Let me first say, without mincing any words, that I wholeheartedly apologize for my articles that I wrote about Christmas. I was wrong. My choice of words, and my timing were excruciatingly badly written and chosen.
This post isn’t an attempt to justify my actions, rather it is the only way I can say I apologize and attempt to explain.
I’m Trying to Make Amends Where Possible
This past weekend, I wrote a series of posts that have harmed the feelings of many of my readers. Although that was most certainly not my intent, the damage has been done. One thing I have learned, is that honesty is always best, and when you harm someone the mature response is to own what you have done. Not only this, but one should always try to make amends if possible.
Owning any harm, I have caused you my friends, and fellow travelers down the road less taken, and trying to make amends is what this new post is all about this morning.
Words From A Friend Have Challenged Me
A friend of mine from social media who is also a therapist, pointed out to me this morning that my choice of words has caused a lot of distress in the trauma and DID communities. He made some excellent points I’d like to share.
His focus was on my word choices that were indeed interpreted by many, that one can simply “choose” not to be in pain from the trauma of the past. I did use those words and have had many respond with a very strong and guttural reaction.
I Am Most NOT Definitely Superior to Anyone
To help, perhaps I should state first that I do not, nor would not ever consider myself superior to anyone else. The very thought that someone might perceive that I meant that horrifies me. No, indeed, I am not superior to anyone, and I mean no one! Instead, I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with an exceptional therapist, who gave me the tools necessary to recover as far as I have. I have NOT worked harder, or been smarter than others.
God knows I understand the horrendous pain of psychotherapy. It is not called the road less taken for no reason. Looking hard and honestly at one’s past and current life is excruciatingly painful. The things I have had to face head-on in the past thirty years have been almost un-survivable, and many of you can relate. In fact, I almost died four times due to suicide attempts. Yes, the pain is horrendous and the sacrifice almost too much to bear.
Please, never think, my friends, that I do not understand the pain. I do.
I Have Had To Make Some Damn Hard Choices Myself
I have gotten where I am, on the other side (for the most part, I am human you know), not by simply making choices, but that has been a huge part of it.
I chose to go to therapy
I chose to remain in therapy
I chose to at least entertain the seeds my therapist planted
I chose to live
I chose to get well
I chose to learn from my therapist
There were many other choices, but the list would be extensive.
Somewhere An Inkling of Hope Filtered In
I too balked hard at the notion that there might be another choice as to how I viewed the world and myself. I too have been angry, hurt, lonely, and felt I deserved to be so. Yes, I did deserve to feel those emotions. In fact, it was very important that I did. I had been denied and denied myself those feelings for far too long, living in a fantasy world where I thought the abuse I had survived had somehow been my fault. It is a natural and normal step in therapy.
Somehow, somewhere in my journey, an inkling of hope managed to filter through all the negativity. I don’t know if it was the work of my therapist, or if it was just a lot of thinking done by me, but somehow the seeds of hope, that I could thrive beyond my pain, began to germinate and grow in my heart.
I Am Deeply Distressed
That is what I’ve been attempting to offer you guys this past weekend. Seeds of thinking differently and beyond the pain. I didn’t’ intend to appear to be attempting to shove “letting go” or “making a choice to not be miserable” down your throats. I regret and apologize deeply that my choice of words has harmed any of you.
I am deeply distressed this morning, and having to take a hard look at my attitudes and thoughts about others. This is good and healthy, but painful. Were my intentions as well-intentioned as I believe? What was my true motive behind writing about the pain many experience at Christmas time? Was I being arrogant and didn’t realize it? Did I feel superior to others?
A Self-Examination Has Been in Order
In my examination of my motives, I can tell you what I have found. I have met many others who live with dissociative identity disorder, and have noticed the self-imposed prison of sorrow many do not wish to leave. The only reason I can see the bars of their cells is because I have been there myself. It hurts me and distresses me deeply to see them suffer, and I sometimes will attempt to relate to them what I see from my point of view. I am always met with anger and denial. This is extremely frustrating to me, and it hurts me because I care so deeply for all of them. I understand where they are, and I desperately want to help them realize there is life out here.
Having examined hard my motives, I can honestly say that I forget my place. While desperation and frustration were the main motives behind my writings this past weekend, I forgot I am not a therapist. I do not have the training or experience to train anyone in the nuances of life, nor should I have tried. I overstepped my boundaries. I apologize also for this misbehavior. My friend on social media, who is a therapist, gently pointed this out to me, although perhaps not in so many words.
I Am Only Human
Please, do not execute me. I am a fellow traveler, who is still learning hard lessons about life. I am not fully cooked yet.
However, I will reiterate my strong belief that life is indeed an adventure not a destination, and that choices are all around us. We choose to go left instead of right every moment of every day. That cannot be denied.
I Am Grateful for Your Honesty
I am so grateful that many of you felt strong enough to let me know how you have felt because of my articles. This means a ton to me. The feedback I receive allows me to examine my own words and my emotions, and to reevaluate them. Never feel you cannot tell me exactly what you think about anything I write. I value your input very highly.
Peace my friends. I do care very deeply for all of you. If I didn’t, I never would have attempted to say what I did. Even though it was not my business to push you, my heart was in the right place.
I will try very hard in the future to remember the power of my words. That is a promise.
“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” Patrick Rothfuss