Lost & Found

“Come upstairs and I’ll show you where all my, Where my demons hide from you, Just look at who I have become, I am so ashamed you were the one that made me feel the way I do, You broke me, And taught me, To truly hate myself, Unfold me, And teach me, How to be like somebody else, You’re lost and found, Fallen out, Broken down”—Lianne La Havas

I don’t even know why I’m writing all of this. It just seems that with every pound lost, my whole body wants to be lighter. My spirit cries: “Give Me Free!” I don’t want to gain again. And it’s not because I love food. It’s because food makes me unattractive. A state of being invisible where you’re hurt by actions, not words—sticks and stones and all that other playground logic.

Sometimes I even wondered if I pushed them to cruelty. Something innate, generational: a particular scent that entices men who create victims. Watching my mother fight nightly with the Millionaire, verbal to physical altercations where bruised bodies connected with broken windows. Those same hands: a different color, wrapped around my sister’s throat. Bones that shatter. Marks that fade.

And here I am grateful that the ones of many never hit me. Never challenged me with their fists. Because I fight back. But only so hard. Something about a balled hand, even in jest will sound the alarm, a battle cry of a wounded warrior.

I hate saying that I’m a product of divorce, paltry words to describe the relationship of my biological parents and what ultimately led to their separation: a confluence of fucked up and power lust. A prodigy of their regrets as I created my own.

I don’t have a lot of my memories—too much blockage, too much repression—I do know happiness wasn’t a central theme in my household.  Knowing them, happiness isn’t their strong suit no matter who’s around. Something is always wrong: not enough money, not enough time, not enough energy/resources/opportunity, life is hard; too many directions pulling them away from each other. They have perfectly perfected the imbalance of wanting to live and needing to be needed.

While they stayed together, they stayed together. One minute they’re fighting, knocking over dishes, knocking each other around. The next moment I’m tracing the shattered window pane, slivers of glass cutting my fingers, my mother making coffee like nothing ever happened.

And that’s still how we live, treading over troubles, burdened by the past, unwilling to acknowledge the thunder claps, the announcement of an upending storm. When walking in the forest you can either choose to hear the crunching of leaves under your boots or tune your mind for approaching predators.

The lack of openness, of narration, led me to eat what I feel. Any time something was wrong or something hurt me only the scale reflected my struggle. Now with this weight loss I’ve had to let a lot of things go in order to rediscover my body before blemish. I’ve had to concede to a negative perception of self worth and beauty. Had to stop seeking to fill internal voids by helping others, by being for others what no one has been to me; dawning a cape at the mere hint of distress, when really I stand in need of a champion.

You have to be a part of your own rescue.

Life aint no crystal stair, yet here I am spending my days cleaning dust off the speckled glass peering into the artfully positioned, broken pieces underneath. The storage unit under the staircase locking away all of the damage from view.

I have such a forgiving heart. More of a talent really. It took me such a long time to forgive the Millionaire and after that it became so freeing. Ah, release.

But I have the worst time forgiving myself. I hold. I harbor. It’s always my fault. Let me hide it away in some shelving unit underneath the companionway, these instances which have disfigured: Erik’s mask a band-aid.

I have a hard time saying that the mistakes in life are really the experiences that help you grow. I even go so far as to blame myself for the evil in others. As if I could have prevented certain occurrences and those that I couldn’t I deserved.

I remember the day MYD raped me. I remember we were cuddling and he wanted to have sex. I remember saying no. I remember turning away only to have him pin me down. I remember my hands held over my head, my face turned away, tears streaming down cheeks, thinking about black chalkboards. I can still hear his final huff, the weight on top of me, the pressure of his hands on my wrist loosening as he used that connection to push off me. I muttered: “Are you happy now?” Still facing the wall, turning my body to match the position of my face. I remember his sigh. How he said “you shouldn’t cry so much, if you don’t stop crying I will leave”. The stream never ceasing, he got up and left. No goodbye, no apology. Ever.

I wished it away. Pretended it never happened. Willed myself not to remember the next time I welcomed him in my arms. Because it wasn’t the first time. And if it happens more than once, you deserve it right? You ask for it. I always thought if it happened again I would be a fighter, I would stick up for myself. In the height of that incident, numbed by recollections of a certain foster home, of a specific closet, of other nightly visits where I turned my face away. Flashbacks that freeze my body at the peak of warmth. Images that shadow my steps though I can’t place the imprint in the sand.

It seems I always fight for the underdog but never for myself. The odd hound barking on the heels of every failed relationship. See I tend to pick men that latch on to my kindness, that leech off my nurturing spirit while trying everything in their power to break me. And I’m ashamed to say that I let them. Something in me for so long screamed that I deserved it. I couldn’t see that it was deplorable treatment.

I spent so much of my youth being angry, hateful, hurting others in response to my own internal turmoil that I would stride toward the path of abuser in order not to be a casualty again. Growing up, I transformed the lashing into self-loathing, an air of meekness to atone for my sins. Ordered a new welcome mat across my body for anyone to wipe their feet, working so hard to heal them in supplication that I ignored the need for my own recovery.

I have to be my own hero now. I can’t take on your burdens. My shoulders are far too weighed down.

This is the first time I’ve ever said this. The mess of my brother’s death has turned me into a cesspool. And now it’s so clear. Clearer than it’s ever been before. Right now, this moment, it has to be all about me.

I’m not asking you to carry my baggage, or even help me unpack. Even a career porter wouldn’t know what to do with all of the suitcases I lug. Over time I will push you away, claim self preservation. In reality do you really want to see how far down the rabbit hole goes? Yea, I didn’t think so. Listen when I say I’m broken, believe it. At least you know where my demons hide.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jmojacks
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 11:17:40

    i’m sure it’s painful to work through all of this, but i think it’s admirable. i pray you’ll become more and more comfortable with taking care of yourself first – recognizing that it’s not selfish, but indeed healthy. love you.


  2. Darrk Gable
    Dec 07, 2012 @ 03:09:47

    Stories my daughter’s mother told me came flooding back as I read your tale. Take this time to take care of yourself, and love you first. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, trust that God is watching over you.


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