I'm going to write this the best I can but it won't be enough.
For most of my life I've been fighting the darkness, not only in the sense of not wanting it to consume or destroy me, but I've mostly been fighting to keep it hidden inside me where it belongs. That's been my life's agenda, though I didn't realize this until very recently.
When a dear friend told me (in response to my asking) why she had a such an enthusiastic response to a bit of my writing, she told me that it didn't have the singsong quality to it typical of much of what I write. She said the writing in question was raw and didn't attempt to muffle my pain, and every word wasn't perfectly manicured. Perfectly manicured. That resonated: my mother was always perfectly manicured. My stepdad (my abuser) got manicures. Our lawn was always perfectly manicured.
I asked for this person's opinion because I value it, but her response broad sided me. I didn't know much of my writing was written in singsong. Did I even know I tend to muffle my pain? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I try to find something, any small thing, in every post that is of a positive nature. But I thought that was in contrast to the raw and the ugly, not in place of it.
I'm so glad I took the plunge. I'm so glad I asked for my friend's perspective on my writing because her assessment was the dash of cold water in the face I so needed.
Do I muffle my pain? Yes, I can see that I do. I muffle everything. Why wouldn't I when I've lived for decades believing I don't have the right to my own feelings and thoughts, much less responses to abuse?
I smooth everything over. When I was a teen being raped repeatedly by an older man, I drove my pain underground, did my best to forget it. What was the point in telling anyone? I didn't believe it would make any difference at all except to make me the painful center of attention I didn't want. I didn't ask for it and I didn't want it.
I never told my father what this man was doing to me. I never told him of the abusive relationships that followed. I smiled and nodded, I lived my life in singsong, truth be told. I did. I do. And now that I know it I can see beneath the surface (varnished like the deceptively beautiful hardwood floors of the House of Incest from childhood) to the rottenness that lies beneath.
I've been surrounded since a young age by alters who each play a role in my extensive denial. Yes, they are me but they're not really me, they're separate from me. So if one of them holds my body memories captive and I need those memories back, I feel that something has been stolen and held hostage. It's like all these different parts of my body and soul, parts which were torn to pieces and parceled out, are strewn about between these parts and nobody asked me, is it okay if I take this? Can I keep this? Did I create these parts to help me survive? I'm told I did. I don't remember doing so, which leaves me feeling as if these strangers just crept into my psyche, moved in lock, stock and barrel without permission or invitation, and went to work on me like a bunch of vultures. Who said they could keep all these things or that I wouldn't some day want them back?
Something's stirring deep within, an unrest rippling through my system. Or through me? Them or me? Me or them?
What lies beneath is anything but a mirror image of the singsong life I try so painstakingly to portray to those in my 3D world. It is painstaking, it's exhausting and unfulfilling and there is no one to pat me on the back, or say nice job, or to even acknowledge that I do everything within my power every day of my life to hold myself together so there isn't some ugly explosion.
What lies beneath is what I need to explore. Because it is ugly and as raw as any old, festering wound that has never healed I need to do some deep sea diving. These are my depths, they belong to me.
Ultimately they belong to me.