I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experience in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost. I’ll understand if you don’t read them, but keep in mind, you may never get a better chance to see the inner workings of another person–not this raw, or candid.
If you like, you are invited to join me this week, or next month, and write your own personal essay. Post the link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.
Let it begin:
When a fist hits a person, many things happen at once, some part of you, and I mean me when I say you, might want to run, fight back, or collapse within. But there’s more. Something else occurs that goes unnoticed; it sneaks in and hides for a long time. It’s being frightened, being scared, so scared that it changes you, and what’s left is a person who can never, never let her guard down. She isn’t safe, the fist proved that.
The damage was done, and left its mark. I’m not talking about my body. I’ve never bruised easily, and the worst of it came in the form of sore muscles. After all people get pushed, jostled, stepped on, bumped everyday, and it can be painful. Some might think that I really didn’t get hurt that bad, and that was true–and false.
The change was so subtle that to the naked eye it didn’t exists. But much like any hidden trap, it needed to be sprung. Trying to have a meaningful relationship was beyond me and I didn’t know why. I blamed my partners, but when I look back I realize that it was my damaged soul that stopped me cold; the damn thing couldn’t be repaired for one simple reason. What was proven, can’t be unproven no matter how much you wish for it.
You may scoff, but I can imagine anyone protecting a child from purposeful harm with raw savage violence. What about war? It’s like open season allowing and encouraging normally well behaved people to kill
enemies other human beings on sight. Road rage, riots, rape, murder, etc. has made it impossible for me to watch the news anymore. No amount of psychiatric help helped me because the truth is people can be dangerous.
My fear doesn’t stop me from caring for my family, or being an upstanding citizen. In essence I’m a good, decent person that does her best to get along. So imagine the day I realized all my efforts to avoid violence in my everyday life and to minimize my vulnerability was in vain, and that fear has ruled my life–every day of it. Ruled it, bullied it, and forced me into a corner where safety is only an illusion. I’m ashamed to say that I may always be its victim, keeping my doors locked, my head down, and my heart–well, my heart seems okay most of the time; its well protected.