Breaking Wide Open.



Text: I keep trying to write, and the words refuse to come out of my head and land on the paper. I’m beginning to peek my head out of the shell of depression, but the shit that has surface as a result of therapy is right fucking there and refuses to be ignored. I hide, with every method I have. Phone games. Internet surfing. Crappy teen dramas with my kid. Food. Booze. But the shit just surfaces, over and over, refusing to stay down after its third gasp for air.

I saw my sister last weekend, and for the first time in 40 years, I spoke about the physical and emotional abuse I endured at the hands of the same family member who later added sexual abuse to his repertoire. For so many years, I have wondered if I imagined it, or blew it out of proportion. Wondered if I really was the drama queen my family labeled me, if my anxiety and fear were merely a penchant for drama. “You asked for it,” my parents told me, when the physical abuse came up after the family member had died.

I did not ask for it. I did not imagine it or make it up, it was not melodrama. And now I know for sure, because my sister confessed that she witnessed much of it.

We both wept as she recalled how powerless she felt, how awful she feels now when she remembers her instinct being to hide and keep herself safe. She is younger than me, and I reminded her how small and frail she was back then, how little she could have done, how I would have gladly taken the beatings to protect her.

The secrets are coming out, painfully and slowly, but I am not alone. I am not imagining things. My past has damaged me and broken me, but it will not be the end of me. I am putting myself back together. I will put myself back together.

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