Sometimes opening our eyes may be the most painful thing we ever have to do.
I am haunted by things that I should never have had to experience but ended up having to. Being able to survive it all does not mean that it was ever OK. I was robbed of my childhood.
The abuse is not just in my past. It is in my every day. My mind replays what my heart cannot delete.
I have become skilled at hiding my pain and pushing people away. I smile to stop the tears from falling but the pain in my heart is still the same.
As I sit in the room with my Liaison Officer for the third time, I am curled up on the floor in the corner. I am trying to talk about what he did to me but things keep coming out all muddled up. There is no order to what I am saying but I can’t help it, things just keep coming out in bits and pieces from different incidents. It feels like I have waited so long to tell someone that the words are just coming out in whatever order they like.
The more I say the more panicked I feel. She asks me if I am OK. I’m not OK, but I smile anyway. Behind my smile is a world of pain. I am tired. We take a break and she calms me. I am grateful for how well her and her colleagues are able to put me at ease.
When we resume I try to go into more detail but something happens. The hairs on my neck stand on end. I curl my knees up to my chest and I am frozen to the spot. I can’t move. I can’t talk. I feel short of breath. I don’t feel safe. Panic! Terror!
I stare at the floor; my cover to hide my pain, but inside I am dying. I am screaming silently, held captive by my fear. Am I safe? Will she hear me? Will she see me?
She does. She comes to me, hugs me, she tells me I am safe. I hurt! Every atom of my heart is hurting right now!
I don’t want to remember. I want to un-hear him, un-smell him, un-taste him!! I want to forget and be free! My mind never stops remembering!
I want to run away to a faraway land. I want to run away from how I feel. I want to run away from the realisation of what he did to me! I am tired of hurting this much!
I can’t. I can’t run away from myself. This isn’t going away; the memories, the fear, the pain. I am scared. I cannot run from what is in my head. The memories follow me everywhere!
The abuse is not just in my past. It is in my every day.
It is not easy to just “let go” and “move on”. This is a never ending battle. I never become whole again, I just learn to survive.
Trauma moves in circles. Not facing it numbs the pain for a while but it makes it worse when you actually have to feel it.
Pain hurts, it hurts a lot. Sometimes I just shut down. Everything in the world seems unreal to me, like I am standing behind a glass watching myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I cannot explain the pain I am feeling other than it hurts, it just hurts. So I shut down.
Dissociation can enable us to withstand pain under which we would otherwise break. I shut down a lot. I go to an unreal world, pretending the abuse never happened. I thought I was being strong but in reality I have just been hiding.
We can close our eyes to try and hide from pain but we cannot close our hearts.
Day by day, memory by memory, my eyes are being opened to things my heart can already see.
The sadness and hurt I feel are unbearable but the pain I am creating by not facing them is even worse.
I have to stop hiding.
I have to open my eyes to the pain. I have to let myself cry.
I have to heal my heart.
Thanks for reading.