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A survivor Writes To Her Therapist Over and over you ask me what I’m feeling. I want to scream in frustration, “I don’t know!” I don’t know how to describe what’s going on inside. There is turbulence, my stomach rolls, everything shakes. My head is full of things that I want to say, but I can’t seem to get my mouth […]

A survivor Writes To Her Therapist

Over and over you ask me what I’m feeling. I want to scream in frustration, “I don’t know!” I don’t know how to describe what’s going on inside. There is turbulence, my stomach rolls, everything shakes. My head is full of things that I want to say, but I can’t seem to get my mouth to cooperate. Images play like a movie in my mind. I can see it all but I can’t describe it. It feels like chaos. It feels like I’m out of control. It feels like if I don’t hold on to myself I might just shatter into millions of little fragments. There is pain and confusion. I feel hands on me, moving and pinching, burning and scratching. Is there even a word to describe all of that? What do you want me to say?

I look at you and you’re waiting for me to say something, but I don’t always know what. The times when I do know what you’re waiting for can be even tougher. I know exactly what you want to hear. I don’t always want to say it. Sometimes I just can’t say it. But you’re hard to say no to. I search my brain for the words to describe what’s happening. I try to guess the words you want me to say. You keep saying it will help to say them, to get them out. Something inside me is screaming “No! Don’t say it! Keep it in. keep it close! Don’t tell. Don’t ever tell.”

You say words for me and they are like knives piercing through me. You describe it, and I feel it. And it sounds worse coming from you because I know it’s my fault that those words are coming from your mouth. They are gross and disgusting. They are painful and dirty. And you only know this story because I have told it to you. I feel guilty for not being able to say it myself. I can’t look at you, I am ashamed and embarrassed. I hate that this is my story, I hate that I have to tell it. I hate that you know it.

I realize that there is no going back now. I know we have opened the box and it is impossible to seal it back it up. I know the only way past it is to go through it. But I’m being ripped apart from the inside out. I blocked everything for so long that I never learned what real pain can feel like. Now I know. There are days I think I just won’t survive it. There are moments that are so hard. Times when I can’t breathe because the pain is so real and so strong. There are times when I think I do not have the strength required to take the next step.

All of my life I felt invisible. Nobody saw me, nobody heard me. It was easy to hide. Nobody was looking for me anyway. And now? You have pushed me out in to the world. I’m doing things that I was always too scared to even wish for before. I laugh real laughs sometimes. People see me. People listen and notice me. I know that this life is better. I know there is more to come. But I’m scared that I’m on a tightrope and at any moment I can come crashing down. I’m living this life and walking the walk, but there is no safety net under me. If I fall there is nobody to catch me. It’s all on me.

I was lonely before. I was always on the outside looking in, wanting so badly to be a part of things but knowing it was impossible. Now, I’m not really lonely, but I am still alone. At the end of the day, there is only me. I have never liked me very much. There has never been anything to like. Eventually I have to get to know myself. I have to figure out who I am. If I can’t like myself then I can never expect anyone else to like me.

You can’t fix me and you can’t save me. I am the only one who can do that. That’s not what I started out to do. This journey is not the trip I signed up for. It’s hard and it’s turbulent. I’m only hoping the final destination is worth it.

Posted in media, op-eds, survivors-letters.


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