Unpacking Trauma Series: Resiliency
People say I am one of the most resilient people they know. It’s a nice sentiment, but...more and more I realise how it’s not a character trait. It is a demand. It is a demand of my abuse. I have to be.
I have to be resilient, or I will be crushed by the pain. No...fuck that. I am being crushed by it. I have to be resilient simply in order to live it and experience MORE than just it, without belittling it or lessening it or hushing it or numbing it or in any single way challenging it by pretending it will ever be less.
I wish I could tell you that it gets easier. That the way I have chosen to live, break the cycle, and stand as I am before you feels worth it, 100% of the time. That the freedom, love, magic, strength, bravery, adventure, energy, excitement, travel, community, beauty that I know feels worth it 100% of the time. I suppose that is a human thing, because I know the root of this is human. It is raw and real, it is truth. We don’t all feel the commitment to life 100% worth it all the time, and that doesn’t matter if that commitment is challenged by the death of a dog, a bad grade, or being raped almost daily for 18 years. It is truth, because it is ours to feel.
But, what I mean right now is that this pain I am experiencing right now doesn’t end, it simply becomes more real with each breath of freedom I take. The emotional tole that my trauma has wrecked upon me isn’t the world's burden to bear, and it shouldn’t even be mine...but it is. It is. Whether I numbed it away with the continuation of the abuse I grew up in, or through some other addiction, I would need that external bandaid to be so strong that it would eventually end my life, simply in order for it to bear what my abuse has done.
Because the more I walk, the more I understand, and the more I understand...the more I cognitively grasp that this is never fucking leaving me, and it is so much worse than I could have ever handled until right now.
And my current 'right now' (a 'right now' that is ever growing and ever becoming and ever rebirthing itself as I walk forward, which fucking sucks even more) is undoing me.
The sobs of “I can’t take any more pain,” are not new, but this understanding of the depths of it's source is. So, I am simultaneously enamoured by the woman I am, and how she is carrying it...and broken. I am broken. I am broken by this.
No matter where I go. No matter what I do. No matter how far I travel. No matter how isolated my location. I can’t get away from this...But, I will carry it, I will carry her, till my last breath.
That is where I go when I drag my limping body from the bed, off the floor, out of the tub. Here. To that commitment. To this choice.
Because she deserves it. My little girl deserves it. She deserves the love that I am giving her. She deserves an adult to sit at her bloodied feet and look up at her and say “I am not leaving you, no matter what. I believe you.” She deserves it. She deserves me.
Trauma doesn’t end when the abuse ceases ***if the abuse ever does*** Trauma begins when the abuse STOPS. Trauma is feeling the experience that we could not feel as the experience was occurring. Trauma is hell.
Which is why the abuse continues. There is no support right now to teach us, hold us, whilst we learn to hold it.
Because who the fuck wants to walk this out, without knowing we can make it through? Who wants to voluntarily enter into hell every single day, until the days start to expand and become more than just hell? Because even then, the hell is still there. And, in truth, louder. More real. Ever clearer. More apparent. Which just tricks you into thinking the abuser was right...you are the fucked up one.
(They're not right.)
Who wants this when the world tells us, begs us to just be better now? To be thankful now that it’s over. To be normal. To be healed. To be good. To dress more appropriately. To think smarter. To do what we should have then. To teach them about it. To be entertaining. To heal them with the wisdom that was born from our blood. To be saints. To be sinners. To be fetishes. To be...silent?
I get why it is the road less chosen, even when there is such absolute beauty here. I get it. I fucking get it. I am bleeding out the pain, vomiting out the pain, pouring out the pain. I understand why my little girl didn’t think she could make it past 18 years...I get why she didn’t fucking want to. I get why sometimes I wish I didn't.
And, yet, I still choose.
I chose her today, as I sat on the cobblestones by the sea, and felt a piece of my try to drown herself in them. I pulled her out and looked at her, deeply in the eyes, with belief...and with fierce love. We are not giving up. Do you hear me? They took enough. Baby girl, they have fucking taken enough. He has taken enough. She has stolen enough. They have raped enough from you. No matter how small, our life is OURS. I am not giving up on you.
I am not leaving you, I believe you.
I feel crazy, as I walk through this. Especially after times like yesterday. As I become the partner, the woman, the human, the adult, the power I have always needed in the most animalistic and raw and magical way. I feel insane as the pain breaks me, and I get so sick I can barely stand. I feel mental as the world, even the world that loves me deeply, struggles to understand as they witness it. I feel alone.
I am not going back to America to tell a lie. I am not writing these books to weave some intangible tale of hope that doesn't exist behind the scenes of these words. I am here to speak about my experience, born from my little girl’s blood and my woman’s agony, as I reach new levels of the deepest and most treacherous pain and stand in the most rich and vibrant freedom.
This is life post abuse...but my life will never be one lived post-trauma. And, I can finally say it. As I am looked at and asked “How? How can you be you after all of that?” I can now respond “Because I live this...”
I live this. I live it.
I choose her, with more power than I ever have.
And, it’s not always pretty. It’s not ever without challenge. But it is with intention. It is with conscious grounding. It is with love. By love.
Tonight I am not okay, but I have come to a place in my life (one that I am grateful to have lived in for several years now, but constantly find myself revamping) where I can say with utter knowing that: I know exactly how to care for me. I know exactly what to do. And, I choose it. Every time.
I am not okay, but I have all I need. And, when I don't...I ask.