They say through darkness there is always light. And while on the majority of days I can keep my head up and walk with the ideas of positivity, inspiration, and hope within me, there are a few days where I can’t. Where it takes any and all strength I have to do anything. Because I am hurt. Because I am upset. And I want to be mad, I want to be angry. I want my feelings to be simple and understandable. But they are not.
Since that November night I have been punishing myself. Hurting myself and putting myself down.
I learned long ago how to internalize things. The hurts and the scars. And while I can share with people my hurts, I can never make them feel the burdens of my pain, because I would never wish that upon anyone else. There is so much darkness within me that I can’t escape. And some days, like today, I don’t want light; I would rather sit in the dark.
Who am I? Who have I become? I am not proud of myself in so many ways and I cheat myself in so many ways. I don’t feel like I deserve to be happy. I guess happiness to me means that something will go wrong. To me it is so much easier to deny myself the things I want, so that I can keep going through the motions. But I don’t feel good about myself today.
I feel terrible. And today I can’t run away from my sadness and my pain. I am burdened by it. I am crawling in the darkest depths of my tears. I am swirling with emotion and questions that I can never answer. So many thoughts, so much hope, so many disappointments. I know I will get through it, I know how to put on a brave face. I am so very good at making myself look like this strong person, when really I am an emotionally scarred mess. I used to wish to be numb, I used to just run away from my feelings. I always had an exit plan. But I know that if I ever want to be happy I can’t escape my feelings, my scars, my emotions. I tried. And I guess now I just wonder how to come back from this. I just feel terrible. Because I don’t respect myself and I feel mistreated. By so many. Objectified in so many ways. All I ever want from people is respect and authenticity. I don’t want lies, I don’t want to be treated any less than any other. All I asked was for honesty. The truth. When you are not given the truth, it makes you feel stupid. It makes you question who you are and why these things keep happening to you. Why give so much, if in the end everyone just keeps taking? I don’t want to be miserable, but sometimes, it is just so damn hard to find the light. I’ll get through today, only by knowing that tomorrow will get better.
How do you know when it’s okay to let go of your past? To detach yourself from those struggles that are too painful to keep recalling. Those images that will not flee your brain of a time where you felt completely unlike yourself. A time when you did something, unintentional or not, that veered away from everything you had ever stood for. The guilt, the shame, it’s still there. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of that November night. The night I became someone else.
And I don’t like reliving it ever. In fact, to myself, I detach myself from it. I refute it to myself and tell myself it never happened. That something so valuable was taken away, in honestly, such a tragic way. Something that was lost and cannot be returned. And the circumstances didn’t help. And no one could mend it, because once that gift is gone it can’t be bought back and no amount of alcohol will ever numb me out enough to forget what I have lost. But I do a good job detaching myself. Desensitizing myself even more then I did before and finding it even more difficult to feel.
And I blame myself. I can’t take full responsibility for his actions, but I was still there. Though, I could barely walk. And I don’t know how i got there, or when I got there. But I know I didn’t want to be there. And once I realized where I was and what was happening, it was too late. Like many situations in my life, I am too slow to respond. I couldn’t fight him, I didn’t know what to do. And though this may sound dramatic, I never expressed to ANYONE what happened. I am so ashamed. I am in such denial. Still.
And it is hard. And it does further breed my distrust in men and it did take any last shred of innocence I ever thought I had left. But, everything happens exactly how it’s supposed to. And though I will never be able to completely come to terms with the events of that night, I can remember that he doesn’t get the satisfaction. He doesn’t get to know my pain, my detachment from any form of sex, my countless attempts to bury it. To hide. To say, no that didn’t happen, it couldn’t have.
But I moved on. Though I still haven’t found what I am looking for, I can never detach myself from the person I am not looking for. And never was.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could. - Louise Erdrich
One thing I have learned is that no one can ever discount your feelings. Regardless of who you love, like, dislike, the hurt, the pain, anything, you always have permission. It has taken me a long time to realize this. And I guess that’s why in the last year I have become more emotional. And though I still find my guard up addressing my feelings towards people, I am starting to realize what means the most to me.
