Where to go...

Monday, September 22, 2014

On Pain

I do pain pretty well.

That is to say, I can write about pain very succinctly and very easily. And I used to think that that was weird. Or that I was weird. Or that I needed a psychiatrist.

As it turns out, all of those things are true... but the words are my therapy. The bad memories are sharp and when they're at their darkest, they can be unbearable. But then I sit and type and breathe and think and before I'm done, I'm lighter. The room is lighter and I'm lighter and the weight that can anchor my heart has been pulled up and in.

The hard stuff is the stuff that matters. That's what my friends keep telling me. And I know they're telling me the truth because that's what they do. So I sit and let the wounds have their time with words. And it's a sacred healing to have them laid out in that way.

That's why I do write about pain. I'm far enough away from it to look at it objectively. And I know that timing is terribly beautiful.

That's why I can write about pain.

It's yours and mine and universal. I say what you say. Sometimes out loud and sometimes internally, but always written out. And that's when I know I'm not so weird.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

As long as we're talking about it...

There's a lot in the news right now about domestic violence. I'm not going to comment on the details, but it's safe to say that what is being brought to light is all too common.

I'm not going to spout statistics.

I'm not going to talk about the perpetrators.

But I am going to talk about what I know.

This is an uncomfortable post to write. Not because I am uncomfortable to write it, but because I know you'll be uncomfortable to read it. But it may offer a glimpse into why.

All the why's you are asking have an unfortunate answer.

I stayed, at 21, because I was alone. And terrified. I was isolated from my family and all of my friends. And I know you want to know - because they always want to know - how does one become isolated?


One by one, my ties to the world outside of my apartment were checked off of a list. And I was slowly and all-at-once alone. Tethered to my tiny, 700 square foot world. I talked to no one. Isolation and shame work that way. They are constant reminders that you aren't doing right by yourself. I was incredibly ashamed of what I had allowed to happen, and what I had become.

And the days ran together. The fear ran together. The threats of death became monotonous.

Isn't that scary? When even the threat of your life being thrown off of a cliff, careening down a ravine in a car, becomes old news?

Isn't it terrible that the name calling becomes so routine, that the words don't matter anymore?

The control was all I knew. What to wear. How to do my hair. How to do my makeup. Where to walk. Where to look.

I stayed like this, terror-filled and numb all the same, for over a year.

And then the fear of being killed took second priority over survival. It was the last battle. I had my arm slammed in a door, and my wrist twisted up and inside, behind my back... and even in all the blinding pain, and fear that my shoulder would tear out of the socket, I knew I had to fight for myself. More immediately, that I had to get to the phone before he ripped it out of the wall. And that's how I fought my way out. Scraping and scrambling, hair being torn out and forcing myself back up from being body-slammed, all guts and raging life to get. to. the. phone.

And I did.

So that's why.

It's never easy. And there is always more to every story.