I’ve started writing again.
More importantly, I’ve started to like writing again. It’s not so much pulling teeth anymore as it is finally hearing the song my soul is singing.
There is a swirling storm of anxiety in my stomach as I write these words to you today. I’m terrified to share this, but I know that it’s time. A force greater than myself is what is fueling my fingers as they sweep across the keyboard. It is time for me to allow my truth to sing out. It is time for me to say the words.
Actually, I don’t think I’ve said these words even a handful of times.
I was hit.
I was hurt.
That relationship was quick, hot, heavy and painful. When it all began, I was, for the most part, still a child.
I grew up in an unconventional family. Just think of us as gypsies. We moved a lot. In fact, I’ve yet to live in one place for more than four years. There were always people around. We just seemed to attract the crazies. I was never hurt by any of them, my family always made sure I was safe, but I saw people hurt my family. Worse, I grew up watching my family hurt themselves.
I am close with someone who has suffered with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) my entire life. We moved because they were running from their pain. They hid in unhealthy relationships because they were throwing themselves into saving someone else, because they were hiding from their own problems. They weren’t ready to heal themselves, so they thought helping someone else was the next best thing.
It didn’t work out that way and I grew up seeing my family as superheroes whose powers were a secret, even to them.
It took a lot for them to come face to face with their fears, but they did it.
It took many tears and the exchange of hard truths.
Sadly, the damage had already been done, and before I knew it, I found myself walking the same path as everyone I had grown up around, running from my past, and hiding from my pain. I entered a relationship, desperate for love.
We both fell pretty hard, very quickly. He told me he loved me within a month of us dating. I didn’t say it back right away, because even though all I wanted was love, I didn’t really know what love was. I didn’t know if he could really love me after only a short period of time, but him saying the words did something to me. I was putty in his hands after that.
I lost myself in my desire to keep him and his love.
Consciously or not, he began to see me as something to control because he had such little power over so many other areas of his life.
We fought constantly. He yelled and I would cry.
He pressured me for sex and made me feel overwhelmingly guilty if I didn’t want it. I’d cave. I’d give it to him. I would have given him anything, just to keep him.
So many people have it so much worse than I did. So many people are still trapped in the abuse. If that is you, I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to blame yourself. I could literally list the reasons why it was all my fault, because deep down I truly wanted to help him, to save him. I know what it’s like to cry myself to sleep and then suddenly stop crying because my body has stopped talking to me, because I’ve stopped listening to it.
I wish him well. I can finally say that now. I hope he gets the help he needs. I forgive the people around me for not seeing what was really going on. Everyone is dealing with something and it was wrong of me to expect someone else to step in and fix everything.
It turned into this seemingly endless cycle of yelling, breaking up, and me begging for forgiveness when I now clearly see that I wasn’t in the wrong. I clung to him. My self-esteem was shattered at that point and I had been deluded to think that without him, I’d never find love again. I started to believe that I didn’t deserve love, that I wasn’t worthy of it.
By this point, I was barely eating. I slept whenever I wasn’t working or in class, but never felt rested. I had completely lost my way.
I cried a lot.
I spent a lot of time in bed, curled up in a ball, feeling numb and empty. Yet, I made the Dean’s list, worked a part-time job and picked up running as a hobby. Though, thinking back, I see that my run every night was me literally running away from my mirror.
But, I left.
I left him.
That made me cry even more and it took me more months to heal from it than the number of months we were together.
I know what it’s like to lose a part of yourself when someone hits you.
I spent years now debating with myself over whether or not the relationship I was in was actually abuse. I spent years standing on a cliff, somehow managing to blame myself for everything that had happened. If I had been stronger…if I would have stood up for myself and voiced what was going on, I’d have been able to stop everything. More, I’d have been able to help him. I’d have saved him.
But, that’s just not true.
Even if it was, there is no point in thinking that way. What’s done is done and the only way to go is forward.
I’m not saying he was a lost cause. I do firmly believe that people can change, but I also know that you can’t help someone get out of a cave if you don’t know how to get out of it yourself.
Sometimes you need to be your own hero.
We all have our own story, our own wounds to heal, our own selves to forgive.
As a child, I blamed myself for my family’s running, but it honestly had nothing to do with me.
The guy I was with had his own problems and it wasn’t my place to heal them.
The path we are on is Divine. It is a path back to the love that we were born from.
It may not always feel like it and we may not always see it, but we are a Divine light in this world. We are a truly beautiful force of good. And that goodness starts from within. That love blossoms from within our own heart and soul. Only when we feel it for ourselves can we share it with others.
You can never lose that love and light within you, but it can be hidden from you by walls that we build around ourselves.
That was what happened to me.
I have been awake for hours. A desperate need to escape a nightmare was what had me up before the sun, giving myself permission to not just think about my past, but bring events into the light of my present day and forgive many people through a beautiful and tearful meditation practice.
Forgiveness is such an amazing tool, but one that is so easily misunderstood. When we forgive, we are not making right of what we’re forgiving. It wasn’t okay, what happened.
But, when we forgive, we are taking our power back. Those who hurt us no longer have power over us. We are free.
For anyone else who has experienced abuse, pain, shame, or guilt, you are truly a hero. You are an amazing light.
I once heard that the crack that this kind of pain creates in your heart is what lets the light in.
You are not abandoned. You have been found. Know that as you are reading this, I am opening my arms to wrap you in a warm embrace, to hold you in this moment and to remind you that you are never alone. You are my tribe, my sister, my brother, a true Divine Goddess/God of love and light. You were led to read this article. Called to read my words. You are destined to heal, fated to live an amazing life. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for joining me on this journey. Thank you for hearing my story. Thank you for allowing me the space to speak my truth.
I see you. I understand. I know. I love you.
The pain is not forever. I swear, you have a true light of Divine energy and you have the power to take your life back into your own hands. And you don’t have to do it alone.
You are glorious. Namaste.
Author: Stacy Porter
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own