It Only Took Two Decades
I was sitting in the living room, I was upset and bothered. About? I didn’t even know. This pattern has followed me for most of my life, some tiny insignificant thing would flip a switch within me. It usually starts with some weird expectation I have, or added stress and sometimes even the feeling of loosing control.
The struggle has been real, for most of my life. I thought it was normal until my husband made it apparent that it wasn't, and most likely something from my past was triggering these emotions. All these built up emotions piled with a mostly out-of-town working husband, four small children, and a long 90 day seasonal work schedule. These were not a recipe for success. It all came to a raging halt last summer, when my husband and I finally hit our wall. He had run out of patience, and I had run out of space to hide all of the stuff inside me. And I finally went to therapy.
My husband, he was spot on.
It’s been over a year of therapy. And it has exposed me for what I am, a broken human, pretending I don’t have any really big issues. Then realizing, that I, just like everyone else has a past that tends to dictate all too much of their daily life.
After months of therapy, and progress but no real huge breakthroughs, I was reading an article about sexual abuse behavior in young kids, which is one subject I tend to find myself reading since having children. I was reading the list, and thought… me….me…me…me. I did that. I vividly remember acting that way. I did those exact same things, did this happen to me? If so, When? How?
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. The vivid memories, and realizing it was actually abuse. I was abused. I have carried it as shame my whole life, as something I did wrong. I never once had thought I was treated poorly, because when looking at the situation it was hard to see it that way. It wasn’t some old weird uncle, it was a young child. That realization was distinctly hard to handle, knowing full well he had no idea what he was doing. Not to excuse the behavior, but to excuse the fact that this child had been exposed to things at such a young age, the normalcy for him is appalling.
I was six. And for over a year I was abused, by a child my age. He exposed me to raw porn, and expected me to replicate the behavior in those images. He would lock me in his parents room, and uphold me to those expectations. I had no voice, no choice, and no idea what was happening. I can still smell the smells of that room, I can picture the color of the carpet, the weird layout of the room and feel the feelings I felt. I felt so alone, lost and so much shame.
If I’m loosing control, I revert. I am right back in my six year old self, feeling lost and voiceless. If I am over stressed, I am standing there on that green carpet wondering if that tiny rage flame is going to blow, or if I can talk it into staying at a soft glow. It’s a terrifying thing to be nearly thirty, and to feel so unstable.
I am not here writing a sob story, or a poor me. I just have felt for a while that writing my experience would be something useful to me individually. And if in some small way my words can reach someone else who maybe hasn’t had the courage to face their stuff yet. I’m here to say it sucks. It’s nasty and ruthless and it most definitely has the upper hand most days. But, the self discovery is at the very least worth the effort.
I have so far to go. Emotionally I’m a mess. I am not the easiest Mother or Wife to live with. I wish it were different, and that this experience didn’t rule so much of my life. It has had a hold over me for so long, that the thought of changing the way I behave in certain situations is almost the scariest part. This includes actually being vulnerable. This means, taking the small painful feelings and actually voicing them instead of holding them inside. I have trained myself so well to hide those things, to put up a shade to cover up what’s there.
Someone long ago stole my innocence, they took my trust and my joy and abused it. And in doing so it turned into a vortex of emotional trauma for me. But, I’m done with it. I am done letting it dictate my behavior, and am ready to let my kind heart rule. I want to be happier, and to let my heart love more fully, and most importantly gain a broader perspective of what that actually means.