find something worth keeping. I hope I didn’t offend you. I suspect I offended anon. I actually do care, but I will not stand silent when a coward pretends they want to help when what they’re really doing is belittling. Grew up with it. Recognize it. Done with it. Will call it what it is: Bullying. Why do I call it bullying instead of “helpful feedback?” Nothing productive is offered.

    “You feel what you feel, you think what/how you think. Good luck Blossom. Good luck.”

    If not for all the needling before, this almost qualifies as a decent comment.

    R2B, this is your blog, feel free to publish this or delete. I won’t be offended either way. I know I’m snarky. I am not ashamed of fighting back. Granted, it’s easier to defend someone I care about than myself. There are those who would accuse me of not being very Christian, but I am His. He braided a whip and used it to the clear the Temple of moneychangers and had no trouble calling hypocrites what they are.

    • Judy … you said a lot of the things I wanted to say, and said them well. Yeah for fighting back … it is only when we are silent, that they become victorious. It is OUR TURN to be the ones that are strong, and confident, and armed with knowledge. We choose to use what we’ve learned to heal and grow, and to unshackle ourselves from the abuser’s grip. They may have twisted and warped our ability to know peace, or experience happiness, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t purposefully learn how to claim what was rightfully ours to begin with … we all deserve to know how to exist in the world in a way that celebrates the gifts of life.

    • I actually wondered that at first – was this person really reading my words? Where did this come from? I was also wondering if this person is a narc, but it also reminded me of a friend I used to have that would challenge me regularly. Force me to look inside and examine thoughts and feelings from every angle.

      I also have some knowledge that I may have been remiss in providing, that this is not the first comment from this Anon, and others have been supportive, truly supportive with hugs and all. So I had to wonder, why the change in tone? Hit a nerve? Commenter is having a bad day? Commenter has a mental illness or mood disorder? I see all these possibilities before I trash a comment.

      That doesn’t mean I didn’t recognize it as a possible attempt at bullying, but without any purpose I was not so quick to label it that way. This could also be some naivety on my part, as this is truly the first comment of this sort I have ever gotten. We may never know the true intentions. And it very well could have just been a bullying attempt, but I still don’t think so, I think there is more to this story.

      I so much appreciate your willingness to jump in and dissect and offer your point of view along with mine here. You have become a dear friend to me and I respect your opinions and appreciate your willingness to stand up for me.

      • I love the way you’ve handled it and your perspective. I wonder if I’m capable of learning to only pick out the positive. It helps having seen it done. Thanks, rootstoblossom.

  5. This is an intriguing interaction indeed and one which could only take place in the blogging medium where anonymity offers protection. Whilst I am open and honest about my experiences of depression, my instinct is always to question other’s motives when they comment-it’s hard not to when you expose yourself in this way and you trust others not to take advantage and question your efforts to recover whilst also helping those with similar experiences. I think it is quite dangerous and irresponsible to comment as “anon” has done. They are entitled to an opinion of course but I liken the Blogging environment to wearing Niqab. We are human beings and much of our communication relies on face to face interaction and our responses and reactions rely on our being able to interpret body language and facial expression. If this is hidden from view, it takes away much of our ability to communicate effectively and accurately. There are ways in which thoughts and opinions can be challenged in a positive and helpful manner and from people who genuinely understand. I am not sure this is the case here- just be cautious. 🙂
    And remember-you are always in control over what you write and respond to on your Blog. Like your home telephone, you are not obliged to answer it every time it rings.
    It is always good to challenge ingrained thoughts,perceptions and behaviour patterns but gently does it and always with the help and support of those either qualified or genuinely well-intentioned to do so.
    You are coming on in leaps and bounds but don’t fall into the trap of wasting precious energy on those who sap your strength intentionally or otherwise. Use your wonderful qualities wisely and for those who appreciate it.

    • “don’t fall into the trap of wasting precious energy on those who sap your strength intentionally or otherwise”

      wise words, indeed, Caroline.

      although sometimes a well-thought-out rebuttal is cathartic in helping clarify our own process (and progress), we can also easily fall into the pattern of defending ourselves in a never-ending spiral of accusations and negativity. The more we allow positivity and light into our lives, the less room we have for darkness and negativity. We get to be in control of chosing the balance. Good point.

    • There is much wisdom in your comment here. I also recognized that this comment could have been dangerous – to me on a bad day, or to others on their own bad days. I think that is exactly why we choose to be so gentle here, to respect we are all on different levels of recovery. Reading this comment in the midst of depression could have sent me further in I think. I don’t know that I would have attached power to this unknown source though, even on my worst day.

