For 22 years of my life I existed in a constant state of crisis. It was all about survival. There wasn't room for anything else. Every moment of every day was poised on the edge of the unknown - would I walk away this time unscathed? Would my words be thrown back in my face? Could I somehow have correctly predicted his mood and matched my behaviour accordingly? Did I dot every i and cross every t so that nothing was out of place?
It was hell. I'm sure I'll continue to write about those years - there is so much there to heal from, so many pieces that still are untold, unheard, unseen. I also don't know how to write about spiritual torture. I don't know how to tell the stories where prayer was supposed to heal my body and when it didn't I was to blame. I don't know how to tell the stories where I was sat down in a circle of people who claimed to love me while my father commanded the demons to leave my body and wouldn't stop until I was throwing up from sobbing so much. I don't want to tell those stories. I don't want people to know how every time these things happened pieces of who I was split off, sent to live in an internal hell in a vain attempt to be good enough and to separate out the memories of the torture that our soul was being subjected to in the name of love and being raised in the faith.
I'm still recovering memories and powerful emotional echoes from the years before the memories. I'm still learning about pieces of myself that have been lost along the way. Parts locked away, holding onto memories and feelings so that our sanity could survive.
I spent so long always in crisis, everything was do or die. I'm still learning that I don't have to run away or fight back. I can simply be. I can exist and in this moment there is nothing that can harm me. I don't have to protect myself or those that I love. I can sit here and watch my candles bring pinpricks of light into the middle of the darkness. I can trust the process, the messy-snot-everywhere ugly crying and the quiet stillness. I can trust that the Divine has my shattered heart cupped in their hands - this Divinity that understands the mystery of being I and we at the same time. I can trust them to mend my broken pieces of self with seams of gold. It's just going to take more time.