Peeking out between my fingers

“You survived.“ Bea always says this to me. But did I? I’m not always sure. On good days, I think yes, she’s right, I survived. But when triggery days turn into weeks and then months, I don’t feel like I survived. It doesn’t feel like the past is in the past; it feels current, present, as if all the bad things are happening again. When things with my daughter trigger me, it’s confusing. Things get so mixed up in my head. Watching her, being there through her experience, it’s not so different from how I experience a lot of my memories. It’s like watching something on a screen, knowing it’s real but at the same time holding this belief that it’s not me. Except, everything I see in my nightmares and in the ick in my head was me. It all happened and was real and it’s all me, even if at times I feel so strongly that I wasn’t a part of the ick, that it’s some other little girl who is hurting and scared.

“You rescued yourself.” Bea writes to me. But I don’t think so. I didn’t do anything to stop him or save myself. It just ended. He moved or I got too old or something. It ended, but I’m still here, stuck, waiting for it to feel over. Every time I think it finally feels like it’s over, in the past, I fall all over again. What’s the point if I just keep ending up here? It’s not that I want someone to rescue me. I just wish someone had a magic wand they would loan me and I could wave it and erase all the ugly truths of my life.

There’s this part of me that is fighting for control of the ship right now. She is so shut down. She’s avoided everything since the holidays ended. Avoided Bible study, girls nights via zoom, texting or talking with friends. She’s avoided talking to Bea and has mostly managed to stop other parts from talking. I haven’t been writing in my journal or emailing with Bea or even blogging. There’s real fear there that any of those things might break me out of this dark and noisy prison I’ve created for myself, and that might mean feeling again. It’s noisy here because I always have a movie or tv show or audio book playing. Constant noise to drown out the ugly and the feelings. But it’s been two and a half months. The prison walls are starting to crack and nothing I do seems able to stop the cracks from deepening.

The grown up me (the “Just Me-present day real life me”) has felt locked away, lonely, sad. But even with that, there’s a fear of being freed. Feelings are scary. Triggery days and nights are their own kind of prison. And yet, no matter how hard parts of me are willing to fight to avoid feeling, thinking, knowing the truth, there’s another part of me that won’t ever stop fighting, breaking down walls, peeking out from behind hands hiding my face, searching for the words to tell my story and make sense of it all so that maybe one day, there will be some kind of peace that doesn’t mean dissociating away from my life.

15 thoughts on “Peeking out between my fingers

  1. “all the ugly truths of my life.” Oh how I’ve run and run from those. But in those truths is where I’m beginning to see just how brave and wonderful I am! The uglies done to you, are just that, done to you. That did not remove your essence. You still are pure, wonderful, and oh so special. Look what you have lived through and still remain caring, compassionate, and capable! You will begin to appreciate what that young girl survived and will love her. It’s possible!

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    • I know you really do get this. It’s just hard to face them. I feel like every time I make some sort of progress and start to feel like “I can accept this, I have some great coping skills, I’m living in the present, ect, ect” something triggers me and I’m back where I started. Why is this so hard?

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      • Because hot stoves burn. And no one came to help or save you so you stuffed it all in and took in the blame and shame. That is a hot box. Trauma unprocessed is much harder to work through later on.
        It’s not about how great you are at healing, it’s about how badly you were hurt, and were grievously hurt. So it takes time, patience, and most importantly loving kindness towards self, including that young girl left all alone…

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  2. I always cringe when T tells me I ‘survived and that it was a long time ago’. I feel more like I ‘made it through’ and that’s all I’m doing now, still, just ‘making it through’ this life. Not really living, just being….hugs…xx

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  3. CB says:

    Reading this made me think of this quote that really resonated with me last year: escaping does not mean surviving. Healing is a battle in itself that many do not survive.

    Healing is such hard and painful work and I think it is so important to remember how many people don’t and can’t walk this healing path we are on.

    I think you are amazing to keep battling towards a place where things are easier and less painful and more healed – it is a long journey but you are not alone 💗

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    • I love that quote so much! It really resonates right now for me, too. I think it is more like I made it through, I escaped by…I don’t know, happenstance, I guess, and now I’m trying to figure out how to survive and really live. Some days it feels like I am living, but others especially lately…ugh. I suppose this is a battle many don’t or can’t fight. I’m glad I’m not alone in this. 💗

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      • CB says:

        Yes, there is something about needing to heal so can truly live instead of just clinging on to survival that is so intensely difficult but also such a driving force in our lives. Well it is for me anyway. It’s like I can’t switch off from the healing even though I know in some ways it would be easier to give in and stay in survival mode. You are most definitely not alone xx

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      • It is difficult! Bea told me once there is this…idea or belief in social work about people continually reaching for health. I guess that’s what the driving force is— us working towards growth and health. I truly believe I’m healthier now than I was 5 years ago. The work isn’t over, but I’m much more able to cope with things (usually) than I once was. Survival mode though…letting Ms. Perfect take over and run things would definitely be easier. I think healing will be worth it for both of us in the end.❤️

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      • CB says:

        Yes, we are designed to heal I think. It’s good to read how much healthier you are and feel over the past 5 years. I think with blogging we tend to write when we’re in dark or complex places so perhaps risk mistakenly giving the impression sometimes that we are back where we were at the start. Though I’d say it’s clear in your writing how much growth there has been for you in your work with Bea, and I think the same is true of me xx

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  4. Feeding The Good Wolf says:

    I sometimes hate the word “survive” and all it’s forms as it pertains to me. I so understand the feeling of rejecting “survival” because it still feel present. 💕

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