Three Months Later

My instinct is to apologize for having been away from my blog for so long, but with the things that I’ve been trying to handle, I think you all would understand.

First I got pneumonia — I think it was the fifth time I’ve had it in my life.  As a kid, I had a lot of respiratory problems and was at the doctor practically every week.  It isn’t any more fun now than it was back then.  At least back then I got coloring books and chocolate Frostys (or is it “frosties”? not sure how to pluralize “Frosty”).  Sometimes being an adult really sucks.

Then … I don’t want to talk about this a lot or go into details, so I’m going to bare bones it: I was raped.  I’ve been trying to just forget it, move on, push forward; whatever phrase you want to use.  I completely withdrew and have been spending a lot of time in bed cuddling with Sam and Lucy and my stuffed animals.  Mom let me get an alarm system so I’m feeling a little bit safer, but the PTSD is strong right now; a lot stronger than I or my coping mechanisms are.  But I’m trying my hardest to recover and that’s all I want to say about that.

I did take a few photos the other day, so I’m hoping to get those up and get back to posting regularly.  I do apologize for not being there for all of you.  I hope you can forgive me.

As long as I’m breathing, there’s hope.  Right?

♥ ♥

Alone

She sits on the couch in complete darkness, hugging a worn pillow so tightly her fingers go numb.  The silence is sharp and she imagines she can actually hear the tears as they escape despite her best effort.  She flinches at the wetness and vows to imprison her emotions more tightly; even as she feels the pressure building in her chest, even as breathing becomes more difficult because of the force of her feelings.  She knows it’s a lost cause.

She’s been misunderstood most of her life.  They assume that she doesn’t feel anything because she’s so shut down, when really she shuts down because she feels too much, way too much, and she’s learned the hard way that showing emotion is the quickest way to be preyed on and picked clean of any sense of self.

So she sits alone in cold darkness and soothes herself with worn pillows and promises that tomorrow will be better, oh yes it will, and that it’s safe to allow this moment of grief for what was — and what will never be.  Some things can’t be fixed, no matter how hard she begs, bargains or wishes for things to be different.  She can’t glue herself back together when chunks of her innocence were eaten by soul cannibals who only wanted to make her bleed.

Yes, it’s better to be alone, she whispers to herself.  And resolutely ignores the fact that she aches for it to be otherwise.

I’m Sorry

“I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark.”

– Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

This is what I should say to the little girl inside me who was so hurt and scared for continuing the abuse myself long after my abusers stopped.  Because despite the damage they did, my war with myself has been much more lethal than anything they could ever have said or done to me.  I set out to systematically destroy and sabotage and I’ve done a damn good job of it.  But I’ve been thinking lately that maybe it’s time the punishment finally stopped.  Maybe I’ve done enough penance for … I don’t know what, actually.  I’ve made mistakes, I’ve hurt people, and I know that.  But in my core I’m a decent person and I deserve a shot at happiness.

That’s what I’m telling myself today, in this moment anyway.

“I’m sorry I left you so long in the dark.”

And I am.  I am so, so sorry.  I’m sorry that I believed the lies they leveled at you over what I knew to be true; I took their poison and let it run through my veins.  I’m sorry for the scars and the scathing words.  I’m sorry I hurt you by binging and purging and hiding from the light.  I did the best I could at the time, but that rings so hollow now.

I love you, little girl.  And from now on, I want to protect you and nurture you in a way I never have before.  It’s time to heal.

healbrokenheart

So Emotional

My mother when I was 12; with her tears and expectations and confusion about why I couldn’t be a normal child:  “You’re such a drama queen.”

My grandfather when I was 12; with his groping hands, whiskey breath and hellish intentions:  “Calm down, I’m not hurting you.”

My uncle when I was 12; with his disbelief about what his father did to me:  “He didn’t do anything to you.  But if he did, it’s not his fault.  He was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing.  Why didn’t you stop him?  And no one’s going to want you if you keep acting like this.”

My father when I was 12:   Silence.  oh yeah, he didn’t say anything because he wasn’t there.

Yes, I’m emotional.  And all of you played a big role in the reason why I am.  So fucking deal with it.

There. I feel better.
Less emotional.

Emotions

This collage was made by me after one of my therapy sessions. It’s crude, but I still love it, because I was able to express many emotions I couldn’t (and in some ways still can’t) speak. It’s about my struggle with an eating disorder, and self-harm, and the traumatic aftermath of being sexually abused.

I hope it says something to you, and if it does, please feel free to comment. Even if you don’t, thank you for looking and sharing a vulnerable moment with me.

xo
Lauren

(the middle section is actually a photomanipulation I did, if you wish to see the original, it’s here: The Perfect Stomach)

collage_lauren