why is an abuse history so hard to admit? the shame should not belong to me. it was not something I did to someone else. it was done to me, so why is it still hard to say “this happened to me”?
a few co-workers and I were commiserating on insurance quality when I was asked where I get mine. I was able to admit being on disability for ptsd, but when asked what it was from, I couldn’t utter the words… I said “other stuff” (I was asked if I had served, since this is still the first thing people think of when ptsd is mentioned)… they didn’t ask for more details. I wouldn’t have been able to give any even if they had.
at the dentist the other night, I couldn’t check the box that would have disclosed my ptsd diagnosis to them… granted, the office tends to be pretty inappropriate in their banter around patients, so I have reason to hold back, but still. I doubt I would have disclosed even if I didn’t know they talked about their patients freely in front of other patients. it feels like a character flaw. it feels like something that deserves the shame it carries…
stigma, ignorance, judgement… our society oozes it. compassion and understanding are severely lacking on all fronts (see the articles about Charlie Sheen being forced to disclose his HIV+ status because a tabloid believed the public had a right to know his private medical information, or any of the stories on the plight of Syrian refugees). it feels like more and more people I used to peg as understanding are spewing their judgement at every turn… ignorance and hatred are running rampant. it makes me sad, and it fuels the fear that keeps me from admitting my own struggles to the people in my life.