I wasn’t always this person. The one full of doubts questioning whether or not you would stick around. I wasn’t always the person whose tears fell so easily. And I wasn’t the person who kept people at arm’s length. Instead, I was once the one who greeted everyone I met, including the strangers, with a hug.
Walking away from abuse does not mean you lose the scars that have formed. It also doesn’t mean an instant healing of the heart. Sadly, life goes from constant chaos to an unsettling state of silence which takes years to understand in a world that can be insensitive to those who spent years enslaved in emotional bondage.
For now, life has become a struggle. A constant battle to find the good in those around us. To trust that those we meet have pure intentions not wanting to take something from us through control or manipulation.
We live with the obstacles of continuing triggers that remind us of the past, the trauma we experienced. Nightmares that wake us, leaving us exhausted when sleep can’t be found. There are moments of fear that creep into our mind and fits of panic that steal our breath away which fill the hours of our days more frequently than we like.
The constant need to explain ourselves as the flood of emotions we face leave us overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. The moments of turning inward as the waves of self-doubt creep into our minds and leave us with feelings of emptiness. The embarrassment of crying yet again, from something as simple as a glass of spilled milk, sends us scrambling for a safe place to hide.
If we could only make those around us understand what we’ve been through and the way our journey changed us from the fun loving, friendly and outgoing person we once were to the now guarded and anxious person we are today, life might be a little simpler.
If only our friends could accept the person we are today. To not question our every motive, reaction or moment of silence. To understand that our thought process is nothing like their own as we no longer see the world through the rose colored glasses we once did. But instead, every situation meticulously dissected.
If only our friends understood the constant struggle our minds face as we attempt to navigate the relationships that surround us. If only they could see the ongoing battle with thoughts that still linger from years living surrounded by uncertainty then things might be a little easier.
Oh the things I wish my friends knew. But truly, more than anything, I wish they could know that girl, the one back then who always had a smile on her face and saw the good in everyone. She might have been a bit naïve and trusted people more than she should but she was full of life and radiated joy. Maybe one day, these friends will get a glimpse of that girl as their friendship and patience begins to restore the crushed and broken pieces of me.