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Breaking The Cycle: Overcoming Abuse and Family Denial

The complex path of fault, forgiveness and self-worth

(You can read part 1 of this story here.)

It's a bit ironic, isn't it? The day I felt ready to speak my truth to those who've been normalizing what happened up until now. That's the same day I realized — I don't need their acknowledgment anymore, like I did before. On this day, I felt strong in my voice, knowing it wasn't my fault. I understood my right to be angry because something has been off. It almost feels like I build the last 16 years up to this point: where I really got my own back and my self-worth felt solid enough. That's when I could open the conversation and sit with the discomfort.

When I started that talk with my family, I got responses that felt all too typical. Like, maybe I remembered wrong, or how me at 11 was also seeking attention, and thus, somehow responsible. Or — that I should understand their defensiveness because it is hard to admit a mistake.

A portrait of my profile, looking contemplative, against a serene background. This image reflects the themes of healing and self-empowerment discussed in my blog post about confronting family narratives and reclaiming my truth.

My last blog post was met with an upset call and then an angry silence. They didn't plan to talk about it more. They felt 'shot in the back'. I wrote that text without blame, from my perspective, sharing nothing new. To me, their reaction felt like they wanted to silence me, and I got furious. My family celebrates Taylor Swift going to court for being touched unwantedly and choosing to keep on speaking up even when they don't believe her - and I get to hear that my story is nothing like that.

A lot of my energy seemed to go into trying to make clear that this is not about explanations or excuses. I have lots of compassion for all of our past selves and understand easily why it happened. And, there is still a big power in being able to talk about it now and own our actions.

We often try to see our caregivers as faultless, perfect. They're our safety, our everything when we're little, so we cling to this ideal. This has blocked me from acknowledging some experiences that have marked me. But I'm an adult now; I don't need them the same way, which is really good. I don't need them to be perfect. My adult love for my family is more real when they can be just human.

Getting an acknowledgment from one family member meant a lot. It helps in healing. But what I got most out of that day, where I opened the talk, is something I gave myself. The feeling of really being there for myself, not freezing when things are thrown back at me. Never before have I expressed my anger in such a powerful, intense yet clear and grounded way. I believe my truth enough not to wobble, doubt, freeze, or get scared. I spoke.

It feels like my body is more mine again. Everything feels fresher. New and crisp. To my own surprise, the words come up: I feel like a new woman. Accomplished, and changed.

That was a really big day for me.

A picture of me, sitting naked but covered on a fallen tree, looking out into the distance. This image reflects the themes of healing and self-empowerment discussed in my blog post about confronting family narratives and reclaiming my truth.

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Mar 29

... Lore! Queen Lore! Oh! :O <3 Expressing... I feel such a great bit of tenderness towards you right now, and an anger that this happened to you, because of course it wasnt right, and an admiration and also happiness and a small rock-n-roll "Yes!" that your queenly worthiness and braveness even stretches into expressing this. ... I know that it was not easy to write, but totally necessary. I feel the same nowadays - some elephants in some rooms simply needs to be called out, to heal our generational traumas and be freer, damned be the consequenses. Real relationship strength is built not by keeping silent about bad things that happened until people die, but to air them out,…


Mar 26

That was very brave. “I don't need them to be perfect.” is a beautiful and very powerful statement that we might hope is an invitation rather than a trigger. Thank you for sharing. Draw power from your roots and use them to grow wings 🙏. Hans

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