One of the scariest things you can do is write the truth. Sure you can write all day about nonchalant things; cooking, friendship, day-to-day events, ordinary life stuff, etc. It’s when you write about something real, like really down to your core real, that the shakes start to take over and you can feel the burning in your chest. It’s almost like you have a secret you are dying to share, but when you start to tell someone your whole body starts to vibrate and your tongue forgets how to form words.
I’m not afraid to write the truth; I’ll tell it to you face, but when the truth is something personal or something dark I tend to be afraid to shed light on it. Saying it out loud makes the truth real whereas when I ignore it, push it back to the edges of my mind I can forget and pretend it doesn’t exist. I can pretend he doesn’t exist.
Writing about the trauma feels like reliving it all over again; replaying the memories over and over to get the details together and right because you don’t want to be wrong or to tell it wrong – for there to be any way to negate what is being said. To have someone tell you your memories are wrong…well that’s like saying it didn’t happen. The memories of an eight year old little girl, while certainly not perfect, are by no means discredited.
What you can’t talk about owns you. I can talk about it, I can write about it, but I shake. I don’t shake from fear because he doesn’t scare me anymore. I shake because my muscles remember. They are involuntary. Counseling never stops them, talking about it over and over doesn’t stop them, remembering him doesn’t stop them, forgiving him doesn’t stop them. Am I holding on to the wrongs, the offenses? Maybe? Am I being a victim or an over-comer? I was a victim, but now I’m not. Victim doesn’t describe me, doesn’t own me, and it isn’t me. Maybe then, but not now.
Why am I bringing it up now? I think it might be time to shed light on it. I think it might be time to talk about him. Is it to help me? I don’t know. I really hope it helps you, if you’re trying to cope with trauma I mean. Despite the burning in my chest, despite the shake, I am going to remember to breath and that I am free.