I have spent so much time in my life avoiding horrible memories. My mind never seems to shut off and sometimes, when it goes back too far or too deep, I want to open my skull and just set my brain next to me to buzz and whir. I will just sit numb and empty for awhile. Just for awhile and then I will put it back because there’s good stuff in there too.
I can distract myself. I can drink wine to make my thinking slow. I can ignore the thoughts. I can pick a new thought to ponder instead. I can fill my calender to the edges. I can do all of these things for the rest of my life.
I am exhausted.
Last night, like a gazillion of other folks, I watched the Primetime interview of Jaycee Dugard with rapt attention. I watched her face change as she switched her focus from the now to the then. I understood how certain memories like sounds could be more haunting than the acts of violence itself. I remember small details that may seem so insignificant to you but will throw me into a tailspin on a bad day.
I completely agree with her. We need to talk openly and honestly because we do not carry their shame. We did nothing wrong and silence only feeds the enemy. It is a hard truth because the perpetrators will never suffer the exhaustion of one, single memory and how it can wipe a day away. They will feel their weak tinges of remorse for sins already acted upon. We will heal from them daily.
We, the survivors, are already stronger than the perpetrators just by virtue of being the last person standing. The walking wounded but still walking.
The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.” — Nikos Kazantzakis
I love this quote but I don’t know if it is true. My eyes still feel pretty dimmed when I look at all of the darkness. Not just my own but the world’s darkness.
Someone lovely posted on Facebook a question that I have been chewing on for months. Essentially, the question was “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I didn’t respond on the page but in my heart….
….because none of us are exempt. Whether you believe in nothing or everything, pain will find you. No one’s life is charmed. No good deeds or acts of kindness will save you from life. I have my story. Jaycee has hers. You have your story and so on. In the end, we will all have times we will wish we didn’t have to endure. We will all have a memory or a million that we would rather not sit in.
Some of us will have the courage to not only sit in those memories but take notes. We will take notes and fully recognize how those memories have affected us and the one’s we love. Some of us will even have the strength to help a few others do the same thing. We will step inside those little houses of horror and hold a friend’s hand while they take their own notes.
I know that these posts about sexual abuse are probably not the funnest for any of you to read. It may not be for you. They are for me and for the silent readers who know all to well the memories I am writing about. They are for those who are just beginning to take notes. They are for the readers who run from memories and are exhausted.
I know how you feel.