If I told you the truth, would you turn away? Would you stare at me in wonder, in horror, take me to the hospitol? Do they have a hospitol for things like this?
If I told you the truth, would you think it was me? That I must have had something to do with it, for it to hurt so bad? That I might have participated somehow? Must have brought something to the table? The world is full of victims who do just that, like it’s a lifestyle choice. There’s something in it for some of them, something to gain, though I can’t tell you what it is. I never wanted to be one of them, or drag that cross around. I wanted to be someone who made choices. Always choices.
Yes, I did do something; I did bring something to the table, did make a choice. I’ll try to tell you what it was, even if I can’t tell you everything. I’ll be honest in the ways I can be, while I may be guarding myself now. What I did is easy enough to tell, easy enough to admit, though I’d rather not. To you, I’ll tell it.
I was honest. I bared my soul. I did not keep secrets. I exposed my soft underbelly. I left the windows to my soul open wide and did not apply make up to my scars.
I didn’t call my fears another name, but said “Here. Here are the soft spots, please never put pressure here for they hurt.” I was fearless, in my fears. I was brutal in their exposure, for no one can say they did not know, did not see them. I showed them, took a picture to be sure.
I was there for the viewing, patient, lest it frightened or was something never before seen, like seeing the melted skin of a burn survivor for the very first time. I took the time to explain.
It’s not everyone who needs that much information. Most people have no need. You didn’t. But now things have changed, and everything’s inflamed, infected, and scraped raw, and I know you don’t understand why.
I never really concealed these marks on me, on my soul. I never wore them like a crown either, or like a badge of honor. I don’t deny they are a part of me, but there is more to me than just what I have survived. You see the more in me, you see who I hope to become, who I am today, not just the wounds and the pictures of who I once was. You, maybe more than most, know I do not want that, for myself, for anyone I love. You know I do not want to BE that. I am not what someone else has done to me; not even as a survivor of that. I am the me you know, a whole person apart from another’s actions.
But here I am, and it’s a dark place where I have no voice. I can’t find the me you know, even while I know you still see me. I can’t hear my own truth, can’t see my own face, without a scream choking mute in my throat, a ghost from a life gone to me.
I know you’ll let me take my time. I know you don’t have to know everything; the fight I’m in will take time and isn’t the kind of thing that needs pushing. I haven’t lost myself, I’m only misplaced. I’m just a little too far into the weeds, but it’s not the first time. I’ll start walking again, soon. Won’t I?
I know I made myself a target. I didn’t mean to, only meant to be honest. I framed it up so nicely, neatly, said “hurt me HERE.” I didn’t need to point out the ways to my breakdown in such a handy way. The shame of that will take me a while to mend, because I know the truth of it. The truth of it is I did it for fear that my scars would hurt another I thought to protect, and for the need to feel safe, finally.
I know I am not her, the girl that was hurt, the one with the scream in her throat and the ghost in the mirror; she’s a part of me but she’s ok now. I don’t have to protect her anymore. She’s been safe for a long time and I will always have her safe in my arms. I can let go of her hurt and rage and shame. She doesn’t have to suffer anymore and either do I.
I will never let HER go, to be alone and lost; she is mine. But I will let go fighting for her to not be hurt one more time; she cannot be hurt again. She is safe now.
Still, here I am, in the dark place where I have no voice. I can’t find the me you know, even while I know you still see me.
I know you’ll let me take my time. I haven’t lost myself, I’m only a little misplaced. I’ll start walking again, soon.