Don’t. Want. To.

I don’t want to I don’t want to I don’t want to.

I just had to get that out of the way.

I don’t want to face my past.  I don’t want to remember anything else from my forgotten years.  I don’t want to discover to what extent I was molested.  I just don’t.

I don’t want to know whether the memory of strong hands pinning my wrists to the bed as I scream and cry is real.  I don’t want to know what happens next, so I froze that memory with him on top of me telling me not to cry.

Don’t cry.  Don’t move.  Don’t make a sound.  Lie still.  Give up.  Give in.  Put up.  Put out.  Put it in.  Put it away.

Flashback:  Seven years old.  White flannel nightgown.  Sitting on my bed.  He’s sitting next to me.  His hand is on my waist, just below my chest.  He is pressing a kiss on my cheek.  I am looking straight ahead, and my eyes are empty.

Not a very scary picture in and of itself, but it bothers me more than the others, somehow, because of the gross mimicry of tenderness it displays.  And, because his hand is slowly moving upwards.

I am not that strong.  Why does everyone insist that I am?  I am vulnerable under the slaughter of the flashbacks and the memories.  I want to run as fast as I can, as far as I can.  I want to flee from my demons who are relentless as they gnaw at my ankles.  I want to isolate myself so the ugliness inside doesn’t affect anyone I love.  I believe the memories are toxic, and they are seeping through my pores.

I am so sorry to everyone who believes in me because I feel as if I’m letting you down, as well as myself.

I am tired and scared and hurting, and I just want to push it all away.  I don’t want to remember the feel of his tongue in my mouth.  I don’t want to remember–anything.

Instead, I want to retreat.  I want to erect my defenses again and cower behind them.  I want to roll up my soul and tuck it away in that corner of my mind.  I want to hurt myself physically so I don’t have to deal with the emotional pain.  I want to crawl into my bed and never get out of it again.

The thing is, I have no choice, not really.  I cannot go back to who I was because it will kill me.  Or rather, I would rather be dead than be that person again.  Yet, I am terrified to continue down this dark, treacherous path.  There is no light to guide me, and while I am comfortable in the dark, I have a feeling that there are many obstacles lying in wait for me.

I am grieving.

I am stripped to the bone, and I am defenseless.  It’s too much.  It’s too fast.  It’s too goddamn overwhelming.

I have too much damage to heal overnight.  I can comprehend that I could conceivably be better after–I just can’t envision when or where or what that after is.

I have said before that my favorite tarot card is The Tower.  I have always resonated with the idea of complete destruction of the old in order for something new to arise (yes, like the phoenix from the ashes).  It’s great in theory, but it’s fucking terrifying in reality.  Everything I once thought I knew is false.  All my carefully-constructed beliefs, perceptions, and even parts of my life are baseless.   They have vanished, and I have very little yet with which to replace them.  Everything is falling apart, and I don’t know how to fix it.

It was easier when I was switching from Qwerty to Dvorak (completely forgetting the former before mastering the latter) because that wasn’t a matter of life and death.  Sure, it was frustrating to type at half the speed I once had, but I knew, once I committed myself to learning the new system, that I would be better off in the end because the new system just felt right.

Learning how to live is not so easy.  Some of my old beliefs melted away rather easily, but many of them are hanging on with vicious tenacity.  I can feel their tenterhooks digging into my skin, latching on so tightly, I can’t breathe.

I don’t want to remember Marty telling me that we would get married and have babies and how utterly devastated I felt at that moment.  It didn’t matter that I had to return to the US; at that moment, I completely believed that I would be his possession for all eternity.

I don’t want to remember him writing to me months later saying that he was coming to America to visit me and how I flew into a hysterical panic.  I had to leave the country.  I had to run.  I had to hide.  My ex was visiting me (I was in my last semester of college at that point), and he told me he wouldn’t let Marty get me, no matter what.  It took him repeating this several times before I calmed down slightly.

