The more I come to understand about my past, the more I realise just how bad and big it all was and is. The closer I come to accepting just how terrible it was, the greater the fear that I will be left alone with it. Not out of irrational, paranoid fear, not even because it has happened before, instead it is because I see just how difficult it must be to support me.
Abuse that went on for so long, with many incidents of brutality and torture is something that scars a person. That person cannot be the same again. That person carries those things every single day. And the journey to healing and peace is a rough one. Supporting someone like that must take its toll. It must be exhausting mentally and physically.
I am that person, who has so much baggage and fear and pain. To sit with, to listen and to witness that hurt and anger must be draining. To hear those awful details of abuse, I know must be very painful. It is difficult to know that caring for me can be painful.
My T gently suggested that as I continue to learn what it is to feel, I will understand that loving and caring for people is painful, it cannot be avoided. Loving and caring for people means opening your heart to their pain and fear, but also to their happiness and joy. That made me think.. and is something I need to explore some more.
Yesterday as we reflected on the magnitude of abuse, my T said that one incidence of rape was too many. He is right, one was too much. Once would have been enough to break me. I was raped more times than I can count. And not just rape, the control and fear, loneliness, rejection.. all during important growing years. I cannot undo all of that, I cannot simply erase the impact it has had on me. I am scarred, I will always be scarred.
I see how difficult it is to support me through my ongoing struggles and pain. Not only difficult to watch, but it must be so tiring to see that when one issue is dealt with, it is replaced by another. How can I expect or ask anyone to support me? Have I been selfish?
The last two nights I have been dreaming about just that- those I trust who cannot take it anymore. I wake up sad, lonely but not angry, because how could I blame them if it were true?
In my dream the other night, I was asleep and woke to a text message from my best friend, who told me that he is too ill to be there for me any longer. A Facebook message from my brother telling me it is too difficult to know about the abuse and what it is still doing to me now. An email from my Minister and friend telling me he couldn’t continue to support me through this because of the time it consumes and the pain it causes. And a voicemail from my T telling me he cannot see me anymore. In this dream, I turned to my husband who then told me he was leaving because he couldn’t handle that I’d been raped so many times. Horrible dream that has lingered.
I know, that all those supporting me wouldn’t suddenly leave me-they’ve seen the severity of abuse all along. They are good people and they care about me- I see that. This is big though, HUGE and I know it’s a lot to ask people to be there for me. Particularly as I come to understand just how special those people are. The majority I come across do not have the capacity nor do they want to have the capacity to understand my struggles.
I talked with my T about how I am changing and we reflected on how boundaries with others have had to change to accommodate my progress. We talked of the possibility and even necessity of having to change those environments that won’t allow me to me. That was such a relief as I realised that I cannot change others and I am not willing to pretend or hide myself any longer to suit those people and situations. It’s OK to feel uncomfortable and hurt and afraid, it’s OK to want to be around people who are understanding. It’s OK to want to surround myself with those who will allow me to be me, without me having to hide the scars from my abuse.
I do fear that those people already there for me, will one day have enough and leave, but at the same time, I know I cannot predict the future. Instead I can be grateful for what I have now, knowing that our paths cross with different people throughout our lives, some people stay, others leave. It is not something I can control. All I can do is continue to be me, and those that can and want to accept it, get the invitation to stay if they wish. I cannot control anyone’s actions but mine. I cannot continue to pretend to be someone I am not, or hide who I am and my past, just to ensure I won’t be alone. If people want to leave because they cannot handle me, then so be it. They are the ones who will miss out on the love and light that I know I can offer.
So yeah, I’m insecure and full of new fears of abandonment, but that’s OK, fears always come with change and I am changing for the better. I have a sense of clarity this morning.
Look out world, here I come.