“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.