Somedays, i feel so worn down by my childhood and young adulthood. The flashbacks and nightmares seem to rule my life. I have plenty of present day stuff to stress me so i would love for the C-PTSD stuff to cease. I often feel weakened by my past. It seems that my past will never abandon me. My past will never stop haunting me and making me relive it day after day.
But, the thing is, I’m not really weakened by my past. I need to recall that my past has actually proven to me that I am strong. That i am stronger than i am broken. That i survived the attempts by terrifying monsters to dehumanize me and turn me into a quivering pile of repulsive mush.
Don’t get me wrong. I know i am plenty broken. My heart has been broken, my body has been broken, and my mind has been broken. But i am working on healing my heart, body, and mind. Only the strong can heal. Hopefully, i am layering gold into my broken parts, so i will be stronger at my broken parts, and i will be most dazzling at my broken parts.
I was strong all my life. Even when i was a small child, I was strong. I was cute. My mother made me adorable clothing. I was smart. I found people to love me. There were always teachers in school who loved me. There were always nuns at Church who loved me. I had friends. Lots and lots of friends with parents who had me spend nights and days at their houses.
When i was older, And not so cute, And socially awkward, i was lucky to have camp counselors who loved me despite my awkwardness, and stayed connected to me throughout the year. God watched over me by having one of these women live in my town the year i was a senior in high school. She came to every school and extracurricular event. She made me dinner. She made me take naps. She asked no questions that i could not answer, as she was afraid I would never show up at her door again. She knew something was terribly wrong, and that the best thing she could do was not make me have to talk about it. I was strong enough to trust her love and caring for me. Strong enough to understand that she did not care how fat i was, or that i often stunk. Or that my clothes were i fitting. Strong enough to understand the love she showed me had no strings.
I was strong enough in my life that i did not die, either at the hands of the monsters or at my own hands. I was strong enough, that my mind stayed mostly intact. I was strong enough to do what i was told, strong enough to know that i needed these monsters to continue to provide for me. I was strong enough to go to school and get decent grades and to excel in college. I was strong enough to make my own money and have jobs. I was strong enough to come out as gay, marry my wife, foster and adopt kids, lose 200 lbs, and rehab a knee replacement. I am strong enough to love even when it scares the living daylights out of me. I was strong enough while i was in the hospital to go to the bathroom on a commode with other people in the room. I’m strong enough to look after my own health. I’m strong enough to maintain good relationships. Im strong enough to know what i need in therapy.
I am strong enough to know when i need to rest from the battles in my life and to know that i will always need to pick up my sword and shield again. And carry on. I am a warrior. I’ve always been and always will be a warrior.
Maybe i have flashbacks and nightmares because i am a wartior and they are my guide as to what needs to be healed now.
That doesn’t really make it easier to have these intrusions in my daily life, but it helps me to have some hope that these things will end when they end. Don’t ask me to own up to that statement on a bad day, and don’t throw it in my face. I am not always strong enough to make that statement. That is also a part of being a warrior…understanding uour strengths and weaknesses. My clarity right now may become smudged in the future. But i will be strong enough to withstand the loss of hope.