(Content Note: discussion of sexual and spiritual abuse)
“There’s not enough rope to tie me down. There’s not enough tape to shut this mouth. The stones you throw can make me bleed, but I won’t stop until we’re free. Wild hearts can’t be broken. No, wild hearts can’t be broken.” ~ P!nk, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, from the album Beautiful Trauma
There’s so much going on in my life right now so far as processing trauma so this will be more a streams of consciousness post of several things I’ve tried writing in the past couple weeks. It’ll also be a bit of a follow-up of my last post.
oxygen mask – a poem on breaking the cycle of abuse
i’m not taking off my oxygen mask
to give you air
my lungs have been filled with poison before
i will help you breathe
once i can breathe again
i have suffocated far too many times
to give you life i do not have
i am not even sure i have it in myself to give again
i have died too many deaths for you
to live in my chest
it’s time for me to breath on my own
Today I’m lying on my partner’s couch while she’s at work, listening to P!nk, and trying to write because I just can’t function today or be in my own house. But here I’m at home. I keep having nightmares in the middle of the night that I wake from and don’t remember. I only remember a feeling of terror only to find myself held by someone who loves me and will keep me safe.
The writings I’m about to share with you have ripped my heart in two once again. I’m ok. But I’m not ok. And I have to consciously remind myself to breathe. If this resonates with you at all, please know you’re not alone:
(From October 12, 2017)
I am afraid the memories will drown me. They are an ocean and I have forgotten how to swim.
I am afraid. Because the memories seem so real. What am I afraid of?
That he will touch me again…that in the middle of the night he’ll come into my room and be on top of me again.
That I’ll wish I knew why I felt both pleasure and fear at the same time.
I am afraid–so afraid that at one point, as an adult, I locked the door to my bedroom for almost a year–even though the danger had passed. But the memories in the past hadn’t and may never go away.
To this day, he hugs me and I want to pull away. And now I know why. Now I remember and I can’t forget. Now that I can’t forget, how do I move on?
How do I not panic when I hear footsteps walking towards my room in the middle of the night? How do I not jump at every thing that goes bump in the night. It’s like a soldier without a war–where everyday is a battle.
He used to kiss me on the cheek when I was little and I’d brush it off almost subconsciously. That was dismissed as “cute” by everyone else. My space–my body–was never respected. I had to make myself small whenever he was present.
Little girls aren’t supposed to know their dads like this and have to accept it as “normal to survive.
TODAY. Today I cut my hair off.
He never wanted me to cut it shorter than my shoulders. He never liked it when my mom or sisters got their hair cut either.
So today…I cut off that power he held. My hair, my body, my mind, my heart are mine. They are mine so that I can live my life as I please. My life is mine to live even when my memories drown me.
My life is mine. And my love is mine to give to who I choose. Again. I choose life.
In conclusion, a benediction of sorts for those of you processing trauma and exclusion:
For those who have been pushed out when they should have been welcomed in…
For those who were promised a safe space but were met with shame and fear of Other…
Peace be with you. May the love of Christ surround you.
For those who were willing to give up everything for their faith but then their faith asked them to kill a piece of themselves to exist…
For those who feel broken and used by those who promised love and acceptance…
Peace be with you. May the love of Christ make you whole again.
Peace be with you and to you because Christ is for you and in you.
There is a place for you at the table. Come. Sit and know that you belong and that you are loved. Peace be with you, and may the love of Christ fill you.