I find this so intereresting because in my therapy sessions it is the physical and verbal abuse I inflicted on my brothers and sister as I tried to raise them in an impoverished home with a mentally ill mother that I keep coming back to time and again.
I am traumatized by how physical violence was so commonplace in how household, I hit my brother with a crowbar, for example. I immediately want to say, “He broke my wrist once, too.” But that’s because I find the horror of what I did so much worse than having my own wrist broken that I want to excuse it. I want to tell you I was twelve. I don’t want to tell you at all.
One of my other brothers confronted me about an incident between us about a decade ago. I poured out my apologies, and our relationship is very good now. But I cannot stop coming back to the incident in therapy because of how much it makes me feel like a bad person.
I wonder if shame keeps people from sharing their stories of perpetration, even if those are the ones that haunt them most.