I fight my emotions, a lot. All the emotions that are bottled up inside. When they get intense I get hung up on the fact that I actually feel them rather than allowing myself to process and deal with what has caused them to begin with. It has been my biggest struggle in therapy, feeling my emotions.
I hate these feelings. I hate what causes them. I hate that I can’t control them. They make me so uncomfortable.
I want to accept them; these emotions, their effects, the reality of my life and my family as a child. I want to feel them, to deal with them and to move on to the next level of my healing. But my sugar-coated reality is so much easier. And I default, a lot. I turn off a lot.
My mother died when I was born; leaving me to be raised by my dad and available to my paternal grandfather, a family pedophile. My dad didn’t care much for me. Maybe he loved me in there somewhere, maybe that’s conjecture. Reality says, there isn’t much actual evidence when looking at the timeline and how he interacted with, reacted to, and treated me. I was a burden. That’s hard to sit with. He didn’t protect from my from my abuser, rather he told him when I spoke up, and then testified against me at the trial. He didn’t love me as I needed or play an active role in my upbringing. My basic needs were provided for but I paid the ultimate price for the roof over my head and the food he provided.
I was left to work out all my emotions on my own; to take care of myself, but how could I? I was just a kid. No one taught me how. So I just locked it all away. Clearly, no one else cared what I felt, why should I? I disconnected from my body and I disconnected from my feelings. Better to feel nothing at all then all the confusion and chaos that comes with being molested as a child. In order to survive, I didn’t feel.
Now as I near 40 I find myself on a constant emotional rollercoaster, trying to learn as I go. Unable to deal with the causes of my trauma because I can’t get past the onslaught of emotions that comes with it.
It’s not fair, what was done to me.
It’s not fair, how it affects all aspects of my life: work, friends, my family.
It’s not fair my husband has to live with the aftermath of my abuse.
It’s not fair that my children have to see me struggle with this, my continuous tears and pain.
I didn’t ask to be this strong. I didn’t ask to be a survivor. I just wanted to be a kid.
I don’t hate my life now. But I did then. And it is a reality that is hard for my soul to accept. The level of abuse and emotional pain inflicted on me, how do I accept that? Truly accept it and move on.
Sexual abuse leaves a mark.
Neglect, abandonment, isolation, they all leave a mark.
Especially when they are all at the hands of family, the people who are supposed to protect you.
I wish I had a one size fits all answer, but I don’t think there is one. I am learning to take things one day at a time, one feeling at a time.
And when I need a break, I take one.
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