*There is a trigger warning on this post for child abuse, trauma, and suicide ideation. Please be gentle with yourself before deciding to read on.
I stopped writing.
But before that, I stopped a lot of other things. I stopped going to acupuncture then chiropractic then massage then yoga then meditation. I stopped feeling my body.
I blocked out the fact that I was avoiding my physical sensations by eating and, when it kept coming up in unfinishable posts, I stopped speaking online and in real life.
I started having trouble with rage. When one of the boys caused pain to one of their brothers or to me, I became angry. I was so angry, that it turned into rage because I was terrified of the enormity of the angry feelings. I felt out of control and that I would never be able to stop feeling this anger.
There’s a point in recovering from blocked childhood memories of sadistic sexual abuse when confronting the intertwined issues of pain, love, pleasure, and shame well up. There is intense guilt within me that I kept going back for years when it would have been easy to turn away. No one was watching out for me, so there wouldn’t have been anyone to care if I just didn’t go back to him.
But, I wanted to go back. I liked the feeling of being needed and depended upon. I took emotional and physical pleasure in being given pain and punishment. And that’s where it gets tricky because I am supposed to hate every moment of abuse, aren’t I?
But, I don’t. I’m free of him now. But, I still have to deal with the intensely personal ways that I responded to his perversions.
I don’t need reminding that none of what happened was my fault. I understand full and well the power dynamic and manipulations that I was placed in.
I also know that I am not a victim. I am a survivor with injuries that I am just noticing now. They have had my entire adult life to grow and twist themselves around all aspects of my life.
My journey has nothing (repeat that: nothing) to do with the man who did those things to me.
My journey has everything to do with teasing apart the threads woven through each other. For every thread I pick out, it disturbs the rest of the weaving. Until they, or more precisely I, return to stillness.
Because stillness is the only place I’ve found that provides safety and distance. Stillness allows me to completely open to every horrifying detail and embrace them with love.
Shame, I love you.
Pain, I embrace you.
Me, I will never leave you unprotected.
In January, I stopped struggling. I went deep and became still. I began hugging the rage and my fear of the rage. I began the process of forgiving. By doing nothing. I had to let everything go.
I feared my blog would flounder. So, I imagined it doing so and let it go. I feared I would scream horrible things at my children and break them forever. So, I imagined myself saying every horrible word and their breaking. I imagined death, decay, and an ending to everything I love.
I wept. I railed. I became still. And I repeated this cycle over the month. I confronted my worst fears (at least the ones I know about right now) and allowed them to consume me. Then, I came out the otherside.
I found giving to be my answer.
Can I give everything? Can I be consumed?
Because that question is the heart of what holds me back from allowing unconditional love. I’m afraid of the intense, raw need that young children have-and I refer to the young children I’m parenting and the ones inside. Any time I feel touched out emotionally or physically, it’s because I’m pulling back from being consumed entirely.
So, I’ll be playing this month with stillness, being consumed, rage, and fear. I’m also remembering the real comfort I find when I allow myself to be still while everything bangs away on my pots and climbs all over my body.
Amidst this sound and fury, the cracks have let a small light in just when I was no longer attached to expecting hope and love.
It’s funny how the teacher arrives only when the student is ready.
It’s good to be back. I’ve missed you.
How was your January? Did you write anything last month that you would like to share? Feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll pop over for some comment love.