photo by Patricia
The aloneness of childhood sexual abuse may be one of the hardest to live with in the aftermath. It is not a ‘lonely’ like any others. It is a scratching and clawing on internal walls aching for relief. The spirit insists on splitting from the body and its feelings.
Run. Get away from the feelings but where—toxic behaviors, substances, activities, the list of how and where to run is as long and creative as each person abused as a child. Leaning on others helped until the running stopped.
Venturing into the pain with curiosity and patience as my pen wrote brought out the black tar and along with it the joys. With each chapter my internal world became spacious as the chaos slowly bubbled up and peace settled into places where trauma had been.
Writing the memoir released my real life for the very first time. With it came sadness, pain and joy. Because when trauma is suppressed so is everything else.
Locked below with the silence, the shadow of a child grew into a ghost of a woman. Forced to stifle horror caused separation and loneliness so great she had to run because nowhere was OK especially inside herself. All the feelings were bumping into themselves.
The child surrendered to the will of the ‘family.’ How could she not, it was the only family she had. Families silence the child because no one should know of their shame and what one of them did. So she shall be ashamed. It is what will keep her silent.
It is also what will keep her from herself with no real friend because she is not her own friend. Nor does anyone know what she endured. She learns to turn on herself as her family does though they disguise it. She is alone. It looks like she is in a family, but she is alone adrift like a dinghy cut loose from the mother ship.
Unable to connect to her center she runs from the scraping and clawing aloneness inside herself. She runs until she can run no longer. When she stops running she faces the beast of her past. Behind the rage there is terror and deep sadness. It takes years to settle the score. Not towards others but inside where she now needs to connect and learn to love what others discarded.
She faces the beast of her truth. Some draw, others write, dance or sing, but the beast is cut down with every memory that has been silenced. When the trauma well is emptied stillness provides a place for peace to come. Tears bring relief and when the warring inside is over she can began the process of recovery which may take her lifetime.
The shackles of invisibility fall as she speaks her truth. Her authentic self emerges because she has courageously opened the jail door to freedom.