Enduring the Darkness

“...Enduring darkness; isolating, mangled, suffocating darkness. The stark reality of life after abuse is irrefutable as I look down at my crumbling corporeal form, overwrought with chronic illness and pain. It’s not even a question of “How,” anymore as much as it is a question of “Why?” Why continue this? Why suffer through this? Just to believe her? My inner child?

The mighty little one who got me to today is so worthy of that belief but, then again, so is my woman. The one who has committed to not only believing that little girl within but leading her. Directing her, placing boundaries up for her, choosing the hard choices on behalf of her. This woman of me is worthy of being believed, too. Especially when she decides it is time to tap out.

I am incredibly blessed. My life filled with pockets of absolute, breath-giving, moving freedom. So many in my position, dare I say most who know what I know, will never have that privilege. Because of this, in part with this, many utter hopeful words of consolation. Assure me that it gets better. That one day, I’ll see, meet, and experience when my abuse isn’t as loud. It’s beautifully human, and in truth, I wish to always treasure the humanity that lives in their words. Hold them with tender compassion, despite the fact that most of the hope offered in the midst of another’s darkness is usually for the one offering it, not the one it is offered to.
(I’ve done it, too.)

Nevertheless, what I need here, in my isolating, mangled, suffocating darkness, isn’t hope. It is belief. Belief that this woman of me who has been leading this little girl for nearly seven years knows that hope they speak of just as much as she understands the reality that they simply, innocently, cannot.

I do my best to express it in words, but even my beloved language lacks the ability to convey what my darkness truly is. It was never truly mine to bear, but that’s just not the way the world works. Or human beings work. Even justice wouldn’t be a remedy to the residual impacts of being raped, sold, and destroyed for eighteen years of your life. There is, unfortunately, no antidote to that. There is healing alongside it, there is surviving it, and there is enduring it. In my privilege to heal, I learn more and more about what that means for me with every inhale and exhale I choose.

Healing is my catch-22 because choosing life means choosing to live with the residual impacts of what was done, and there is nothing I can truly offer in words to describe what eighteen years of daily hell does to a person. I don’t compare traumas. Trauma is trauma is trauma is trauma. I will sit across from the beautiful human being sobbing over their experience of “X” without ever feeling the need to chuckle at their agony in comparison to the agony I know. What they know is real. What I know is real, too..." - Excerpt, All of Me Believed

What you know is real, and however, you are enduring it is your autonomous freedom.

I extend my hands, my heart, my ears, my presence, my work to that truth in you.

You are loved and not alone in the darkness you face.

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