Waking up in the morning with not a care in the world isn’t something I’m used to. My mind is always filled with some kind of soul crushing thought of a particular incident or a flash of his spiral curled red hair, or his hands and the blue robe he wore.
The last 2 days though, I’ve woken up to nothing…..just plain ole “What are we gonna do today”….. I’ve woken up without that dread, without the constant haunt of my past.
Just… my mind (and what a weird place it is).
There is one element of fear. “Is this temporary?” It always has been until now.
I had reached the lowest point I’ve ever been, I was having irrational suicidal thoughts, I was becoming so overwhelmed by my past and its presence that I was crying every single day because the depression could never rise above my head and evaporate. Instead it surged through my body like a poisonous gas day after day. The anxiety filled me, tirelessly falling out of my body and then refilling it over and over. Causing my heart and head to race for years on end. The idea of anything exhausted me and I could no longer see myself. I was the shell of the person I wished I was.
Over the years I have used over the counter drugs like codeine or sleeping tablets and alcohol to do anything I could to numb myself, just in last ditch efforts to get through my days (something I was and am still very ashamed of). I just wanted to stop the hurt. I wanted to hide what had happened.
I acted however I liked and had zero empathy for anyone who might have an issue themselves. I acted recklessly and had an incredible amount of shame to spread. I was poisonous to myself. I acted the way anyone would expect me to.
Because for 19 years I pushed my childhood abuse down deeper and deeper every year. And yet despite doing that, I still hit the bottom of the never ending well and once I got there I drowned momentarily.
Pushing anything that painful down only makes it want to come out more, like the pimples on ‘dr pimple popper’, eventually, they all come out. It’s gross, messy and afterwards you feel kinda dirty.
Now, I’m one percent of the way back up from the endless well, and I am so far from the surface. So far from free, and Knowing you have so much left to go is incredibly overwhelming when added to everyday life with 3 children. It could be easier to just sit at the bottom and wait for something else.
No matter what I do, say or think,the fear that I’ll go back to the bottom is there. The fear that at any point it could all fall down. And in a way I think that I hope it will, because it is easier not to do the work I need to do. It is always easier to sabotage yourself than it is to confront your fears, your past or your problems front on.
If I confront it, and I win that fight, who would I be? I always assumed my abuse and the experiences I’ve had in it would always define who I was.
What if it doesn’t?
What if it is a single book on my bookshelf and the rest of the books are just me. Just thousands of books on a beautifully stained bookshelf about womanhood, empowerment, strength, heart, love, motherhood, wisdom and one labeled ‘abused’ that used to sit on the desk wide open with its contents spilling out. It’s one tattered book in my library. Among it stand thousands of incredible stories. Do I get to write my story? Is my story officially mine now? Does the ‘abused’ book just slide into the bookcase? Finished? To be acknowledged, read and slotted back in its rightful place?
I’ve never lived a life where the possibility of really healing was something within reach. I didn’t know If I could ever learn to live with it. It felt like this distant dream like becoming one of the X-men or becoming a magical ethereal being. And now rather than the presence of the abuse running rampant through me, I will soon learn to contain and control it so it no longer shapes me, it will no longer causes me to fall into depression, or anxiety filled flashbacks, where I am left broken on my shower floor day after day.
What then? What happens when you think all that you were isn’t you anymore?
I panic. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m doing.
The realisation that this wont shape me anymore, scares me.
Getting better. Scares me.
Healing, learning about myself in the healing process and the life that lay ahead, scares me.
I never thought there would be a me, without the overwhelming presence of a damaged ‘falling apart’ soul. I never thought I could be more than a damaged girl trying to save herself all the goddamn time. The idea that I could be anything, anyone I wanted, never occurred to me. I would always hide behind the “Survivor” label. But I now I realise one day I won’t have it to hide behind… I will reach my potential and will not always be weighed down by a heartbreaking past.
I have no way of knowing what the outcome will be. I have no idea how long this journey might take, but after drowning for what is an actual life time, I think see the end. I think I can see the light from all the way over here in the dark.
And what a scary place it can be.