      Words can be powerful, but I think only if we allow them to be. Without knowing this person, or like you said, seeing them standing there and reading body language, it had no power over me, and I was able to analyze the words as words. Not sure I could do that with a face-to-face conversation. And I guess though, what better way to practice dealing with difficult conversations than in the safety of my blog? I am in control and safe here.

      Thank you for the words of caution, and I have exercised discretion in the past for not responding to every post. I can’t explain why this one has me so intrigued and I felt it was worth exploring. I do hope it didn’t cause you pain, as that was not my intent at all. As with anything I post, I expect anyone to look the other way if I post something that could be triggering, and to only deal with what we can handle on any given day. I totally get that.

      But most of all I appreciate your concern and how you stood up for me and for the rights of all the bloggers here that expect a safe supportive community.

  6. There is a lot I would like to say about this commentor’s tone, and apparent intention, as well as their cryptic choice of verbiage, and even though you took a very measured and thoughtful approach (bravo for you), my gut reaction is that they are simply doing their best to (a) ruffle your feathers, (b) create something out of nothing, and (c) use their words as a manipulative tool to bully you in an overt and blatantly rude fashion. I am kind of blown away by your ability to weigh their words and examine them for merit, and your choice to allow for the possibility that there may be some kernel of truth hidden amongst the not-so-subtle barbs that are tossed in your direction without impunity.

    My take on their comments is that they are, first and foremost, nothing more than an insignificant coward. If they are unwilling to identify themselves, so that you might have a point of reference as to who you are speaking with, then, in my opinion, they do not deserve your full attention. The fact that you chose to address their comment says a lot about who you have become in the process of your recovery, and speaks to the forward movement you have experienced as you’ve progressed along your journey. I am incredibly proud of you for making a choice that allowed your voice to be heard, rather than allowing their words to silence your own.

    Your blog space belongs to you, and as such, you can use this space for whatever purpose serves your own needs, whether that be venting about past trauma, working through issues as they arise, or sharing stories with other victims of abuse, so that you can feel a sense of connection and community. Yes, their is some validity to the idea that we all tend to be supportive of one another within our blog circle, but is that necessarily a bad thing? I don’t believe it is. I’m always open to someone making an argument that presents an opinion contrary to my own, (because, like you, I’m always willing and open to learning from a fresh perspective), but the key missing ingredient in this exchange is the commentor’s identity. Sorry, but if you’re not willing to identify yourself, then I’m not willing to trust your intentions. Simple as that, at least for me.

    As to the bits about being manipulative, seriously, who ISN’T manipulative, if we’re being honest? Their words are overtly manipulative, in my opinion, so if we’re going to throw stones, they should be prepared to have a few hurled in their direction as well. Besides, as humans, we are hard-wired to figure out how to get what we need or desire, whether it be a form of self-preservation, or simply a way to exist in the world in a way that brings us some measure of comfort. In that respect, yes, we are manipulative. Each and every one of us. Guilty as charged. Next?

    About the “surrounding yourself with people that have been abused” comment. This one is just plain stupid, from my point of view. Of course we gravitate towards others who have some intimate knowledge of our pain. We’ve lived within our own pain for so long, isolated and humiliated and broken and hurting, so it is only when we begin speaking about the pain that we can begin to heal. We tentatively share a tiny slice of our shame, sure we will be rejected or shamed again, or shunned completely, but when we cross paths with others that have walked a similar path, we finally begin to realize that healing is possible. We finally begin to learn that trust is possible. We finally begin to learn that even though something was taken from us when we were incapable of defending ourselves against the perpetrator, we still have time to reclaim our life, and keep moving forward. We finally begin to let go of the pain. It takes time to heal, and we look to our fellow travelers to help guide us along the path. We keep our eyes and ears open, and take notes along the way. We share what works, and what doesn’t. Of course we gravitate towards others that have a history of abuse.

    When you want to learn, and grow, do you ask someone with NO KNOWLEDGE about the subject, or do you find people who are asking the same questions, and open up a discussion about how to best navigate the sometimes treacherous path to recovery? If you want to learn how to cut diamonds, do you ask a typesetter? If you want to learn how to plant a garden, do you go to your local hardware store and ask the lumber salesman? Maybe you want to learn how to bake bread … surely you wouldn’t ask a professional singer? If you are serious about wanting to learn about any subject, the first thing you do is identify who can really help you, and challenge you, and who you can trust to share a fresh perspective with you, in a way that is encouraging, knowlegeable, friendly, and honest. Your anonymous commentor didn’t appear to be offering anything of value, but rather, chose to use YOUR SPACE to quietly attack your intentions.

