My flame has been burning as ever it was. Surviving childhood abuse including Mother-Daughter sexual abuse, and the unimaginable number of abused little souls who grew up into big girls and big boys, it tunes my heartstrings until I’m heard a mile away.
Those wounded little souls can thrive when they are finally unchained from their abused days. What I never imagined though, is how a hell can still rain down upon us.
There is no danger behind me or beside me- check. There is no danger immediately before me- check. This skin I’m in, it has been rubbed raw enough, but one’s skin has since replaced itself many times.
Here where I stand is me. “This is me,” goes the internal dialogue.
First, it was dissociation that troubled me from time-to-time. As fellow survivors, we know that triggers can do that. But I’m not here to talk about that, because looking back now, it feels like a normal process. I would say that triggers, flashbacks, and dissociation to cope while learning coping skills is a normal process of healing.
No, I want to talk about the trappings of diagnosed mental illness within the survivor community. How much can be attributed to genes, and how much is the obvious fact of being abused, having one’s little body and mind whirlwind while that blow to the body cracks down or that confusing, foreign touch rubs genitals or prods inner flesh with fire?
When crucial wiring is tampered with, we might have the makings of a mood disorder. We might have the makings of a personality disorder. You might find us with this or under other conditions in the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) even more than you imagine.
These days of my life (and I know of many others’), I’ve never felt more trapped. Some days, I plead with the sunny morning sky or plead with what pitiful options for breakfast there are when symptomatic. Though, what the hell good have I just accomplished when I spend the rest of the afternoon in hypomania, the following morning feeling restless and agitated without money to burn a hole in my pocket. Soon, I will wake up in a hard crash.
I can only describe the past while as it has worsened as feeling like a monkey swinging from tree limb to tree limb. There are quick highs with swift and low falls. What aches are when the tears fill my eyes, pour and then glaze over until my eye sockets ache. There is not so much catharsis as there is a body laying in full defeat.
Fuck the moments when I feel normal and steady again. They last long enough to inspire my very core. I’m a happy little girl again, splashing up droplets of possibilities and rewards from successes. I was really a sad little abused girl, though. It was no surprise when my mood disorder became apparent in my childhood. I’ve had an official diagnosis since age 17.
If you are struggling with a mental disorder after surviving childhood abuse, I hear you. I don’t know what we are meant to do, my friend. Here we are- never alone in the struggle once again, survivor of what was then and the fallout now.