Respect is the number one thing for me. If you disrespect me, or someone I love, I may forgive you, but I will never forget that. I will never let others have the satisfaction of seeing how much they hurt me or disrespect me though. The hurt can be unbearable and the pain I have felt over the course of my life is hard to explain. It’s hard to even fathom where it all began. And there are so many loose ends and so many unanswered questions with so many situations. But I will never have all the answers. Part of processing every major event in life is the unknowing. You can never understand. Volatility, anger, unpredictability, addiction, violence, there are just so many common themes. And I get upset. When it seems like it’s one thing that makes me cry, it’s really just a trigger. Because when I see something right in front of me, and I feel made a fool and embarassed, I find myself in flashbacks. I find myself being laughed at, I find myself feeling like a disappointment to my mom, I find myself witnessing someone’s demise. I find myself in the midst of overwhelming pain and it just sits on me. I panic, I flee the scene, because I take my pain and keep it to myself. I rely on few to really listen to me, I don’t want to burden anyone.
I guess I need to keep positive. The greatest gift I have been given is strength. I am becoming fearless in who I am and that’s kind of cool. And I know at the end of the day I have hope. And being made a fool of is the worst feeling, but someday, someone will find me and never even remotely think of disrespecting me. And I will be so grateful for that.
It’s tough to grow up. I think I mentally grew up at 15. I don’t tell a lot of people that. It’s shameful. The reason behind that moment where I first realized that life could be so much more than what I had ever imagined it could. What I had endured from him up until that moment was nothing compared to that moment.
My dad had been trying to get clean for a few years. But, the blood lines, the hurt, the pain, was killing him. He never felt that what he could do was enough, something that I didn’t quite see until I no longer lived with my mother. He had worked so hard, but was haunted by his own childhood, the cycle of abuse, the feeling of never belonging. My dad sat at his house that day and wanted it all to go away. He wanted to stop the pain for my sister and I, the disappointment, the feeling that he had failed. Numbness. Numbness and escape is what he craved. He wanted to make it easier for everyone. My sister had picked me up from school, a newly licensed driver and we were on our way home. Our mom called and said something had happened and that she had found my dad on the floor, overdosed. At 15, I didn’t get it. I didn’t feel it. I didn’t see how close he came to death. My mom had enabled his addictions for so long, that her guilt lead her to try so hard to help after their marriage crumbled. But, it propelled him further.
That day, I grew up. I came to see that stability was not in your parents, much like they had tried to force me to believe. I didn’t see that though my father was deeply undependable and unpredictable, my mother was fragile too. She was wrecked after that day, and maybe was the first moment I knew she was different then I had always thought she was. I think that day I grew up, because I had to say goodbye to them. I had to say goodbye to their habits and addictions and flaws and the pain that they kept pushing under the rug until you couldn’t see the ceiling.
Goodbye’s are tough, I am approaching one now. They say that it’s only at the end where you start to see the beginning. The journey I have taken so far in my life has been filled with new chapters, change, fresh starts. And while a fresh start can cleanse your soul, it can’t help you escape.
I can’t keep trying to forget them. I can’t ever say goodbye to my parents. Yes, I don’t want to be them, but I need to remember what they have taught me. My father has taught me that though it can be confusing to find your place in the world, it is so much more freeing to make your own place. My mother has taught me that (though she never did) you can appreciate and support people even if you don’t always get what you wanted.
This life is full of twists and turns and the plot thickening. I guess I am thankful that I get to say goodbye. Because every goodbye ensures promise of a new day. A new day free of fear and full of hope. I carry every experience from my life with purpose, to help me ultimately become exactly what I should be.
I love you mom. I am so proud of you dad.
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