I don’t want to remember that it was after Thailand when I started sleeping with the blankets pulled up to my nose and a pillow over my head.  I was never a good sleeper, but that was when I started to have serious problems.  I had trouble falling asleep, and I awoke several times a night.  I had terrible nightmares, and sometimes I would wake up screaming.

It was around that same time that I had to always have an exit strategy whenever I went anywhere.  At a restaurant, I had to face the door.  I had to be on the outside.  Same in a movie theater (when I went).  I had to be on the aisle, and I could never really lose myself in the movie because I was constantly monitoring what was going on around me.

I became more reclusive because it was simply too hard for me to go out and deal with crowds.  I hated being touched without my permission.  I took a tai chi class because a friend of mind was teaching the intro course.  However, once I moved onto the real classes, I discovered that the teacher was a predatory guru type.  He gave me the creeps, and he touched me without my permission (not sexually, though he did flick my hair off my shoulders once, and nearly had me hyperventilating).  I gutted it out because my friend admired him so, but I hated being around him.

I don’t want to remember how much I hated myself and how much I wanted to die.  I don’t want to think about all the risky behavior I indulged in because I wanted to punish myself for being weak, stupid, disgusting, and broken.

At this moment, I am so tired.  I want to just shut my eyes and say, “Fuck it.  I can’t do this any more.”

I DON’T WANT TO FUCKING DO THIS!  And yet, I know I have no choice.  I have to face my past if I am going to have a future.  And, despite all the shit I’m going through, I do want to have a future.  Thus, I have to face my past.  It’s pretty much as simple as that.

P.S.  I have a therapy appointment tomorrow morning.  This is a good thing.

8 Responses to Don’t. Want. To.

  1. I know it’s scary, Minna, and I’d give anything if I could take some of the burden from you, but even as you say you don’t want to remember — and who could blame you for that? — you say you don’t want to go back to being the person you were before. I know this is tough, but I believe you’re remembering this trauma now because your mind is prepared and strong enough, thanks to the long way you’ve already gone. Facing your past is hard, but you aren’t doing it alone. You sharing here is proof of that, as is the support your friends offer you.

  2. I had one particular incident from my marriage that I had to remember three times. First time I remembered it, it was too much and it went back to the dark zone. Imagine my surprise at re-remembering it another two times. The third time, it stuck up top but now, looking back it is faded in some way and though still painful…less sharp.

    Sometimes, you DO back off. Sometimes you do stop and gather yourself and prepare to go forward. There is nothing that says you have to charge this balls to the walls. Remember you’re the one in control of this journey and your body and mind will not let you just shove it back into the forgotten areas if you are truly ready to go there.

    You will gather yourself, pull your hair back, wipe the sweat away, shake a bit and take in that breath that will push you forward as you exhale.

    I’m sorry this part hurts so much, but it is toxic and you haven’t felt it. It needs to seep out of you and you need to feel it. IT needs validation, just as you need validation.

    Hugs and love and you know I’m always here.

  3. Minna, there are a lot of things I could say, but this one is the big one for me — you apologize to those of us who love you for letting us down, for not being strong. But the fact is that you haven’t let us down, and you are showing more strength that I think you realize.

    Hiding away the real you, living as a shell, being the recluse, all of that is the weakness. That right there? That’s the demons winning. That’s what they want. You hide because you think that you’re lacking somehow.

    But standing up and facing not just us, but yourself, and saying the words out loud, “This happened to me, and it’s killing me. I need to heal from it, and I need help. Please help me.”? That’s the strength. That’s the true spirit of The Minna. That is you, showing the demons that their words are losing their grasp. THEY are losing their grasp on your soul. Because it’s transferring into -your- grasp, and the careful support of those who stand with you.

    Do not doubt that we will tell you straight up if you’re acting the fool. We will. I’ve done so already once or twice. It’s our job, just as we count on you for the exact same. If you trip, we’ll catch you. It doesn’t make you weak when you trip, it just means there was a crack in the sidewalk. Right yourself and move on.

