Journal,  Memoir

After All This Time

I get impatient with myself. I’ve had over 30 years to put myself back together again, yet here I am still finding pieces.

As far as I’ve come, the journey seems endless. I’ll be breathing normally again, accepting love again, feeling strong again, and in one moment I’m back there in that old white house, a scared little kid wishing her father would stop screaming, stop hitting, stop threatening, stop hurting, stop touching me there.

I must not be worth much, I tell myself. Right? Girls who are worth the space they take up don’t get treated like that. For someone to treat me like that at 3 years old, at 5 years old, I must be defective right? There must be something fundamentally wrong with me. I’m not worthy of love, of being treated with kindness. I turn the darkness into a joke.

And I know. I know these things aren’t true with my head, but my heart still believes it deep down. I’ve made a life out of saying it out loud hoping to take away its power over me. I’ve spent dreamless nights and waking nightmares carrying it all, this cathedral of blistered memories in a tattered box, because it’s too heavy to ask someone else to carry.

I live surrounded with people who care about me but I keep wondering when they’ll realize their mistake. I avoid talking about what happened because I don’t like the looks people get on their faces. I don’t want to taint the present with the past. It feels like I’m always hiding a side of me. Like I’m playing the part of the happy ending, lonely and hoping nobody notices I’m wrong for the role.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. My life is better than I ever thought it could be. And yet still, after all this time, I struggle to feel like I’m fully part of it.

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