I will be left off by my dearest family at the Fargo, North Dakota airport for my return flight to Arizona next Wednesday, September 26th at 5:30 in the morning. Many adventures still need to be lived through here before that moment arrives. One of these anticipated experiences for this coming weekend involves a second visit in a week’s time with a woman who was my closest friend from the year I left home at age 18 until a time 30 years ago when a ‘rupture’ appeared in this relationship that I did not understand back then and have never had any hope — until now — of repairing.
There will probably be much I will have to write eventually not only about these friendship patterns emerging now in my current life after lying dormant (I thought dead) all of these years. But I need to get home. I need to ‘repair’ my own self from the tiring aspects of this kind of travel. For the moment I wanted to mention (mostly to myself, as this kind of writing so adeptly allows for) the first new glimmerings of insight that are percolating their way nearly up to the surfaces of my various awarenesses.
I haven’t written for a long time about what it feels like as an infant-child abuse and trauma survivor when this kind of (I find myself at this moment walking around my daughter’s living room motioning with my hands through space as I search for the words I need) –
As I HAVE written of more recently on this blog, I had no solitary inner clue, no self-indication, no self awareness that I had even been abused as a child until I reached the age of 29.
This abuse awareness came to me in tiny snippets of pieces. It came gradually through time, over time — as I was pushed, pulled, swayed, influenced — out of the shadows of hiding my own reality from myself – and most certainly from others – as I began to detect my own words – and to express them – a process I will probably be actively engaged in for the rest of my life (I just turned 61).
Right now as I open doorways again after these 30 passing years into the value that my friendship with this woman I mention meant to me (a very great deal!) – and to how much I have missed her –
I had a flash, vaguely yet tantalizingly so, of tiny returning memories from our long-ago friendship – of my interaction with not only this woman but also with her older sister during ‘that’ era of my life.
I ‘do believe’ at this moment that it was to these 2 women that I first voiced any – ANY – mention of the horror of hell I had spent the first 18 years of my life in.
I vaguely understand at this moment that as I voiced words to these women about the first tiny aspect of my abuse history (I don’t exactly remember what I described) – what came back to me was a STOPPER — an absolute SHOW STOPPER – that many if not most severe early abuse survivors will recognize:
“Get over it!”
“Nobody has a perfect childhood.”
“Get over it!”
“Get on with your life!”
Of course I am paraphrasing a flitting fleet of memory here.
Did I stand up for MYSELF?
(I can barely barely barely stand up for myself – ever – even now – actually…..)
At those moments I found myself speaking to my friends something about the truth of the horror of my childhood experience – I was (as far as I can tell) speaking those words I spoke to THEM — for the first time — to my own self.
When their reaction came – I shut up. I could not carry any of my own energy forward to speak again EVER to these friends about what was real and true in such a HUGE and important way to me.
As it was that I first spoke my truth in words to THEM
So also did I first speak them to myself.
And as I was ‘shut down’ by them (if not in important ways ‘shot down’)
As my VOICE stopped speaking
I again returned to absolute silence inside of my own self as far as being able to voice my own truth to ME – the one who REALLY needed to hear them.
That little tiny voice.
That all but invisible whisper to the world about what 18 years of insane torture and abuse did to me – who could hear it?
It took YEARS for that door to open again!
I don’t blame those to whom I tried to first speak.
I don’t blame anyone for my own silence.
I am today just suspecting that this experience is extremely common for abuse survivors. These patterns ARE harmful. They allow the corrosive toxic destruction caused by ‘prior’ abuse to continue unchecked, unabated, unaddressed — for far, far too long.
For today – enough said.
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