I wasn’t going to say anything. I knew what was happening and I knew how I was trying to handle it was not going to work. But, I let too much “noise” get in my head and tell me that nobody wants to hear it. Or, that it’s been long enough that I should be over it. Or, the worst one, the voice of my ex boyfriend, immediately following the events, who kept saying “you’re too obsessed about it – you just have to get over it”……….
So, as per usual, I filled myself with temporary distractions. So many distractions actually, that I ran myself in the complete opposite direction, straight into pure exhaustion. In doing that, I seemed to forget one little detail……exhaustion is one of the two biggest enemies of my chronic condition. And thanks to all that madness, here I sit………my body in total rebellion and if I’m being ridiculously raw, my heart sutures, a little busted.
And the only way I know how to feel better, is to write. You see, no matter what you personally think of my words (or of me, for that matter), I don’t write them for you (or maybe this time, I actually do). I write them because out of all the things I don’t like about myself, and out of all ways I question what the heck I am wondering around this planet for, typing words is the only thing I’m sure of. It’s the only thing that boosts me into dealing with whatever I need to (yes, even if it’s a funny dating story). And more than that, it’s the only thing that I KNOW is meant for something bigger than me. I know if it’s taking me to such an uncomfortable place to write/type them, then it’s also meant for someone else to read. Even if it’s just one person. I think it’s even more cool that my job is to write it and release it. It’s not for me to know where it lands from there.
Sorry, I digress. I came here to admit and face today. Not to over explain myself. So, Hi, my name is Alicia and I’m hurting. I’m also angry. I want to be in a different place and I’m not and I know it won’t go away until I tell you about it. Why the universe puts me in these positions to open myself up to so much, I’m not sure….but I’m definitely gonna address it when I get in front of the big guy :p!
Five years ago this last week, at around 4:30 in the morning, I sent an email to my core tribe of friends, telling them that I was in serious danger and needed help. I asked them not to contact me until I could escape and make contact with them. I admitted that I hadn’t been truthful with them about what was going on in my life. I confessed that I was terrified of what would happen to me. For a few seconds, I questioned whether I was being too dramatic in what I was saying. I couldn’t use my phone, and I wasn’t even sure if any of them would check their email. Then, he woke up. And it all started again. Nope, definitely wasn’t dramatic in my email. To this day, I firmly believe that if he hadn’t have passed back out from being so drunk, that he would have followed through on his promise to kill me. And that was the start of a living hell on earth.
My deliverance from abuse was nothing short of carefully orchestrated moments and miracles. Period. It just was. I wish I could tell you more. But I can’t. Even after five years, I am yet to be able to sit down and write it all out or tell the story in any translatable format. For someone like me, that is so foreign. I’m a story teller after all. Yet, it never fails that people come across my path and the story (or the parts that are needed to) come up. I share and exhale. And then I swell with gratefulness. I struggle with why I’m not supposed to share the “cool” parts of the story with the masses. But, I have to trust that it’s to come where it’s supposed to.
Let me bring the point of this a little more together and wrangle it in.
- It still hurts. It hurts differently. But, it still hurts. I’m not sure that it will ever go away. And that’s ok. I’m not where I was. And healing doesn’t always mean it all goes away. Being tough doesn’t shield you from the sneakiness of the triggers. Those little brats show up out of nowhere. I’m more than thankful to be equipped with the right tools and right people to help me through them. There is no shame in the admittance of the triggers, the asking for help or the sitting and simply feeling them.
- I shouldn’t have ignored the triggers this last week. I knew it was coming. This anniversary and a few other dates ALWAYS trigger something. Thankfully, it’s smaller triggers, like simple unsettled feelings and a general uncomfortable feeling. I start sleeping less EVERY SINGLE YEAR during this time (the thief comes in the night, right?). And I try to ignore it. Because, according to others, I should be over it already. And EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I end up here. Completely drained. Mark these words though, it will be the last year that the ignoring happens. Next year, it’s a tropical vacation of poolside sitting and feeling it all. Raw.
- The physical scars and abuse went away. The mental mountain has been way harder to climb. I’m SO PROUD of all the work I have done and the network I have had to get over “him”. You know what lingers the most? The first person I dated after. The one I said “ok” to and opened myself up to. The one who I knew before, the safe one, who pursued me. The one that I gave ALL the trust I had left to. The one I trusted with my completely shattered heart and damaged self. Yeah, that one hurt the most. Because he was the one who couldn’t deal with the Alicia that I was. I know it’s not completely his fault. I wasn’t in a place that I should’ve been dating at all. And I said that multiple times. But he still worked to gain my trust. And I gave it to him. And when I let myself love and be completely me, even the broken parts – he couldn’t handle it. And in what I’m sure he thought was just tough love and brutal honesty, his words and actions (or serious lack there of) completely ruined me. They were the “nail in the coffin”. And what maybe would’ve been another year of work and healing to be past the abuse, has now lingered a very long five years. And that’s all ok. Because no matter what story he tells himself or others, or how happy he is in his own moving on, he served his purpose in my journey.
- I’m still grateful.
LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW…….
- If you are in an abusive situation, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get out. PLEASE ask for help.
