I have no grand notion of making this piece long and full of empty, laborious words. It does not need flowery sentences or elongated wordage. It is the “truth” in its blatant and short honesty.
For most of my life I have had a weight in my chest, it is the burden of an unknown knowledge, the heaviness of the past, that when ignored, it drowned me, suffocating the life from my lungs, stripping the flesh from my bones trying to scrape out all that my body knew. Then one day 18 months ago I walked in to ANOTHER shrinks office, looking for an answer to something I knew the answer to . My question was, do I too have high functioning autism, like my son, am I the cause of his brain makeup? Is it my fault? What I was truly looking for, was a person who would not look to fix my symptoms of mental distress, but to look deeply in to the WHY I have them.
Instead I came out with the truth. The truth I had always felt. It was standing ominously in the fore, glaringly bright in all its glorified awfulness, I was no longer able to hide. The crevasse was open and it was vomiting over everything I thought to be true.
I have struggled with the, “should I share, should I hide it” dilemma. But that is what I have being doing all my life and it ate me up. It literally festered in my cerebral cortex and stopped my ability to eat, it created a self loathing of my body so harsh, I denied it food and wanted to destroy the memories it secretly held. It gave me nightmares, that I would wake up from screaming in fear and not knowing why. I would jump if someone touched me, I developed anxieties and fears never known before and I did not know why. I was scrabbling for control. I was labelled mentally unstable, the kid with mental issues, the weirdo, skinny kid, the loner. My heart and soul shrouded by the thin shell of an emaciated child, so delicate she could shatter at any moment and that is exactly what I wanted to do. Shatter all over the floor and be swept away. But did I? No, I was resilient. I was, unbeknownst to me, fighting and I was fighting hard to stand back up and be Kelly.
I will not write down the raw images in my head, that always sit on the periphery, to creep in and shock when I am feeling vulnerable. You the reader do not need to know details. You just need to know the truth and that it is ok to share. Because, to share is to reveal, to bring the dark into the light and expose it. To reveal all its ugly. We can unite, love and move up and away from what holds us captive. Lifting up, supporting, cradling, caring for each other.
I am crying
I feel sick
I am acknowledging
When I was about 6 years old, a dark, odious man, an adult I knew, took away something from me that was not his. A room with no light, unable to breathe, my head in a flowery counterpane. Crushing me, suffocating me and then darkness,. The rest became a shadow, a reaction of my skin.
All that was left were nightmares. I did not know where they had come from, my brain shut down and I retreated inward. That was how I was to stay, until I walked into that sunny office age 41 looking for something else.
The thing is, when I finally let that door open and everything wash out, I could see, I could see me at 6, I could feel met at 6. The thick sludge of disgust oozing out on to the floor, I could look at it, I could hate him, I could stop hating myself. You know what the hardest thing has been all my life? It has been the not knowing WHY I am the way I am. Why I am unemotional and unfeeling to any intimacy. I am not a nut job, or weird. I was created, created by someone who took away my control and my right to say NO.
After the days of aftermath pain, crying and anger had washed away, all that was left was relief, relief it was not my fault. Everyone looked at me when I was a child as if I were broken. Yes I was broken, but that was when I was enduring something I had hidden, Now it was there, in all its terrible reality, stretching its arms towards me, as I looked at it, acknowledged it and at age 41 I finally walked away.
The weight was gone. That guilt did not belong to me.
When I was 6, I was sexually assaulted, there I have said it through tears and relief that I have given it to the air. I have voiced its pain and am now old enough to say that I am ok and I am worthy and good and you can love me and I deserve it.
When he took me away in that dark room, he inadvertently gave me a strength, a resilience to push through hurt and pain. It became a part of life, I chased it, I stopped eating, I would punch my stomach, scratch me arms, I developed an anxiety that locked me in a fog of fear. I drank too much and would fall over, I dabbled with drugs. I was hiding and I was destructive. I met Kieron and he saved me, he taught me that I could be loved, that he loved me for all that I was, and he waited for me. I discovered running, I could release, I could chase the pain and create it, by running far, fast and long. The feeling of exhaustion fed my need to hurt in a healthier way. The world became less heavy, the sun shone again.
I have written this, as it is time, time to let people know, to allow people in, allow them to share their story and know I will not judge them, but love them ever more.
I used to recite this poems verse in my head when I was sad as a child. If I could not lie in the grass with the breeze in my hair, smelling the earthiness of the ground and watching clouds zip across the sky, I would recite Wordsworth to calm me.
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
I leave you with this – please don’t feel sorry for me ever, I do not need it, I am well and happy. Please just look to care for others. Please protect and fight for the quiet, lonely wanderers because we really need you to see us.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordsworth