Why I Air My Dirty Laundry

The worst part of trauma is the feeling of isolation.

Sometimes, perhaps too often, what I write in this blog makes relatives and friends squirm. I discuss my sexual abuse at the hands of my stepfather. I talk about the sexual harassment I’ve experienced on more than one occasion. I describe my struggles with depression and my weight. I talk about my childhood. I rant about politics and other disappointments. I share the many ways I feel misunderstood. I expose my soft underbelly.

There are some out there who wish I wouldn’t do this. They find it embarrassing. They can’t even bring themselves to read my book all the way through, even though it’s an anthology of mostly quite positive posts. (I’ve found that the more someone knows me personally, the less apt they are to actually read my book or my blog. I suspect this will hurt my feelings less and less as time goes by. Time will tell.)

But I have good reason for airing my dirty laundry. I believe that most of us have experienced trauma of one kind or another. It’s a big part of the human condition. Personally, I have always felt that the worst part of trauma is the feeling of isolation. It’s easy to feel as if you’re the only one going through stuff if nobody else is talking about it.

And here’s something I can’t stress enough: None of these things were my fault. The trauma visited upon you by others is NOT. YOUR. FAULT. I say this because very few people will tell you this. Nobody told me this. It took me decades to figure it out on my own.

So I talk about it. I talk not only for myself (writing is excellent therapy), but also for those out there who feel like they don’t have a voice. If just one person feels a tiny bit less alone for having read my blog, then I’ve accomplished what I have set out to do.

Perhaps, too, it has something to do with my lack of filter, and my utter indifference to the standard levels of mortification. Or maybe it is more about the fact that I have complete confidence in your self-determination. If something I write makes you uncomfortable, I am quite sure that you will exercise your right not to read it.


Not alone


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

6 thoughts on “Why I Air My Dirty Laundry”

  1. If someone isn’t willing, or able, to sit with your pain as well as your joy, they can’t possibly know you personally. They can’t deal with your reality because they haven’t dealt with their own. It’s safer to keep things superficial and pleasant. Unfortunately, we, who’ve been abused, need to share and have our pain validated, not suppressed, in order to trust those we let close to us. It’s hard to find that. I’m thankful for your lack of filter.Your blog is a safe haven for truth. When you share your pain, you validate ours. We see you and feel seen. We’ve come to know and trust you and appreciate that you trust us with your soft underbelly. You’re not alone either. We’re your extended family that’s never met and miles apart, yet closer than most.

  2. I haven’t worked out how to unread something you write, that makes me uncomfortable, so I can exercise my right not to read it. I can’t know if it makes me uncomfortable until I’ve read it, but then the damage has been done. 🙂 Fortunately, nothing you’ve written, that’s uncomfortable to read, has actually caused me any damage. Mostly, the discomfort’s enlightened me.

    1. Jeez, that’s a good point. But I hope that people can figure out what path I’m headed down soon enough to turn back, at least. I don’t know. Maybe I should put warnings at the top of the super heavy ones. Something to think about. Thanks, Lyn!

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