I carry too much pain. The person who birthed me didn’t want me and told me I was worthless, from a young age, as early as I can remember. There are not words enough to describe the amount of negativity that was heaped on me for so many years. And there is no way to describe how deeply embedded in my psyche is the pain. Without even getting into the physical abuse, I’m already too full of pain to comprehend it.
When I first started having panic attacks, first experienced that all-consuming terror, I wondered why it was all so damned familiar. I couldn’t comprehend why I felt like I knew this, recognised it… WHY? And then I realized that I had felt like this before; for all the years that I was abused I felt this constant terror, in a muted sense. It got to the point where I was utterly used to it, similar to how you become habituated to the whirring of the fan or the sound of the rain. It was there, but I didn’t really notice, almost took it for granted. It’s been there ever since, and last night it all blew up in my face. Again. Suddenly I was four years old again, and totally immobilized by abject terror. I took my Ativan, but it didn’t seem to be working. It was still there, spreading slowly through my mind, causing me to shake with such force that my muscles were aching with the strain of it.
Then I remembered the words, the only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain, so I dug my fingernails deep into my skin. I hoped that I could focus on the pain, that I could somehow start to breathe again, that I would survive. And I can’t help but think that it’s not fair… I shouldn’t have to live like this. Ambushed by fear I can’t see or name. The kind of thing that creeps in at 4 am when sleep would be such sweet relief, but closing my eyes just isn’t an option.
This is the aftermath of child abuse that nobody can truly understand unless they have been there themselves. How can you pick up the pieces of an ordinary life you never really knew? How do you move on? It’s been so many years. I wish I could say, “I am OK,” but I can’t. It is a long, difficult road to being OK.
I hate being this person. I hate living on this roller coaster, with no warning when the track is going to plunge into darkness. I hate not being able to breathe, not being able to see clearly, not being able to believe that things will ever get better. I hate that I sound like this. I hate that I am ashamed to write these words. I hate that I’m afraid someone will find out.
What if I really am worthless and unlovable?
am so grateful that you shared your story with us! It takes real strength to put it out there, the huge pain and the shame and guilt that come with it.
Lean close because I am not shouting this, but I AM saying it STRONG: your pain is real. It’s OK that you’re not OK; that it hurts; that you’re afraid. I have done this, this business of heaping shame and guilt on top of my pain because somehow, I should rise above, look on the bright side, whatever.
I hope that you have the support that you need to heal, because healing IS possible. I know it’s awful right now and I’m so very sorry about that. I hope that soon, you will see a little bit of light, and that that light will grow.
And keep speaking your truth. That is part of the healing, an important part.
Thank you. Most days I manage to muddle through pretty well.
Adrienne from No Points for Style sent me over here. I’m feeling anxious that I don’t know how to find the exact right words that will be of comfort to you. So I can say this: today you are seen and heard and not alone in your pain. I don’t know you, but I do know this: you are valuable, you did not deserve any of the shit that was heaped upon you, that was someone else’s garbage and it should not have to have become yours.
Also? You are brave, that I know for sure. You have shared from your place of demons, and that takes bucketloads of courage, my dear. YOU are courageous. And we are all of us here holding you in our hearts. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Thank you. Sometimes it’s not the words, just the knowledge that somebody even wants to try.
I agree with the other 2 comments that I read here. I am still working on how to cope with what happened at age 5. One of the people that did this to me went to prison. He got off early for good behavior. I do not get time off for good behavior. I am blessed with an incredible counselor that has patiently worked with me for 7 years. With his persuasion I no longer scratch myself to get the pain on the outside. At 4:00 AM I write out my pain. I found another outlet in my art. I take pictures that help describe the pain I have no words for. When pain started before you have words – how do you describe it? Art, writing, talking, help to slow down the reaction. I am so impressed with what you have shared. You have courage like Varda says. Sometimes I survive 5 minutes at a time. I can do amazing things 5 minutes at a time. Keep writing you are not alone.
Thank you. It’s not so much not having the words, it’s figuring out how to get them out in some coherent form
I read this and I just want to cry – I’ve been there, many times, and it always breaks me, just a little bit.