When we are afraid we pull back from life. We pull back from reality and the things that scare us. We create a screwed up picture of reality in our heads to help us cope. But that screwed up picture can only last so long before it all begins to fall apart. Then reality creeps back in again.
The past cannot be changed or forgotten. It cannot be edited or erased. Just accepted. Once we accept our past we can begin to heal.
Once we accept our trauma we can finally begin our road to recovery. But there in lies the problem; how do we accept trauma? How do I accept trauma? I do not yet know the answer.
People keep telling me that understanding is the first step to acceptance. That once I accept what happened I can begin to heal. What these people do not tell me is how to understand the abuse or how to accept that instead of loving me, my parents instead chose to hurt me.
I know it happened. I am not silly. I know I was sexually abused, beaten and tortured. I know what happened. What I do not know is why? Was I bad? Did I deserve it? Was that my purpose in the world?
Maybe I will never know the answer to why they chose to hurt me rather than love me. That makes accepting my past and the trauma a million times harder.
I created my screwed up picture to survive. Reality was far too painful. Believing that somewhere deep inside my family must have loved me was easier. Convincing myself that I was to blame for the abuse or telling myself it wasn’t happening made my childhood easier to bear.
I created a picture that meant somewhere, somehow, I would have a mum who loved me. I would have a family who cared. I would not be broken or mentally ill.
But slowly, as time goes on and the police investigation progresses, my screwed up picture is beginning to fall apart piece by piece. Reality is setting in and it is terrifying.
My roots are not the roots I want. They are not the happy roots in my screwed up picture. There is no love or happiness in the reality of my roots.
My past is not the past I want but it exists. It is lonely. It is reality. It is truth. I have to try to accept it for what it is; abuse, rape, torture, pain, fear, sadness.
The abandonment I experienced as a child was so severe it must have somehow shaped me. The terror and betrayal I experienced are my roots. They are in my personality.
I am broken. I am hurt. I am damaged.
The pain my family has inflicted and the damage they have caused may never be undone. That is terrifying. It hurts more than words can express. The memories, the pain and the torture will be with me always.
I was abused. I was raped. I was tortured.
It happened. It happened to me. My perfect screwed up picture never existed. It never will.
I know I will never know why it happened. I know I will never know a mothers love. I know I have lost my siblings. I know it. Deep down I know it.
I know my reality is trauma and memories and fear. It is therapy and police and sadness. It is everything I have been trying to hide. It is not my screwed up picture.
It is time to let go of my screwed up picture.
It is time to accept reality.
But sometimes the heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows.
Acceptance is not easy. Acceptance is not always understanding. I will never understand abuse. There is no understanding how an adult could hurt a child in such a way. There is no way to understand my mother choosing my rapist over me or my family turning their backs on me.
Acceptance is attempting to let go of the screwed up picture that kept you safe for all these years. It is walking into the fear and away from the past even though you are terrified inside.
Acceptance is letting the memories come one by one. It is police and mental health and therapy. It is support and admitting you cannot do this alone. It is facing the emotions that you have been too scared to ever feel before.
Acceptance is not one thing but lots of things. It is a road with no set destination or time frame. It is a difficult and terrifying journey.
Acceptance is not pulling away from life but facing into reality.
I am learning to accept reality a little at a time but it is not easy. In fact it is one of the hardest things I will ever have to do. It is tearing me up inside.
So next time you go to tell someone to just accept something and move forward just remember acceptance can sometimes be the most painful thing you ever have to do.
Thanks for reading
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