Most days I would be willing to be almost completely certain that I am pass the effects of my childhood abuse. Then like a stain that you didn’t see on your shirt while you were getting dressed this morning, when you get in the light, everything is visible. The effects come back to show you that they are there. There are days and weeks even when what happened to me doesn’t bother me at all. Matter of fact, I don’t even think of what happened to me. I laugh, I love, I enjoy life. I fully thrive in the way which God created me to love. Then there are days where I feel 12 years old again.
My mom was nowhere to be found during these years. My dad was in prison somewhere in another state. I lived with my grandmother and uncles in her home. The same uncles that had sex with me were often the same ones who gave me money to get the things that I needed to survive. I’ll never forget the moment I realized that I would be expected to take care of myself and that no one was there for me. I don’t remember what I needed as much as the fact that I didn’t get it. I remember waiting on my grandmother’s porch for hours, watching every car that passed by hoping that my mom was one of the cars coming down the street. Maybe that was the first time my heart broke.
I remember not having lunch money for school. I remember not having school clothes to wear back on the first day. I remember not having tissue, food or my hair done all pretty like the other girls. I remember feeling “empty”. I remember being alone.
I would also agree that on today I feel like my life is full of love and possibilities and hope for a future, but there are still days that I feel like I am 12. I am in the position where I feel like I am doing everything possible to survive and yet it never seems like enough. It takes me back to being 12 and not able to survive on my own. I only 12 years of hurt at that age, but what do you do with 31 years?
Today I was triggered by a child that was being a child. Running, playing, asking questions and being that I have felt like my heart was very fragile the past few weeks, it made me think of what kind of child I was before the first time someone touched my body. I was 4 years old. So I had 4 years of being normal with normal emotions. I’ve lived 8 times that age now. I’ve had 31 years of fighting depression, anxiety, feelings of self-worthlessness, loneliness and of being unworthy. It never truly leaves.
It’s been months since I’ve written on ASCA, but I felt compelled to write today. This may not make much sense or flow any kind of way, but sometimes words don’t fit a perfect rhythm, they just work. And this works. But I thought about the people that come to this page to find something that makes them believe that it will get better one day. They look for something that makes them feel like it wasn’t all for nothing. They want to see something that shows them that you can learn to live and love yourself still, despite what life has given you.
I’m still hurt, I’m still lonely at times, right now my PAST tells me that I am still unworthy and still that 12 year old girl that doesn’t know what to do and is alone and “empty”. But one thing I have learned through the work of ASCA is that “this too shall pass” I have every right to be happy, whole and complete. Something that I know now that I didn’t know when I first started is that these days don’t define me and they definitely are not an indication of my progress. If anything they remind me that I am human and incredibly strong. They remind me that I am a survivor and that the just like the memories never leave you, the work that we do here, never leaves me either. I know how to walk myself through this and if I don’t I know that there are people that I can call that truly support me and will listen and tell me the hard truth if necessary. As children, there is nothing that we could have done. Nothing that would have changed things, once we were beaten, touched, fondled, burned, hit, slapped, neglected for the first time, it was done. There was no way to undo it. But it is possible to love life again, and learn to work through those moments.
I don’t feel very productive now. I don’t feel very successful right now. But I know the truth is just that I had a bad damn day and tomorrow I can try again. J