Every day feels like a war, a thousand little battles, going on inside of myself and I don’t know what to do. I open my eyes in the morning and it’s as if the sunlight invites the little soldiers to the frontline to relieve the night shift of their duty. The enemies ravaging, running in circles like mad men dodging bullets, refusing any plea of surrender. I turn my eye and there I see another battle, another plea. The night sky falls and in my bed I lay my head to sleep…close my eyes and then begins a new slew of battles to beat. On it will go…forever it seems. When will this end? When will this war be won? How many battles can one man take before he holds up that little white flag and surrender the war…surrender his work. –anonymous

The last few days have been spent processing. Well, sorta…more like cycling. Holidays are extremely hard for me and I begin to cycle in a slew of flashbacks and memories. I enjoyed my Thanksgiving…but it wasn’t celebrated. I didn’t have a massive dinner with a bunch of family while sitting around a table updating everyone about my past 11 months. Instead, I decided to do something I enjoy. Consequently, things were dug up due to that. Things like my mom allowing men to do nasty things to me as a child. Things like my mom leaving over and over and not returning for days, each time. I was triggered. Of course when things like that get brought up and I get stuck I need help to get back out. Tonight, my big sister was helping me to process the part where the men where abusing me and  unfortunately it was causing a great amount of unpleasant flashbacks. My sister asked me to imagine myself, as an adult, going in and taking over. Protecting the little girl [me as a child] from getting hurt and making it all stop. In hopes it would all stop I participated. I had to talk aloud and let her know what I was doing. It was super hard. Not only did I have to imagine standing up to my mom…the one person I WANT and NEED to accept me…but also standing up against many of the men that abused me, at the same time. What would you do? How would you do it? Knowing I can’t, or couldn’t, do it alone I was forced to ask for help. I felt as though I was useless, that I couldn’t do anything to protect the little girl {again, me a child}. It was horrible. I just wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there. I felt, at that point, my sister was not really helping as she was telling me that I could either leave the girl and allow all the horrendous things to happen to her or I could stand up against my mom and the bad people and help the little girl. She kept telling me that I was leaving the girl. I felt like everything was my fault. I haven’t felt so conflicted within myself since the days I debated and decided to disclose the hideous things my step-dad and mom did to me. Again, the underside of a nice big rock seemed very comforting. I didn’t want to allow the girl to get hurt but I also didn’t want to stand up to my mom. I finally worked up the courage to let my mom know she could work with me or work against me for the protection of the little girl. She chose to work against me telling me the men, my step-dad, were more important so I had to choose to work against her and for me. Hardest thing I have had to do, even though it was all imagery. As angry as I should have been, all I could do was apologize to my mom. I kept saying sorry and crying because I wanted nothing more than to please her and working against her was not going to allow that. I called the police and gave them directions and proceeded to help the girl. I had my big sister stand watch outside so the police would know where to go and I walked in. I gave the little girl {little me} my jacket, as she was naked, and sent her to the door to be with my friend, who was also helping me out. Everyone came after me and for once, as scared as I was, I had power. I was able to take away their ability to hurt me. They tried and I stopped them. My mom came in with a gun to stop me but an entire army of police came and took them all away. As my mom looked at me before being taken out the door I sobbed. I broke down. I didn’t want that future for my mom but I knew that is what it was. Sobbing, I went to where my friend was with the little girl and opened my arms for her to come. She came with a fury of anger, swinging and crying, mad because I allowed it to happen to her for so long. Because I had left her, abandoned. I grabbed her tiny, little hands and let her scream at me. Eventually, she fell into my arms and just sobbed and I rocked her. This is where the imagery stopped and I was brought back into reality. This is when I came back to November 25, 2011 in my big sisters bedroom. It didn’t stop the flashbacks or nightmares, it didn’t make my anxiety go away… but it did make me realize that I am strong enough to do anything. I can stand up against my mom. I think my fear with standing up against her is brought on by 1) trauma from childhood and 2) from when I finally disclosed and nothing happened.  But I can. I can take a stand against her and still love her, regardless of whether it stops the flashbacks or makes them worse. So, the war will continue; each battle growing smaller as new things come to my realization. Things like I am strong enough, wise enough, brave enough. And through time I hope that I am able to win the war.

**please remember that the part where I take charge is not an actual event. It is an imagery exercise used by taking an actual flashback and rewriting it so something different happens.


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