|Brisbane ... my Carnival.|
Last week I blogged for the first time about growing up with a pedophile for a father. I know it was difficult for some people to read and even more difficult for some people to know what to say to me. To those people - that's okay, you didn't need to say anything.
I am okay. In fact I am better than okay. On the Tuesday night after I blogged I was asked to talk about my experience on ABC radio with Rebecca Levingston. Her Taboo Tuesday topic was child sexual abuse. It was nerve wracking to say the least but it was also terribly cathartic. If you are interested you can listen here ...
In the space of three days I wrote and spoke a story I've not told before - a story I've kept inside for over 45 years. During the years I've told bits of it, I've hinted at things and I've also talked on radio briefly about it during my Conversation with ABC's Richard Fidler in 2011 ... but I'd never written down exactly what happened and how I felt.
Today, one week later, I feel like a different person after these long held onto, unsaid words were finally spoken. I feel like I have moved from a murky pond into a pristine pool of clear water. I've not talked about it before because I was always scared that once I said the words everything would change. I was right, everything did change, but not in the way I imagined.
I thought I might be judged. I would always be known as "that girl who was molested" or I would be somehow tainted, used, dirty, different. I am none of that. I'm still me. I am a survivor, but more than that I am happy.
Someone asked me last week if I wished my life had been different. I could honestly look them in the eye and say "no". I do not wish for a different life. If I had a different life I wouldn't be the me I am today, and damn it, I really like the me I am.
Granted some times have been tough - but that's life. If I wasn't put up for adoption and if I wasn't adopted out to the family I went to, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this blog post.
I look around and I am so grateful for all that I have and all that I have become. I've had to learn some tough lessons about love and I've had to live without love at various times in my life, but that has taught me to never underestimate the power of love and friendship when I have had it.
I care deeply for my friends and family. I may not be conventional and I may not understand how mothers and daughters love each other and the deep bonds of families, but I do know that I love my children fiercely and I love my husband with all my heart.
So no, I don't wish that my life had of been different. For me, being able to help people is everything. If I can inspire one person who is struggling through a tough time to know that life is always worth living, and happiness exists in all different forms, it's all been worth it.
Life is what it is. It's how we deal with the hand we are given that makes it either a carnival or a catastrophe. Personally I like carnivals - minus the clowns. I don't like clowns, or catastrophes.