Acceptance does not mean I condone the behavior. It does not mean that I am ok with what happened, nor does it mean that I throw my hands in the air and say "well, it happened, I'm over it". It does not wipe away the aftermath or the damage inflicted by the abuse. Acceptance is in fact, absence of denial.
It means, I stop running and I walk straight into the face of reality, the face of that little girl, that hurting and sad little girl, and I look her in the eyes and I acknowledge what happened to her. I accept the truth and the reality of what happened to her, what happened to me. I do not approve of the behavior. I do not accept the behavior. But, I accept this as a part of me. Part of who I am is a little girl who was hurt and unloved, but now a girl who grew up full of love.
I accept that they hurt me in ways unthinkable to any human. I accept all the pain, horror and emotional turmoil that goes with it. I accept that I did not deserve it, did nothing to cause it, and that I cannot change it. There is no rewind button.
For years, I have thought that to accept what happened to me meant that I was "protecting" myself. Protecting myself from pain. But the truth is that I was only hurting myself. By not accepting what happened to me, I was doing exactly what they did to me...silencing myself. I was taking away my voice. I was silencing that hurting little girl and not loving her the way she deserves to be loved. I will not take her voice away any longer.
I will accept her for all that she was, all that she did, all that she tried to do, and all that she is. I am looking her in the eyes now and allowing her to experience the love she was never given by saying "I accept you and all that happened to you as reality. I am not ashamed to be you. I am not ashamed of what you did to survive. I am proud to know someone with so much courage, strength, and resiliency." I accept everything that happened to me as truth and reality and part of what makes me, me. I accept that I could not control what happened to me, but I can see it as part of my life, and I will no longer allow myself to live in silence and pain.
I will no longer run from reality. I am in absence of denial. I accept the facts. I accept that my uncle raped me. I accept that I hurt others to save myself. I accept that I did the best I could. I accept that I reacted as normally as I could to abnormal circumstances. I accept where I am right now in my healing and I accept that I am a human being that makes mistakes and is not perfect. I accept the good, the bad, the nasty, the ugly, the painful, and the things that make my stomach turn. I accept that I have some huge things to work through. I accept that the road will be long and hard.
What I do not accept is letting them off the hook with denial. I do not accept that I am bad, wrong, or to blame. I will no longer doubt myself or my memories, as they are my reality. I do not accept denial of that beautiful little girl anymore. I will wake up everyday, look her in the eyes and accept her for who she is, a beautiful little girl with the will to survive. The abuse that I have hidden from, is part of me and I accept me.