The last few months have been insanely hectic. With work, covid, and preparing and i preparing for changes that seem to happen when I least expect it. It’s been trying. And my head has, well, had to managed to stay on relatively straight for about 3 months of constant change. But. I suppose everything falls apart eventually.
About two weeks ago, with a stuffy nose, headaches, eye pain, body pain, the whole covid gambit, I felt myself deteriorating. Concerned that I was coming down with the virus, I saw my doctor and she recommended I get tested. Spoiler: though my results haven’t come back, I’m mostly confident that I didn’t contract the virus. But. That’s not what this about.
A few days ago, about a week into quarantine, I started feeling weird. Growing up in a Christian environment and professing the faith for myself, I’ve still massively struggled with the idea of God. Who’s this big guy in the sky? And the fuck won’t be do anything about the shit happening in our world. I run the length of anger and confusion and devastation on a daily basis. And I guess this week it was time for it to rear it’s ugly head.
I began to wonder about the impact of trauma and abuse on my abilities, or lack there of, to trust in this being called God. I looked back on my childhood, the few parts my brain allows me to remember and I began to wonder. Can Stockholm Syndrome be caused by a violent childhood? I tried a quick search on google, but after too many entry questions and not enough emotional wherewithal, I decided against it. I didn’t want to know.
I’ve spent a major pet of my adulthood and even childhood trying to force myself to move forward. To not hold grudges. And I genuinely, truly believed that I’d let so much of it go. I felt no anger to those who hurt me. But a compassion and love that made me cry my eyes out whenever I thought about it. But was it really love? Now I’m not sure. That night, I went to bed, and was immediately flooded with nightmares of my childhood. Things I’d believe to let go.
I woke they next morning, after a fitful night of sleep, in tears. Crying my eyes out in the dark, trying to make sense of my dreams. And all I could think was, why did you hurt me? Why couldn’t you be gentle? Why couldn’t you be kind? Why didn’t you love me? Love me enough to not hurt me? In my dream I’d lost my fucking shit. Screaming and crying and yelling. Willing them to hit me just so I could hit them back. I was so hurt. And I was so angry. I just wanted to be held.
I felt betrayed by the people who I thought were supposed to protect me. And when I realized this, I saw how that thread of betrayal wove it’s way through the entirety of my life. I’ve often felt betrayed by others’ disloyalty. It might be slight but it felt so crushing to me. Because I felt like I wasn’t worth loving. Wasn’t worth fighting for. Wasn’t worth protecting. And even after the abuse, all I’d want was for them to take me back. Accept me. Forgive me. For whatever it was. And the same hands that hurt me embraced me. And as I recognize now, really harmed me. My emotional maturity.
However, I also feel guilty. I feel as if I’m betraying them now. Because people change, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. But it also hurts. It hurts to the core that this happened. And I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to shame anyone who has hurt me. But. I don’t know if I’ll ever heal if I never talk about it. My life goal has always been to not y’all about the people in my family who have hurt me until they’ve passed. That way I can’t hurt them, while truthfully communicating how I feel. But. I didn’t realize that I was letting myself die in the process.
The last few days I’ve felt a heavy pot on my stomach. Not focused on the feelings much, but not knowing where to go from here. How do I recover? Do I want to? Do I just want to end it all? But that’s selfish. I know it. And even though they’ve hurt me, I don’t want to hurt them. I guess the difference is, when they hurt me I was a stupid kid, on the receiving end on so much fluctuating emotions coming from adults who all I really wanted was to love me. Not for who I could be. But for who I was. Completely imperfect and confused and needing love. I was just a child.
I’m not sure what bruised me harder, the hands and the belts and the hangers. Or the words that were said when they were upset. Or the loneliness that crept into my heart. Desperate to know how I could get them to love me again…without hurting me.