They took my journals. They took them and I never saw them again. And with them they took my voice.
This morning I didn’t want to get up again. I dreaded the day. I tossed and turned all night, waking on occasion from a bad dream and then cried myself back to sleep. But I got up and went to the gym. As the group was beginning their workout, I heard thunder. Oh how I love storms. I remember being deathly afraid of them. A little post traumatic stress from one of my brothers putting me in a closet during a bad storm when I was four and telling me I was going to die. And then there was the time a tornado came and I couldn’t get my mom off the couch to run to the neighbor’s basement. Just one of many traumas; however when the movie Twister came out, I fell in love with storms and tornadoes. I know, people say I’m not right, and yet I am finding that the chaos of a storm rightly and perfectly describes what is going on inside of me.
After workout, as I walked to my car, it got really dark, like 9pm dark and it was going on 9am. When I pulled into the apartment complex, the lightning and thunder and darkness grew as did the downfall of rain. Sitting here with the patio door open, listening to the crashes, sizzles and booms, the constant patter of rain, the sky looking an eerie green/yellow color, I come alive inside. Nature is speaking my langage as if saying “I will speak for you, I will be your voice.”
She talks about me having Complex Trauma. I know in part what that is and yet I feel as though I am on the outside looking in most of the time. Except lately, I am all too entrenched internally in the throws of it. We talk about the trauma I experienced when I was twelve. I once again question the memories and she validates they are real and yet in my inner being I know she is right… that it all makes sense and that they are all too real. I am just so afraid to face it and to speak my truth. I have tried time and again to tell my truth, my story, only to be silenced by the abusive powers of those whom I was taught to respect and obey. But how long should that go on? I’m fifty and yet I am all too much twelve, still feeling the fear of being in trouble. I may have been in therapy for almost two years, but this is the first time I’m understanding what it really means to be finding my voice.
I started this blog to try and speak out, sharing my story with honesty and encouragement to those who walk a similar journey only to be met with the age old survivor fear of not being believed, shut down and abandoned. I couldn’t even look at a chair in therapy to tell him how I feel. And for the first time in a long long time, my “No” was respected. She purposefully said she was respecting my “No”. I didn’t realize it at the time because I was so triggered and so present in my twelve year old self, but later as I listened to our session later and I heard her words, a deeper sense of safety and confidence germinated in my core.
I keep feeling like I have no purpose or reason to exist, that I just do not matter to anyone in this world and yet I know God does not create without reason and purpose. I think this is where the Complex Trauma comes in… the actions and words of others or lack there of during trauma, because of trauma, causing trauma, have so engrained themselves in my mind and body that though I KNOW the truth, I react as if I don’t. She reminded me that I was a victim; and with those words I hear my abusers voice saying “you’re just playing the vicitm”. So I choose the voice that has always spoken truth to me and I begin to see that in being a victim; there was hate, I had no control, I had no voice and I just wanted to be loved and yet abuse of power, control and a child’s love was what was given.
I don’t want to call out the people by name who hurt and abused me. I don’t seek vengeance or retribution for these people at all. In my anger and grief I do tell God I want them to die and that is quickly followed with a plea for forgiveness and a plea that not until they know Jesus may their time here on earth end. I want to go back and change things. I do want a Do Over, but I know that is impossible. So I grieve alone because there is no one in my world who understands how I feel and many can’t bear the burden. It’s in the four walled relationship with my therapist that I have started to speak with confidence of being safe, heard, known, seen and believed. And then I am to take it out into my world and practice what I learn in the safety of that office. I know to heal I must leave that shelter and enter the daily storm of life with the equipment I have been given. Beyond those four walls my voice is strangled once again and I am afraid to speak with depth and truth.
The storm is dying down. There is a song of distant rumbles of thunder and birds chirping as the pain and heaviness of grief return. For a little while this morning, nature spoke a bit of my inner world. Thanks for making me feel alive for a little while and giving me courage this morning to use my voice along with yours as I write.