The pain is so immense.
The guilt and shame are so debilitating.
The tears just don’t stop.
The memories just don’t stop coming.
The triggers are all over the place.
The world is so dark.
There’s so little sunshine.
It’s so scary.
Everything is scary.
The man at the gas station.
The guy sitting next to me on a plane.
The guy behind me on line at a store.
My world is just full of “threats”.
Everything is dangerous.
Everyone is a potential abuser.
Everything is a risk.
I came home from work today and just fell onto my bed balling my eyes out. Crying out in pain. I didn’t even know what I was crying about. I was just hurting. I was fighting tears all day at work and when I came home I just exploded.
My world was so dark today. My head was so heavy. So full of heaviness. I fought my way through the day. I needed to get home already. I needed to cry. My void in my chest was so deep. It’s just a big black hole that sucks everything inside.
Although it sucks everything in, it somehow never gets full. It’s as though there’s a hole at the bottom of this void that lets everything go.
All I’m left with is vast emptiness. An emptiness that’s so heavy that it takes all my strength to fight its paralyzing powers.
What will fill up this void? How many more hours and hours of therapy do I need to throw into the void in an attempt to fill it up? How many more thousands of dollars do I need to pour into this hole? I’ve cried so much, why can’t my tears fill up the hole?
Is this what life is supposed to be like? Is this what everyone else has? Is this the pain that you all suffer from every single day. Why can’t this all just go away so that we can focus on our “real” mission in life? Why can’t we just forget our past and move on? Why all the pain? Why all the tears? Why does childhood sexual and emotional abuse have lifelong effects? Why does it leave scars that are so, so deep?
Maybe, just maybe, this is my life’s mission. Maybe I was chosen to be given trials that no one else has and my life’s mission is to solely get through them. To live life despite all the pain. I can’t throw it all away and focus on my real mission because THIS is my real mission?
I had to live through a life of hell as a child and I need to live through the hell of trying to heal. Maybe one day when I heal and my pain becomes more manageable I’ll be able to help others along this hellish journey.
Dear Rabonim, this is the life of an abuse victim. This is the life of someone struggling with emotional illness. I didn’t make anything up. This was just a regular Sunday and was a day filled with my regular pain. Some days are easy, and some days are unbearable. Today was a rough day for me.
I plead with you, when someone comes to you with a story of abuse or emotional illness, please read this letter a few times and try to put yourself in “our” shoes a bit. Try to feel the pain plagues us every single day. When you tell us to look at all the good that we have and move on with our lives my response to you is as follows. Go ask any pilot when he started flying planes, he’ll tell you that from a very young age he was always intrigued with aviation. Ask a successful musician, they will tell you that they first started playing at age five or six. Ask a composer, they will tell you they made up their first song at age five. One’s childhood determines their entire adulthood life.
Our childhood wasn’t about music and wasn’t about aviation. It was about fear and panic. It was about confusion. It was about shame and self-denigration. It was about feeling different and feeling like the outcast. That was our childhood and therefore this is our adulthood. We can’t simply just move on. It’s part of our whole makeup. It’s part of our identity.
I ask you, come into my void for a day. Come join us in a support group. Come follow us into our painful therapy sessions. Follow us around for some time, try to feel our pain and then you can try to attempt to give an answer to that teenager or young adult who comes to you with an emotional crisis. Before you’ve done all the above, it’s not fair to give us your opinions. You’re dealing with life and death issues and you are not qualified unless you truly understand our dark world that we live in every single day.
Come live in our void for a day and I promise you’ll run out of it really quickly. It’s very, very dark and scary in there. You can run out of it but we can’t. It’s there to stay.
One day I will heal from it. I don’t know when that day will be. Until then I promise I’m trying my hardest to get there but it’s a really tough road. I know I will heal because I’m never going to give up until I get there. I know I can heal because if God gave me these challenges I know that He will help me get through them. But it’s a slow process that I’ve been working on for many years and will still work on it for years to come but I’m confident that I’ll get there.