Have you ever had one of those weeks where you see yourself sliding down the hill of self-injury? You know those times when you can feel the slow burn turning into a forest fire but you’re not wearing shoes so you can’t stomp it out.
That is how I have been feeling lately.
It has been a steady stream of bad choices. They are easily dismissed when you excuse them with, “Oh, just this once.”
I have been a hard-drinking, food-binging, insomnia-riddled and over-committed fool of a woman for the past three weeks.
I didn’t even see the hole in the bag where I keep my crazy tucked safely away. It was like an air leak in a helium balloon. You don’t know why exactly but you can feel yourself losing altitude anyway.
I think I am scared.
No. I know I’m scared.
I can see fear poking his ugly head out behind all of my very best self-medicating behaviors.
I’ll have that cheesecake with three glasses of red wine, please. Wait. I didn’t order the fear.
Except, I did order the fear.
Like an appetizer special, I ordered the fear the moment I started asking questions.
I have seen my father through the eyes of people who had no idea what he was doing to me.
I have heard things like –
“He was such a good father.”
“He was they joy, child.”
“He made me feel safe.”
My father was loved. He was respected. He was feared.
My father had to work his ass off to keep the world from knowing that he was sexually abusing me and he did.
He made the choice to hide his crimes against me instead of living honestly and without guilt.
Abusing me was apparently worth the trouble.
That is scary.
Check out how this 6-year-old deals with fear.
It is scary to see my father through the lens he created for others. It’s even scarier to think that of all of the people who knew him, I was the only one cursed enough to travel through the rabbit hole we shared.
FML. Am I right?
There were other rabbit holes though and I am starting to travel through them.
My father’s military records should be on their way to me in the next few weeks. My mother should be delivering a box of family photos for me this weekend. I have to sit down and schedule my first research trip down to Anderson, South Carolina – where my father grew up. I’ve been dreaming and thinking of ways that I can help children who are working to survive our shared story.
Mostly, I have been working hard to avoid one question.
What if I am not strong enough to do any of it?
Followed by the equally useless doubt-filled questionnaire:
What if I think this will lead to some evolution of my spirit and all it will lead to is a nervous breakdown?
What if I am already crazy for even asking questions to begin with?
As of today, I am 7 days away from my birthday month.
I am giving myself 7 more days to be afraid. I am giving myself 168 hours to sit in the reality of what I am choosing to take on. I am accepting with deep breaths that this is some scary ish.
I am repeating to myself that I am not afraid of fear.
On May 1st, the first day of the month I was born in, I am going to move forward again.
I am going to shake out these paralyzed limbs and continue on.
Because sometimes fear is the greatest indicator that you are doing something right.
Like a boss.
Love to you all.