The Reality of Abuse in the Body

The reality of life after abuse is unquestionably witnessed in the unique and individual experience of how it lives in the body. 

This past week/weekend has been extremely devastating for me. The privilege of believing myself, my continued access to healing, and the powerful option of partnering with the agony living in my skin speaking truths of what happened is felt. 

I am also wrecked by it and giving myself permission to be. 

I spoke the other day about Sara referencing how stories I tell from my past-stories that shock and challenge-are nothing in comparison to the overall reality of my experience. The truth of it is, Sara doesn’t know half of it. The bigger truth of it that I don’t either. At least not cognitively. 

My greatest access to my past exists in my skin, and all I can do with that is believe it. Believe that water, clothing, wind, sheets, my hands, her hands, their hug, Andy‘s touch, those necessary winter coats, those nutrients, that spice, these hormones, and so many other parts of my existence are what my current body describes as ”Too much“. Too much. Please stop. I don’t want to be touch. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to exist anymore.

Words and emotions I discern from the position of my present, as the woman enduring it in safety instead of the little girl suffering from it in abuse. My reality is now hers, due to unfair and powerful invitation to heal from it. 

Heal doesn’t mean know it all, but it does mean believe it all. Believe the reality, the residual impacts, the apathy, the panic, the fear, the oceanic mourning. Believe the littlest of movements that my atrophying body lack the ability to perform anymore. 

Is it life-long? I don’t know. Can I continue? If I remain present if I breathe through each second, and if I commit to being here and now...yes. But only if I do that. 

This is why healing is both the greatest gift and deepest agony. It’s why it’s so unknown. It’s why it’s so misunderstood. It’s why the cycles of ancient and generational and intersecting abuse narratives are very very far from done. 

Nobody would choose this unless they were demanded. Nobody can unless they are privileged enough to access the resources required. 

The manifestation of abuse in the body is the most perfect expression of what happened. It is the best victim statement there is. But unlike words, that can be manipulated and denied, the body‘s manifestation of abuse cannot. 

Although some can create an intellectual, and oftentimes backed, a rebuttal to the autoimmune disease itself...I believe autoimmune disease and abuse are congruent to one another. For just like one or the other, the world will do everything it can to deny it or find a quick-fix. But there is no denying if you’re the one living it, and there are no quick fixes to something that has lifelong consequences. 

As I lay here in the wake of believing more and more of my own lifelong consequences, of my eighteen years of abuse, I fully acknowledge the privilege I hold to do this. To commit to this. To pursue an education in order to educate on this. To initiate discussions, to provide safe spaces to challenge perspectives, to be responsible and aware that my own privileged white narratives are not common. 

I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I can meet my inner child today. So I do. Through this apathy, in this mourning, by my commitment to continue even in the breaking.

Wherever and however the reality of your abuse lives in you, I believe it. It is undeniable. It is real. It is devastating. It is powerful. It is honest. It is allowed. You are allowed.

Your body is heard here. Your boundaries respected. Your truth, whether cognitive or physical, unquestioned. Valid. Respected. 

You are not alone.

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