It’s been 23 years since the day my grandfather shot himself rather than face me in court. A day that I have very little actual memory of.
I remember the hotel that morning, going to check out the continental breakfast, I vaguely remember the detectives coming to tell us my grandfather was dead of his own hand, and that’s it.
I don’t remember packing up the hotel, traveling to the airport, or flying back home to California. I barely remember the inside of the courthouse, I can’t see the faces of the judge, or the lawyers and detectives that I had been working with for a year or so prior. In fact, if it weren’t for my one single diary entry, I wouldn’t even remember the name of my court-appointed advocate, a woman that I remember well in essence.
The one solitary diary entry that I wrote about this day gives me no additional details; in fact, I didn’t even write about what happened for almost a week, and the tone of my entry is very detached, like an afterthought. Something that I felt should be shared in my diary even though I didn’t want to write about it.
I let myself, perhaps even encouraged myself, to forget.
For the last 10 months, I have been seeing two separate therapists once a week. That’s two hours a week for 10 months I have dedicated to processing the trauma and abuse I endured as a child, through a constant stream of tears.
For the first time last night I talked about the trial during my session, about my lack of memory, and about how it made me feel. This is part of my childhood I never give much thought too, and always brush over in therapy. Now I realize why, I have no identifiable feelings about it, just a neverending ocean of tears and gasps for breath. This day in my broken mind didn’t happen to me, at this time I don’t physically or mentally identify with it, and when I try to touch it, it knocks the wind out of me.
I feel like I can’t catch a break with this shit. Like seriously, how fucked up does a person have to be to cause this level of harm to a child.
So today, for the first time in my life, I am acknowledging one of the worst days of my life. A day that changed many perceptions of the world: of family, of safety, and of stability, in my young childlike mind. Many of those perceptions following me like a shadow into adulthood and getting in the way of normal daily functioning.
I’m going to be patient with myself; I am going to feel it, process it, and do the best I can to move past it. If only the feeling and processing part wasn’t so painful and tiring.
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