it’s so interesting to look back on memories and see them differently than i had experienced them
like did you know it’s not normal to turn off the lights and go to bed
or pretend to go to bed
when you heard your dad pull up into the driveway?
or did you know it’s not normal to always put whatever you’re doing away when someone walks into the room?
or to be the strength for a parent figure going through a traumatic experience?
or to be spanked/beat for crying as you wake up disoriented from a nap, not knowing where you are or what day it is?
so many things
so many things that i thought were personality traits
are actually defense mechanisms,
ways of being that a child adopted in order to feel safe.
i didn’t want to use ‘trauma response’ because it sounds really dramatic
but i think my wanting my experience to not sound dramatic is a perfect example of just that
my wanting to downplay the depth of the impact of growing up feeling unsafe, unseen, unknown
and don’t get me wrong, not everything about my childhood was shitty
my mother loved like no one else i know
i learned the way of grace through her love
and yet, she was emotionally unavailable to me
i felt misunderstood by her
i didn’t feel like we had a space to truly connect
i felt safe up to a point to be fully me
she had her ideas of religion and they seemed to be one notch above me, always
lately, she’s changed her mind about it, if you read one of my posts from a couple months ago.
but the thing is, what i experienced then, the memories they were formed into,
and what i know now about these experiences are
two very different things.
to come to this point,
to this peak,
the highest vantage point at this time across the terrain i’ve traversed
up til today
and to see,
for the first time,
more clearly than i’ve ever seen myself.
to recognize what i had to become in order to be okay
to acknowledge the pain of not being all of me,
rather, the pain of choosing to not be all of me,
to hold for the girl that doesn’t know how to be held,
or to ask to be held.
i feel sadness
i feel sad that i grew up wondering,
what’s wrong with you?
why am i like this?
why can’t i be less sensitive,
less worried about what other people think,
less less less
more more more.
i didn’t know that’s not a healthy way to live
and even when i did learn that,
i didn’t realize just how deep i had internalized it,
for it to be so pervasive,
such a daily experience.
so much so, i didn’t realize how unnatural it is to live like that,
think like that,
see the world like that.
i mean, how do other ppl live through this?
how come i’m just finding out now about this complete lack of perspective that is mine?
so much pain masked in self-hatred,
so much loneliness masked in independence,
i got it-ness.
it’s nice though,
to realize all these things.
even though i’m still flabbergasted at the condition of my heart
and how i’ve lived all these years.
like finding out i’ve been mad at myself for not being able to run a marathon
while my legs were broken.
blows my goddamn mind.
but it’s nice
to realize such things
to get some perspective
to understand, to finally understand i’m not a piece of shit
there’s a reason for everything
and i don’t mean, there’s a lesson in everything,
although, yes, that’s true too.
i mean, i’m not the way i am,
life as i’ve perceived it thus far is not the way it is,
for no reason.
i find solace in that
because it means i am not arbitrary,
my life experience and existence isn’t arbitrary
and the awareness of it all,
and the compassion for it all,
points to a different path than the one i’ve been walking
or rather a different direction
the path i’m on will always be the path i’m on
just now, i can decide what’s at the end of the path.
that’s a nice feeling.
i think it’s hope.