Memories flooding my mind these past few weeks are creating feelings in me. While I choose to live limiting my feelings in every day life, I’ve been unable to move from them today. I speak to the hope of controlling ones thoughts to help guide and guard our mind, therefore having the ability to stay ahead of feelings. To be in this place is rough.
When I was a little girl I was abused by my mother’s boyfriend. For years, I was abused. My nights were terrorized, and my days were haunted by evil. I was threatened into silence, and feared for the life of those I loved the most.
This abuse transformed many parts of me. It took my innocence and left me searching for something real. It also interfered with my ability to feel worthy and lovable- something I still struggle with today. I am now a Christian. I accepted Jesus into my heart and life long ago. There was a moment I believed I was enough. The pull was more along the lines of His love was big enough for someone like me.
One of the memories I battle is knowing I did nothing to help myself. I lived in fear of telling someone in authority because of his threats. That leaves me fighting the guilt and belief that I did this to myself. These are the after effects of sexual abuse. I was a child, not an adolescent or a teenager, but a small child. I did not know how to save myself! I am not responsible for what happened to me. I may have to say this for the rest of my life, but I hope for a day I can finally release it all.
As I grew from that little girl to a teenager, I hated myself. I disliked my own image in a mirror, my changing body, and my broken mind. I wanted love but didn’t want love. I wanted attention but didn’t want attention. I was torn between the normal things a growing girl desires, and never trusting a soul with my desires, dreams, or goals.
I understood what boys wanted, the boyfriend filled my head with that truth early on. I now know I wanted an emotional connection with someone. I thought if I gave in to these young men, they’d fill that void. Of course, they never did. Once I knew that, what kept me in this cycle? Did I protect myself by holding on to superficial relationships? Am I still doing this today?
Do we cling to bad behaviors and bad choices because we know they create a bubble of safe space?
I confess I’ve only gone deep a handful of times in my life. As I near 50, I consider relationships. The closest relationship is with the one person who has loved me unconditionally. She knows my dirt, my weaknesses, my everything. I pray I’ve not been a burden! She has been here for half of my life. She is the only one inside my bubble.
I watched a loved one deal with addiction, without understanding. Was her addiction the road to creating her bubble of safe space? I witnessed overeating, was that another person creating a bubble. Do we do what we don’t want to do, what we know we shouldn’t do, to maintain distance and protect our emotional self? I believe so.
I have unplugged many of my emotions and feelings. I dropped a couple tears yesterday when my bestfriend took the time to pray for us before we parted from our vacation. I wanted to apologize while being angry at myself for crying. What is that? How does one resurface from the emotional grave they dug, filled, and buried? Am I ready to trust people with these intimate parts of my being?
Gone are the tactics I used as a young girl to switch off connection. Instead of learning how to create healthy boundaries and relationships, I taught myself to run and silently build walls to ward off disappointment and rejection. I convinced myself I was living well, and I am, if I want to be a hermit crab.
It boils down to the truth that we are always learning, growing, and evolving into better versions of ourself. This I can embrace.
I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly loved.
I may be dealing with the same issues over and over, but I deal. Maybe they aren’t meant to be forgotten or left behind. Everything pours into the person we are today, even the bad stuff.
God knows my mental health struggles, therefore, he could be behind the memories I can’t submerge in deep waters. Maybe he needs me to tackle this right now to move forward. The Almighty has a purpose for my life, and he guides me through the junk to get there. I trust Him. Though memories hurt and scare me, he has my best interest at heart. Love is honesty, and God is being honest with me. I love that about him.