So I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks ago. I was out visiting some friends and there was a person there who said he thought he knew me. And as the evening ended I asked if he remembered where we had met. And he was cagey about it. I said “in high school? college?” The way he looked at me it was like he thought he had secret knowledge about me, something I wouldn’t want shared. And he wouldn’t tell me. So I moved on, said goodnight and left.
But here is the deal, I don’t care what you know, or even what you think you know. Because I know it all, and I own it. You can’t say anything about me that is going to shock me. Because I lived it. And I am not ashamed of anything. Was it my marriage? I was not the best wife, I admit that. I was not anywhere near ready to be a wife. Was it drugs? I did my share of drugs, maybe your share too. Was it sex? I have slept with a lot of men, all of them willing. I am a sexual being and not ashamed of that. What else? Was I drunk? Oh my gosh, I have spent nights on the bathroom floor. What else, was I rude, did I act out? Maybe, probably, I am no angel. Was it the man I dated who was in prison? It didn’t last long after he came out, it was an interesting 6 months, no shame here. I learned a lot about what I don’t want.
My point is this, my past brought me to this point. I have learned lessons along the way, some the hard way. Many the hard way. But it is my past and you cannot use it against me. I simply do not care anymore to hide or pretend. I have lived too long and seen every single person I know fall down from time to time, and that includes me. There is no shame in that. People will try to control us by presenting that they will “keep our secret”. The way out of that is to own who we are, not have secrets and be willing to share our story. Or at least not hide it.
So Mr. whoever you were, you have nothing on me. You cannot control or make me feel uncomfortable because you “know” something. I know everything, and I will share it all if circumstances warrant it. If anyone wants to judge me by my past I probably don’t want to spend much time or energy on that person. No more games, no more pretending, no more hiding who I am. I am proud of who I am even if I am not proud of some of the missteps I have made. Some of things that brought me to this point I would not do again. But I refuse to lie, pretend or be ashamed. Each step along the way has been a lesson and brought me to this point. Shame holds us down, fear of discovery holds us down, guilt holds us down. Whatever happened, happened, It is done, learn and move forward.
I want to know people that have a past to share. Those are the ones with the stories that resonate with me. Show me your scars, show me how you survived, show me how strong you are. Let’s not deny how we came to be here, strong, beautiful, survivors. Let’s own that and never ever let anyone hold how we came to be here over us. Never let anyone make us feel small or less than. Every step of the way, we walked this, it is ours, this is our story. And it is beautiful and valuable and we have something to share. So go out there and live your life, every piece of it has brought you to the place you are, and there is no shame in that. Love yourself, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly, because truly, It is all beautiful, it made you who you are.