Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Elephant"

It's been a few days since my last post.  I have been going around and around as to how to address the "elephant in the room".  I began this Blog describing my darkest secret---the cutting.  Yet, to be fair that is not the big secret, cutting is just a solution, the aftermath, if you will.  I have never talked publicly about this.  My husband, my therapist and my God, are the only ones who know the details, the real pain... the truth.  I have been making myself sick thinking about how I am going to say it, what should I say, what not to say.  Physically, I have felt as if all energy is draining out of me.  The silence is terrifying, but the "noise" is worse.  I have no where to run and no where to hide.  For years, I have allowed the pain, the tears and the memories to erupt, to process and silently pass.  This is about healing.   So, there is only one thing left to do.... write.  Breathe.

I pick up the rocks one by one in front of me.  I am kneeling on the driveway examining my treasures.  It is a favorite pastime, this discovery of each and every mark and crevice in the cold, hard stone.  I imagine where each pebble originated, one coming from the boulders in the pasture behind our home, one brought from some far away place on one of our recent travels and one born of this spot, from the earth, part of the earth, here millions of years.  As I am lost in thought, he comes up behind me and sits on the ground leaning back against the house.  I hear him chuckle and I turn and smile.  He is my friend.  My parents are inside talking to his brother, who is their spiritual advisor of sorts and they spend many hours together discussing things that I don't quite understand.  Yet, I sense the importance of these meetings and know that I am to stay away.  As the years pass, I will find that these sessions were tape recorded and would lead to a spiritual knowledge that would be the foundation of my mother's own writings.  In the meantime, at around age 4 or 5, I am to just stay out of the way and he is there to watch me, keep me company, keep me out of trouble.  I like him.  My parents say he is "slow", that there is something wrong with his mind that makes him more like a child than an adult.  This makes me like him more.  We seem to have a lot in common.  We like to go on walks, we like to play with pebbles, leaves, sticks and we both have a vivid imagination.  We make up games to play.  He makes up one that I have never heard of.  This one requires that I tell no one... it was our secret.  Because if I tell, they will take him away.  I don't want  him to go away and I don't want my parents to be mad.  If he goes away, then his brother goes away and then they don't have these important meetings and all that I know is I won't be the one to end it.  I will not tell.  Besides, I really like him.

I don't remember exactly when the games became more than playing grocery store or teacher.  In fact, my memories are sporadic at best.  Sometimes one will be triggered by a smell or a sound.  Sometimes they come to me in dreams that rocket me awake dripping in a cold sweat.  They have come out during hypnosis but I have refused to ever listen to what I've said.  I don't really want to know.  I know enough.  I know that over the course of about 5 years, from around age 5 to somewhere around my 10th birthday my "friend" sexually abused me.  It began as simple touching and ended with rape.  I could not tell you where one began and the other started.  What I do know is that somewhere in the dirt in small town, USA, my innocence was taken, and along with it so were the pieces of my soul.

There are many reasons why children who are sexually abused don't tell anyone.  In the seventies, it most likely had a lot to do with the fact that we just didn't talk about those things.  It wasn't on TV.  It wasn't in the news or on the radio.  Along with that, it could be fear, there is some kind of threat, or just plain shame.  In my case, I just really didn't want to hurt anyone.  With everything else that was going on in our lives and the amount of stress every adult that I knew seemed to be under, I didn't want to be the one to set some other emotional tailspin into motion.  My childhood was spent on a slippery slope and I was desperately just hanging on, along for the ride.  Causing any more waves than I already felt I had, was not something I would do willingly.  My silence was my power.  It was the one thing that I alone could control.  It was the one thing that I could control.  So, I coveted my little secret... for as long as I could.  Eventually, I would tell and there are different versions out there as to what in fact happened.  But whatever happened isn't the worst or the best of what I remember.  What I remember is how the shame began to breathe its life into me, becoming an emotional and hollow pain that had no bottom.  Between my emotions and my hormones, my subtle control of my silence was being threatened and it was not long before a tiny, sharp blade became my drug.  At around 10 years old, I learned that there were other ways to drown any emotional trauma.  It's a funny thing about blood.  When it's inside of you, it gives you your life, so when it comes out... whatever life it held inside of you has to die, right?

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