    Is there some value to separating yourself from constantly dredging up the old memories? Surely, yes. But sometimes a story has to be told in enough variations until the entire truth is revealed. Or until you finally feel like you have been adequately heard. When I was in some very intensive counseling sessions earlier in my recovery, I finally realized that being heard is one of the first steps along the path of recovery. For many people, they have been silent for too long, and it isn’t until they are able to finally speak their truth (from their own memory and perspective) that they finally are able to find some sort of peace, or relief from the oppressive pain. We all hope to eventually reach that place and time where our abusive past isn’t present every single day of our lives (and at the age of 54, I can tell you that I am closer than ever to reaching that goal). Whether we are blogging, or chatting in the line at the grocery store, or confiding our secrets to a friend, or simply writing down our thoughts to allow us the space to sort it all out, we are moving forward, on step at a time.

    Finally, I can’t fail to comment on the “protecting the abuser within yourself” line of commentary. While I strongly agree that we have to learn how to let go of the control that our abuser had over us while we were being victimized, and that if we don’t figure out how to live our lives without the abuse being the central character in our story, I just as strongly disagree with how the anonymous commentor chose to deliver this idea. Wouldn’t it have been more helpful if they had said something along the lines of “we have to be wary of allowing the negative control to continue thriving in our lives by giving too much energy to the memory of the abuse” or something along those lines? Using words like “we” and “our” to convey a solidarity, and commonality? Even a simple “if we are not abuse survivors, then who are we?” would have been sufficient to convey the message. By choosing to deliver the idea by using words that are blaming and judgmental, they lose all credibility. Someone less farther along in their healing process than you might have ignored their “intention” and disregarded their words altogether, but because you are a student of healing and openly look for ways to expand your knowledge base, you chose to extract the bits that might be helpful to your journey, and even had the restraint to respond respectfully. Again, you blow me away with your ability to be so civil, when they were not.

    Anyone who is diligently trying to find the best way to survive the often-debilitating effects of abuse already knows that we have been painstakingly taught to be our own worse enemy. We hate ourselves, feel shame, feel unworthy of being loved, and often sabotage our own happiness. The very fact that we are speaking out loud about the abuse is proof that we are serious about figuring out how to unravel the tape that has been implanted in our core memory, so that we can learn how to help ourselves heal. We are, in essense, trying to repair the damage done, so that we can become a healthier and happier version of who we might have become if we had been allowed to grow up in a loving and nurturing environment. We are learning how to nurture ourselves, and love ourselves, and we’re learning how to recognize and multiply the joy in our lives.

    Your entire response was intelligent, respectful, and contemplative. Awesome.

    Mostly, more than any other thing, I’m glad you spoke up. That’s what I would call progress.

  7. I didn’t read all of the above, just phrases as it was enough. There are several things I understand a lot better now after reading this blog and some comments elsewhere. I was always curious why people have multiple blogs and now it’s all clear. Because nobody wants to speak with you, interact with you.

    • No, Anon, you are wrong. Others don’t want to interact with people who attack them. You’ve already passed judgment and deemed others wanting. Reading “phrases” and making assumptions is like the 10 blind men and the elephant. What a person says reveals a great deal more about themselves than it does about anything or anyone else.

      • Ok, I’m wrong 🙂 there’s no use talking with you as you attribute attempts of attack to other people, different than you (it’s absolutely understandable since you were repeatedly attacked in the past and abused). All people make their own assumptions including you about me for example and you have assumptions about my assumptions (I don’t discuss with this). I am sure about my own intentions, therefore from my pov there’s no problem. I can agree with you on ‘What a person says reveals a great deal more about themselves than it does about anything or anyone else.’ – yeah, and this blog doesn’t do otherwise. I see no need to talk with you guys, because you know everything best and different opinions are of no matter to you, and they are perceived as attacks on you. Therefore there’s nothing to discuss.

    • We are all trying to speak to you. Not reading our words and selecting phrases will not open up discussion. This reply made me wonder if they were right and I am wasting my time here. But no waste, as every experience adds up to learning. If you were hurt by the responses of my friends, then I say sorry, as I do not believe in revenge, but I do wonder why you dish out angry words if you are unwilling to receive them in return. You expect us not to look away, but this is exactly what you have done. You are puzzling to me. I do hope some of this exercise has been helpful though, as it really has been for me.

  8. Dear Anon- It isn’t my place to interfere but in the spirit of community may I kindly suggest that you consider taking your attention elsewhere to a place where your poorly judged comments and lack of understanding might be appreciated by others equally lacking in humanity and kindness. You appear to have a lot of anger yourself and you are very misguided if you believe this is the right the place to vent your negativity. I am sure that there are many people who have multiple blogs for multiple reasons but it really is their choice and you don’t have to join in.

    “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”. A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt-a truly great mind, unlike some who could do well to take note.

    • I love that quote! So fitting here. Blogs really are about ideas, at least the ones I follow. We discuss our personal experiences, but in the framework of expanding knowledge. And don’t worry about interfering, your point of view is always welcome here.

  9. I am overwhelmed by the volume and passion within the responses here and appreciate that everyone has voiced their support, and obviously want to protect me. I do want to point out though that I did not feel attacked by the Anon comment, not this one, or any of them, and possibly don’t need the level of protection offered here. (But my heart filled with joy to see it!) I do wonder if the responses would have been so strong if the comment had been directed to someone else, and not me, or who you think I am. Do I show more of my vulnerabilities on this blog than anything else?

    I truly am open to anyone who wants to comment or offer any point of view and I am not so quick to dismiss anyone as toxic. True, I am used to a supportive and gentle community here, and this visitor has us all wondering. I posted this comment for analysis and as a way to respond and document my thoughts.

    I am highly interested in any discussion this causes, even a possibly difficult one. I am extremely curious how this commenter found my blog, as this is certainly a specialized niche I have here, and I do little to advertise or make my words known to any that don’t seek me out. So I have to wonder if this person is not already hurting, or recovered from hurting, and the anger is in fact directed at my abuser and not myself or my blog? Or is the anger we hear in the tone more frustration?

    I am not afraid of angry words, and did not turn that anger on myself. Believe me, I have heard so much worse, these are just words. This person has no power over me, only my interest at this point, and even that interest is quickly subsiding if he/she is not willing to discuss my response. I do not make any assumptions about this person at all and instead only respond to the actual words given to me.

    I will be responding to each comment here individually as I can, but wanted to followup on my thoughts so far. Really – no harm, no foul. Only love and peace is found here. For all.

  10. Wow…I am just catching up on reading your blog. I was in survival mode for a couple of weeks so didn’t venture out on the blog-o-sphere. I am thankful to be able to read this all at once. The exchange of ideas is amazing. Each person brought their own perspective. Rootstoblossom, I admire your ability to analyze and consider the comments that to me seem like an attack but your words clearly indicate that you do not view it this way. I sense that you viewed this as an opportunity to review your own values and your progress in the leaning/healing process. I am not sure I am this far a long. I still tend to duck and cover and not post such a comment. Thank you for the privilege of reading all the comments.

    • ‘Wow’ about sums up this post for me as well. Thank you for understanding. You have it exactly right when you said “this as an opportunity to review your (my) own values and your(my) progress in the leaning/healing process”. I have been establishing boundaries and found my true self through this blog and my other actions over the past year or so. I know I am not done, because I now think that is what life is all about – the learning process and the experiences. Every day I have the chance to do something or meet someone unexpected is a gift. I now trust in my support network, both here and in people I see face to face, and feel ready to try new things. I know I may have setbacks, but I am no longer afraid of losing my self, my core – I think once that is found it will remain. Or I hope so anyway.

  11. I’ve just started reading your blog, so I don’t really feel any pull to chime in to this commenter, but here’s a nugget of truth:
    – I also have this “inside” life of my abuse history. I share with blogging and connect with my ‘community’ that way.
    – I share with close friends, but never at a depth as with my blog.
    – I keep a separate life otherwise. This history is shielded from my social and professional life.

    But I strive towards complete integration of myself and my story. Where I blog with my real name and face, and somehow advocate against sibling abuse in my professional (education) and social worlds.


    • I understand your bulleted points very well. But are you asking if my eventual goal is to go public and attach my name and face to my blog here? I wasn’t sure if that was your question.

      If so, the honest answer is I don’t know. At this time, everyone in my daily life that needs to know, well, already knows. I have no need to share this past with my professional relationships – it would do no good, and only harm. I am not ashamed (most days – still working on this) of who I am and what happened to me, but I fear the stigma of completely going public and all the negative ramifications of doing so. So for now, no, I am fine with my separation of my lives. I don’t know every little thing that has happened in childhood to my coworkers, so I don’t see why they need to know mine.

      As for advocating against abuse? I do some of that already, without anyone knowing my past as well. I don’t think it is necessary in every case. I don’t seek fame or publicity, that’s not why I blog. My blog here is about learning, growing, and supporting.

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