Fire to Fearful and Back Again

*Swear warning*
I had a dream a few nights ago.
It was one of those dreams where you are watching yourself.
It was a conversation with a friend who deeply hurt me.
My brain created the perfect apology for her to say… therapy in my own head.
As I watched, I thought my response would be my usual spineless garbage.
I thought I would let myself absorb the fault in the relationship yet again.
I thought I would be meek and timid like I was trained to be.

Trained to be…

In kindergarten I was paddled for talking in class when the teacher was talking. I didn’t understand why. I was bored. So, I was talking to the kid next to me. I remember not understanding why…

But I remember the shame.

I remember moment after moment like this. Where I didn’t understand the why, but I felt the shame.

Shame is a great way to train a child. To break it. To debilitate it. To mold it into what you need it to be.

I don’t remember when I went from fire to fearful. It was a slow burn. Gasoline poured on my soul in order to reduce my body to ashes.
But somewhere along the way, the me that was “about to fuck some shit up,” was replaced with the me that just laid down on dirt roads taking the brunt of the buses that drove over my body until it was spineless.

It’s not the shame that gets me anymore.
It’s the realization that with every bit of me I rediscover, my eyes are opened to the beatings.
It’s the grief of having been shamed in the first place.
It’s the grief that who I was… was never what anyone wanted. 

I was a placeholder for a need for hundreds of people.
Shamed…beat… into what they needed.

This is the exhaustion I feel three years into therapy.
I’m just now feeling the effects of the beatdown.
I’m just now seeing the bruises still are present of being paddled at age 5.

And now I have to let my body feel the bruises and let it weep the blood.
I have to let it see the wounds left by shame and let them heal.

I did it.

In my dream.
I said it.
What I want to say to hundreds of people.
“You hurt me. I don’t know why. What you did to me was wrong.” 
Then I walked away. And didn’t feel shame.

It was FIRE.

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