Aftermath

hiding kittyThe following are not my words, but they struck deep into my soul. After escaping the prison of abuse, anxiety and fear may govern the survivor’s life for a while. This plea for understanding exemplifies these overwhelming feelings. The simple fact that we feel we need to explain ourselves is evidence of the trauma we have experienced. We should know that the people who love and care about us do so unconditionally; but unfortunately that is a concept we’ve never been able to grasp.

I feel like I need to explain something to my friends. So listen: I love you all and I want to hang out with all of you. But on top of my kid schedule, my work schedule, my finances, and I’m trying to get back into school right now, I have my dumb mental health to deal with. Understand that most of my life, out of circumstance or not being allowed out, I have not ever had very close friends that I see in person very often. It’s a thing I have never ever experienced. So I love people, I love having friends, but sometimes they really really scare me and I run away. I’m like a skittish cat. I want to be pet, I want to connect with you, but it can take a while to coax me out from under the bed. And sometimes I can come out and then I need to run back under the bed again. You can lay there and stick your hand under the bed and talk to me, but who knows when I’ll come out again. I’m unreliable. And I hate that about myself. And eventually you just have to walk away from the coaxing, and I’m so sorry and I understand. And sometimes trying to coax me out makes me go deeper under the bed, away from you. And sometimes I come out. It’s impossible, I know. Talking to me through text helps me though, and eventually, sometimes I can make it out. It’s just going to take me a long time. Sometimes I’ll only see you twice a year when I really want to see you more often. And I’m so sorry. But I do love you, I’m still here under the bed, trying to figure out how to get out of here and be the kind of cat that loves all the guests and greets them and sits on all the laps and purrs. But I’m just not that kind of cat yet, and I’m so sorry that it’s so disappointing. That’s all. Hang in there for me, or don’t. Just know it isn’t you.

14 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. I can’t even begin to imagine what living with that kind of abuse is like. Nonetheless, there are parts of her writing with which I can identify. In person I’m pretty much an introvert until I get to know people, and sometimes that takes awhile. Knowing how much more difficult it must have been for her really gives me pause for thought. She made herself quite vulnerable by putting her thoughts down like that. I think she must be a very brave woman…

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  2. That should say… *a second at a time.

    And Sheri, I love you! I just feel so deeply for anyone who has dealt with mental illness, and the stigma associated with it. I just want them to know that they will make it through, even if that is hard for them to believe. It’s so hard to believe it when you’re in the midst of it. So I’ll keep saying it. To anyone that needs to hear it. ❤

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  3. To the person that wrote those words. It is ok to heal at your own pace. I know (man do I know) how you feel like you need to apologize for these things, but no apology is necessary. Trauma, mental illness, physical illness/injury….they all take time to heal from. And there is no “right” amount of time. Especially with mental illness. A cut or scratch will heal in a certain, expected, amount of time. Mental trauma and illness doesn’t have that luxury. Every situation, every wound, is different for each person. So take it a day at a time, a second a time…Know that it’s ok to feel the way you feel at any given moment. It’s all part of the healing process. Know that the people who truly love you don’t expect apologies, or need them. And they will love you whether you see them rarely or often. Just keep working on yourself and healing in your own time. You are stronger than you know.

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