- If you are dealing with anything traumatic – feel it. No matter how big or small the situation seems, if it is impacting you – then it’s real. If you feel it, it’s real. And you NEED to feel it. I can remember SO MANY days of checking the clock and thinking “ok, I just made it through an hour.” and I would take a deep breath and try to make it through the next. That is as literal and truthful as can be. Hour by hour. I couldn’t even make it through a day. I had to take it hour by hour. And it wasn’t until I acknowledged and owned that feeling, for that time, that I could even think about how to make it through a day.
3. If you are a friend of someone in that situation or of someone who has escaped….WATCH YOUR WORDS. Watch your judgement. Period. It’s not about you. It’s not up to you to decide how they heal or how long it takes. If you can’t play the role, then don’t. That’s ok, too. But you do not accept the role and get to dictate how the victim deals. You just don’t. I’m sorry. I know it’s seems so easy to help and for them to see how they should just be ok. They are out, they are safe, so they’re good? Nope. Not how it works. And if you can’t step outside of yourself and choose to love unconditionally – then you DO NOT deserve the person in the first place. You just don’t. Because your judgement and impatience is doing more damage than being thrown up against a wall will EVER DO.
4. If you come into a person’s life long after the event, consider yourself a sacred part of their life. You probably won’t understand, why five years later, on a Monday night, they are texting asking for random prayer. You might not understand why they seemed fine a few days ago and then all of the sudden just seem cranky, and puffy, and tired and stupid sensitive. Just hold on for a minute and love them anyway. The hardest thing I have ever had to do is let people like me and know what the past few years have held for me. And at the same time, the easiest thing for me to do is to cut you right on out if you screw with what little trust and heart I have left.
5. Let me make this clear one more time. You DO NOT get to tell someone that how you made them feel isn’t valid. You just don’t. You don’t have to agree with how they feel. You can think whatever you want. But, if you truly love them or are truly their friend, you HAVE to acknowledge that their feeling is just as valid as yours. Read this again: YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE HOW SOMEONE FEELS OR HEALS.
I already feel better, even in the midst of busted sutures, that unfortunately have left me more vulnerable than I care for……. and even in the midst of a lot of things piling on (of my own doing, for trying to be tough and hide feelings) and a to do list still a mile long. Writing with all those feelings seeping out of me is the best therapy (accompanied by a great playlist). You can think that is dramatic if you want to. Maybe it is. Maybe I just feel that hard. And maybe I’m done apologizing for that. I will never fully heal if I don’t shut those other voices of doubt and judgement out. To be honest, it’s probably those things that have kept me from healing, way more than the abuse memories have.
And in it’s own twisted way, and with all those rambling words above, it’s actually beautiful how something so awful keeps coming up at all. Because each time it does, as painful as it is, I can’t deny how much I have learned. I mean it when I say that it truly is a beautiful story. It seems like it keeps coming up so that I don’t forget that I have climbed a damn big mountain 🙂 These pics were from my first beach trip, ever in my life, which happened to come not long after my escape (one of those cool parts I reference). Just digging those out again and including them here makes me reflect on how surrounded I was. The things that happened were amazing.
I am stronger. I KNOW that I have shared it with those that needed to hear it for whatever reason. I am wiser. I am more intentional. I am protected from ever going through that again. I found out that as much as my core and heart can be shattered, that it can also be rebuilt (sometimes even better than before).
Released and now I can rest. I look forward to a good night’s sleep. Thanks for reading.
5 thoughts on “Raw and Uncut…ex-boyfriends,triggers and hurts…..”
Thank you so much for your vulnerability and authenticity, Alicia. I could not agree more with your thoughts here, especially about not running from one’s feelings. This is a hard lesson that I’m still learning, but it’s absolutely essential to our healing and our humanity. I’m incredibly grateful that you escaped from this terrible hell on earth and lived to tell about it. Too many don’t. Keep grieving in your own time and in your own way – no matter what anyone says, there is no timeline for learning to fully live again after devastating pain and loss. But also know that those around you have seen your hard-won growth, and we will always be here to lend a shoulder, walk with you and cheer you on! You are brave and resilient, and I’m thankful to call you my friend. Love you, girl.
Thank you for always cheering me on and believing in me!!
Thank you. Thank you for reminding me that healing is a process that no one can dictate how long it takes. I want to scream sometimes when I’m told to “give it over to God, stop worrying, that happened so long ago”. Yep, pretty sure I know when it happened, considering I’m actually the one that went through it. I am a Christian and I do pray a lot, but again it’s a process and I’m still human. Thank you for sharing part of your story, thank you for validating the healing process for others as well as yourself.
A life lived is worth living for God … and you’re worth it all sis. Never stop living brave soul. I love you to the moon and beyond.
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Hi Tiffany – I am so sorry that I just now realized you commented (it never told me I had one until tonight). I understand when you talk about the frustration of other’s comments! Luckily – there is no rule book 🙂 so you are free to heal on your timeline. And THANKFULLY, there is no statute of limitations on what you can pray about either 🙂 I hope your healing process is going well for you and that you are surrounded by what and who you need to be at the times that you need to be!