I hadn’t seen one of my abusers in over 20 years. All of that changed this weekend. While browsing on social media I came across his picture. It’s strange how something as innocuous as a picture can conjure up such extreme emotions.
I was paralyzed. Momentarily. Stuck. Frozen on my couch (where’s Elsa when you need her? ). Someone had to tell me to let it go, but there was no one around. That left me. So what do you do? Do you keep walking by or scrolling down as if nothing happened? As if no one just shook the very earth you were standing on? Well, the first thing I did was start remembering those things that were abhorrent to me. Those times that I was touched against my will and in my innocence.
It would seem like all I needed to do was to go to another page – literally and figuratively. So why couldn’t I? Maybe sometimes you just need to stare down the demons instead of running from them. Then again, maybe it’s just too much to try to move when you can’t quite figure out if you’re still in your body.
How is it possible for a simple image – a glance of someone on the street, the crossing of one’s path in a store, how is it possible that any one individual could have that much influence on you and you haven’t seen them in TWENTY YEARS???
It was as if I was a ten year old girl again. I could almost feel the jump rope in my hands and feel the barrettes in my multitude of ponytails brush against my neck. How did he get back in my room? But wait, he isn’t really here, is he? Had he ever even left?
One thing that was cemented in that moment was the fact that being abused is a life long process. Even when you are at peace and consider yourself ‘healed’, one simple glimpse of an abuser can make you shake and quiver with memories that you’d sworn you’d forgotten even though you may not have forgiven.
Sometimes it’s not even ‘the’ abuser, but someone who reminds you of him/her that has the capacity to rock your world. But in this instance it was him. As sure as my bottom was on the couch – and I could feel it ( I mean I had to do 5-4-3-2-1 to keep it together), it was him. Right there in living color.
Well, after the shock of it all and after taking a high heeled stroll down a cobblestoned memory lane it was clear. I am well on the road to healing. I am going to make it through this. The memories, the scars, all of it no longer has the hold on me that it once had!
I, my dear, am soon to be FREE!
Free from the shame.
Free from the blame.
Free to proclaim — I AM MORE THAN WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!