    Just hold hands with us.

  4. You’ve lanced the soul wound. It’s gushing out. No one here is backing away from the puss that’s scattering all over us. No one’s turning away and saying that’s disgusting.

    You are not letting anyone who believes in truth and light and wholeness and healing down. Hiding lets us down. Bottling it up and letting it destroy you lets us down. You may have had to do those things before to survive, but not this day. Those of us who are so looking forward to seeing the whole, strong, beautiful you grow into fullness are here for the long haul.

    It will take time. It may take several lancings. But we’ll hold your hand. We’ll say “breath”. I’ll say, like one of my old therapists: Is your nose this on your face? Check just to make sure.

  5. You’re. In. The. Middle.

    You’ve never really been in the middle before.

    It’s not like the hiding/disappearing place. Or the dark place. Or the light place you’re heading to (which you used to think was just a myth and never dreamed you’d ever reached).

    You’ve left behind the Certainty of Misery and now you’re in the middle of the Misery of Uncertainty.

    And your clever demons taunt you and call you a failure and say you’re weak and you wonder why people think you’re strong and tell you you’ve failed your friends and yourself.

    But (to extend the metaphor a little), if you’ve got demons, you’ve also got angels. They’ve been silent for a long time, kept buried under lots and lots of baggage, biding their time.

    And now that you’re in the middle, they’re surfacing. And they’re clever too. Because they know that complaining about not being strong is a type of strength — that any way they can keep you from going back to hiding and pretending is a victory. And they know that it doesn’t matter if you think you’re strong or weak or if your friends think you’re strong or weak. They know that what matters is to build up your strength little by little.

    They know how hard it is for you to be in the middle and how much you’d like at times to just go back.

    They know all this and they don’t care. All they care about is to keep you moving. Step by step. Bit by bit.

    Make no mistake about this… these are bad-ass angels (they’d have to be if they’re yours, right?) And they know this is a marathon, not a sprint. They’re in it for the long haul.

    Especially this uncomfortable part where you’re Stuck. In. The. Middle.

  6. I love something every single one of you said. I’d point out each thing, but this isn’t my blog so I’ll just say I love something each and everyone of you said.

    It is nice to know that you all care so deeply about this and that we all feel the same. Each person has a way of touching Minna’s soul, angels, demons, lancings etc. How very kind and touching.

    You guys make a bunny feel humbled.

  7. Gregory, your support means a lot to me. Thank you for it and for your belief that I will make it through this. I’m sure you will remind me of that when I lose my way.

    whabs, you are right that I don’t have to feel it all at once. It’s the perfectionist in me who thinks I need to deal with it in one fell swoop. I know what you mean about re-remembering a memory. I’ve done that, too. It hurts every time.

    I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have you and your blog in my life. It’s comforting to know that you and I are traveling on parallel journeys.

    Kel, I always feel like I’m letting down the people I love/who love me. Another product of my childhood. I know hiding in my tower was not a position of strength, but it was comfortable and safe. Or so I thought. Now I know that it was nothing but a mirage, an illusion.

    I expect my friends to practice tough love on me because, ironically, that makes me feel like y’all think I can handle it. I hope that made sense because it did in my mind. I also expect you to make me laugh because you do that so well.

    Crystal, once again, you have cut to the essence. No matter how painful this is, it’s necessary. And, thank you for reminding me that it’s equally necessary to ground myself in reality from time to time so I don’t float away in the ethers. Keep shining that light my way so I have a chance of following it.

    Alex, you hit the nail on the head perfectly, and you stated it beautifully to boot. I really like the imagery of angels with attitude being on my side, fighting my demons alongside of me.

    You’ve left behind the Certainty of Misery and now you’re in the middle of the Misery of Uncertainty.

    I simply love this phrase. Love it. Along with Stuck. In. The. Middle. Thank you, my friend.

    Kel, I like Alex, too! Heh.

    whabs, agreed.

    Thank you all for supporting me on a day-to-day basis.