It’s three AM and I’m startled awake. I start to cry, unsure of my surroundings and the chaos around me. My moms got a gun in her hand and she’s screaming. Her words are jumbled but frightened and angry and I panic. I scramble to find the light and gather my sisters to safety…only there is no safety.

It’s three AM, he’s outside. Ravenous. Screaming and crying he’s tearing things apart. Sitting in the truck we watch as he lifts the trampoline and throws it. Storming to the pool he shoots. No one is there. No one is ever there.

It’s three AM in the back seat of a truck. Sleeping, she stirs. Awoken by the click of a gun, she cries. My mom, fierce with anger, puts the gun to her head. We cry, my sisters and I, because she’s not afraid to pull the trigger.

More often than not, I wake to find myself safe and warm with my dog by my side. Body trembling and tears flowing I sit up, look around, and remind myself that I don’t live there anymore. I hug my dog and lay back down but I don’t go back to sleep.

Of all the issues I’ve chosen to work on, these are the ones that I keep hidden. They are the ones I fear the most. Attachment is hard, it’s terrifying. So is relationships and emotional regulation. Those things I thought would kill me have slowly become easier. Besides 2 of the people in which I hold a relationship essentially hating each other right now and me feeling like I constantly have to choose between the 2 and not allow the 3rd to make them feel even more distanced, I’ve learned to live in and maintain a connected relationship. But again, those issues are now manageable. I fear the day I move forward to working through the depths of abuse that was inflicted on my siblings and I. Things were ugly and I fear doing it alone. I fear that it will trigger some of the relationship/attachment issues I’ve worked so hard to overcome. I fear that parts of me will be reminded of the pleasure my abusers took from hurting us and want to hurt others. I fear that I will unleash a deep, dark pit that engulfs me and I’ll drown. So, for now, I lay that fear to rest and remind myself most nights that I am safe, I am loved, and I am well.

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