Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I Wish People Knew

Trigger warning: weary ranting - self-injury, suicide, abuse, victim blaming

I wish people knew how they've stolen my voice with their well-meaning words of support. Words like "you'll have such an amazing testimony" or "God can use you to reach so many people." Those words are true, but not helpful. Sometimes I don't need you to paint me a silver lining, I need you to sit with me in the middle of the storm.

I wish people knew how they've shamed me into silent submission. All it takes is a look. a cleared throat, a redirecting of the topic. All it takes is one more suggestion that I'm somehow responsible for and to the (potential) future victims of those who perpetrated against me and so I need to report what was done to me. If I could have reported and retained what shreds of sanity I had left to me, I would have. I already feel overly responsible for every person in my life, I don't need to add to that list.

I wish people knew how much pain I carry each and every day. Yes I've learned to not allow my pain to dictate my actions. I no longer cut my pain into my skin, plan my own death, binge until I feel sick, drink until I pass out, or any of the other self-destructive ways I used for so many years. Just because I have learned how to not use those destructive behaviours, doesn't mean that the pain that fuelled them in the first place has disappeared or been erased. It's still there haunting me.

I wish I knew how to stop being "broken girl". How to stop comparing, how to stop looking at everyone else and thinking that they've got it all together. Logically I know that it isn't true.  Logically I know that all of us have things that we struggle with. Pain is a universal language. I was not the first 4 year old to be sexually abused and I won't be the last. {and that breaks my heart} I am not the first person that was considered demon possessed and required to undergo "deliverance" ministry multiple times throughout her life. I am not the first person and again I won't be the last, who is denied medical treatment in favour of "faith healing". {and this makes me angry}. I am not the first person who was abused in the name of God.

I wish I knew how to clear all of out of my heart. I've done the programs, the workbooks, the counselling, the reading, the prayer.  It's still here, bubbling up from underneath.  My own personal fountain of ick. I want the other side, the ending, the heart that is no longer oozing the infection of many wounds ignored for years. I wonder how anything good can come out of this mess I've called my life. Even as dreams for the future, my future stir in their graves, I wonder if I'll get a future.  I have the before picture. It's hideous and dark. I'm in process - will I ever get an after picture?

I thought when the abuse stopped, when I got free that it would be better, easier. It was harder. Harder than I knew how to deal with and my scars remind me of that every day. What I thought would be better was in fact one of the worst times of my life as all the pain held at bay by the need to survive crashed in on my head. Maybe now is like that was then. Maybe all of this crashing on my head is the next wave of pain, which will eventually pull back out into the ocean, allowing me to breathe for just a moment before crashing over me yet again.

I wish I knew how to let people in. I wish I knew how to tell my stories, the ones that keep me up at night. I wish I knew how to let the good and the bad co-exist - that I could find that place, that elusive magical place where I no longer swing from all good to all bad. That place where I can hold the tension between the two and not be pulled apart or to one side or the other.

I wish I knew why, why me, why God, why why why why why. I get that I don't get to know. I've accepted that. But I still wish at the end of days when my soul feels battered and bruised, when the past has been screaming in my veins, begging to be released by the swift stroke of a sharp blade that I had a reason, something to hold onto other than this wisp of hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

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