Last week I had a very upsetting memory come back to me and I went for a bike ride that was much too long. And even though riding my bike too far is surely at the 'better' end of the range of self injury... I no longer want to be self injuring. I no longer want to be putting my energy into running from my own feelings or actively working to not know my own mind and thoughts.
I've spent most of my life hurting. First hurting from the abuse my parents put me through and then through self-torture as a way to try to cover up knowing about the abuse. I needed a way to explain all of the painful feelings that I had inside of me and so I created pain. I hurt myself a lot because I did not want to know why I hurt.
Now I keep having these urges to hurt myself but I keep stopping myself from doing that and allowing myself to know that the pain I am having now is really my body and mind trying to tell about old pain. I do not have to create more pain in order to describe the pain I already lived through. I do not have to torture myself in order to describe what it was like to be tortured. And I do not have to make myself feel crazy to know about what it was like to be made to feel crazy for so long.
School starts in 4 weeks. In order to be as present as possible and to do as well as I can, I've decided that I need to start practicing more not running from my feelings. The majority of the energy of my life has gone toward surviving pain and to creating more pain to cover the original pain. Now I am working to sit with myself and my feelings. I am drawing and listening to music. And I sometimes feel like I want to stick a knife in my arm because it hurts me so much to know that even when I was finally done being used and abused... I had to keep on abusing myself in order to not know about it. But now I can stop all of the self abuse and know the truth. It is very painful. It is painful to know how much I was hurt. It is painful to know I was hurt so much that I had to literally strip myself from my own mind, my own feelings and my own life in order to survive.
It is painful to me now the way the days go by; I am not hurting myself, I am happy here at my new apartment with my cats. I am safe now and happy. Happier than I have ever been and it makes me realize how much I have not been able to have my own happiness or really be very much in my own life until now.
I keep thinking of the Viktor Frankel quote: "I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and he answered me in the freedom of space." And I keep wanting to add onto it: Then I wept.
It is difficult to explain the incredible mix of feelings of pain and sadness and joy and relief I am having.
I never imagined I would ever be happy or feel safe. And now I am both. I am safe and happy and drawing and I know my own story. I know my own mind. I'm 33 years old and I've never really felt much of anything at all. Now I am feeling.