This past year has been, without contest, the best year on record in the life a girl. This girl, right here — the one typing feverishly on the almost too small keyboard of her notebook — has managed to do what she thought she would never be able to do. The last of the pieces… the hold-outs, the rogues, and renegades eluding discovering… have been retrieved and glued firmly into place.
The journey started out rough. Okay. It was like going through a meat grinder, but let’s not be overly obsessive about that. Looking back, what I went through the past four years almost seems like someone else’s life. Like it wasn’t really me trapped in that chaos. Almost like a movie I saw once, splashed across the screen to play out before my eyes. Someone else’s life story that was told so carefully, vividly, attentively, using only the perfect words to get the image trapped in my mind that I may mistake it for my own. Someone else’s pain described in such macabre detail that I could feel the pummeling as the images replayed in my mind over and again.
I realized today that I have begun to forget what the beatings felt like as they rushed over me day after day after month after year. Something that was the norm for so long has begun to quickly fade into the background. The dreams I do still have, while full of raw emotion, are almost devoid of the physical sensation I used to feel in the minutes after waking. And in those preciously decreasing periods of time where the fog of semi-consciousness still has me trapped in the confusion of departing the sleep I used to try so hard to avoid, I forget the images played before me ever increasingly. Almost to where I can barely remember I dreamt them at all.
However, I know it was me, because I have my traumas and injuries that just won’t seem to completely go away. The strongest of these is emotions that come out at their own will. The insecurity of my self worth, for example, that can wash over me without warning and render me reserved and withdrawn. I have learned to battle this by combatting it with being bold, exposing my vulnerability with reckless abandon. The hardest of these continues to be speaking up.
Those of you who have read your way through the thousands upon thousands (to the nth degree) of words in my posts are probably raising your eyebrow in disbelief. How can this woman who shares so much still harbor a secret fear of speaking? Simple. Conditioning. Training. I am hesitant in situations where there are either many people paying painfully close attention to what I am saying or when there is one belligerent, angry, implacable soul rearing up on their haunches preparing to strike. In these moments, I still battle the urge to shrink away. It would be so much easier to just be silent and go on about my business alone, but I do not want to allow myself the luxury of a bad habit that brought me to a place where I was close to being killed.
So somewhere I find the bravado to open my mouth and talk over the discomfort until I get so focused on what I am saying that I forget how I was close to cowering in a corner. I hope to get to a place at some point in time that this, too, is no longer a battle for me to wage. To be able to just freely speak without fear of being punished and ridiculed for what I say, without shying away because someone has an angry disposition that immediately connects me to the fear and desperation I was at one point drowning in… This would be a gift. To completely overcome. For now, I will wait it out, just as I waited out all the other things that I have escaped along the way. I have been able to finally allow myself to step back and look at everything I have overcome the past ten and a half months, and I have to say, I have done pretty good for myself. And to be able to admit that without taking it away with a “but I….” is more wonderful than you can know.
So these pieces I mentioned. What are they? And where did I find them scattered?
You will have to read the next post to find out. 🙂