Hindsight is a broken mirror
which is to say,
is ever seen in its gleam
and I can’t help but wonder
if you’ll regret me too one day
because, trust me, darling,
I have lived better
So much is happening! Well, really, one thing in particular but it’s taking up a lot of time and energy. I’ve been silent for past the two weeks because… (wait for it)… I’ve been writing my book! I am excited but also cautious, mainly because of the book’s content (there will be many writings on living with trauma and PTSD as a Christian. I don’t plan on sugarcoating anything).
I spent most of last week researching books in my niche, trying to get a feel for which publication(s) I should consider once the book is done. And writing, of course. Lots of writing and rewriting, but in that, I’m finding my voice and learning to trust myself.
I don’t know what’s going to happen or how the book is going to turn out but I’m ready for whatever happens. This creative nonfiction adventure I’m on is definitely a journey, one that I wouldn’t have taken had I let fear get in the way.
I want to hear from you guys. Have you ever let fear stop you from an opportunity? How’d you deal with the aftermath? How would your life be different if you had stepped out in faith?
I am not a social butterfly, but you took me under your wings and, for a time, made me feel like I could soar. I know that’s cliché, especially considering all the future pain you would cause, but for a little while, it was true. By watching you, I learned to live in the present moment, a gift that I don’t think I could have received otherwise. You made me laugh and smile, but you also taught me things I never should have known. I almost want to puke thinking about it. The effects you have had on my life are devastating and vile. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be afraid to go to sleep because of nightmares and flashbacks? Or how many minutes, hours, days you have to spend reminding yourself that you are, in actuality, safe in your own bed instead of with the one who betrayed, sexually groomed, and broke you? Do you want to know how often I wake up in the middle of the night terrified because I still feel your breath on my neck and your arms around my waist? Or how it feels to be a woman in a sea full of potential rapists? Though you did not rape me, and I’m glad you didn’t, you still broke me in every way and violated what little trust I did have in men. I know that not every man is like you, but to have to keep reminding myself of that fact is daunting, draining. Though my faith fail me at times, I know that God will be with me in the quiet moments, in the moments when I lash out at my family and friends in anger and frustration for reasons they can’t understand, in the moments when I feel so broken and unlovable that I wish for death, and in the moments when I can see glimmers of hope and recovery and grace. You didn’t steal everything from me. I still have the capacity for fierce, strong love and a mighty pen to fight with because, as we all know, the pen is mightier than the sword. This has been a long battle and it’s not over yet. I’ll live to wage war another day. I’ll still seek to find beauty in the midst of pain.
A Slytherin Warrior
Earlier today, I talked to someone who asked me why I wasn’t doing the things I know I should be doing to better my life. I answered him in silence. There was no adequate answer I could give, which got me thinking: Why do we hold ourselves, and our truth, back from being exposed?
I am done holding everything in. This part of my life is painful and ugly and frightening and disgusting and I want no part of it anymore. I hate this part of my life. The part where motivation is external instead of internal. The part where hoping for better is something not innate, but rather another skill I have to learn. The part where “faith” right now is just a word.
“Things will get better. It won’t always be this way. I won’t always be afraid,” I say. I want to believe it. I want so badly to believe it, but the past has a way of holding me hostage. And I let it. I let it because it’s comfortable like a pebble that’s stuck in your shoe and you feel it pound your foot with every step. Annoying and painful, yes, but it’s nothing you can’t survive.
Survive. I’ve been in survival mode so long I don’t know anything else. I’ve made excuses and blamed people, more than myself, for the way my life is and that’s pathetic, which is to say, it’s wrong. There’s no step-by-step book that teaches you how to take control of your life, how to stop blaming people for your mishaps and choices, how to stop self-destructing. There’s no road map for any of that and damn, I wish there was.
I’m in my mid-20s with an idea of what I want, but no specific way to get there. I am not the only one in this position. Yet, there’s hope of a better future without the pain of my present mental and emotional circumstances. Do I really believe that I am beyond hope? beyond help? Do I honestly believe that I am not worth recovery? No, I don’t. I’m just paralyzed by fear. Fear of successful recovery, fear of my demons going away, fear that if I actually take control of my life I’ll have no more excuses, no one to blame if I screw up, or make a mistake or wrong choice.
Now, hard question: what next? Continue criticizing all the bad without appreciating the good? Sit here and do nothing for fear of taking a wrong step? Or take a step towards healing, towards recovery, towards owning the wrong choices and mistakes, and see where it goes?