Last night as I chased my cat to toss her outside, a journal popped out from a shelf. I recognized the cover immediately as a journal I wrote in when I was 25 years old. I knew the time frame and hesitated. I wasn't sure I wanted to unlock that particular door. Cat caught and tossed outside, I looked at the journal awhile before opening it.
The first entry was August 5, 1993, two days after an ex-boyfriend had tried to murder me. The handwriting is shaky--I was on some serious pain medication at the time. My jaw had been dislocated, ribs bruised, head injury from a car accident exasperated; but I needed to write, needed to purge the raging emotions in my heart. I am glad that I did.
I read the journal with the detachment of an anthropologist studying a lost culture. Curiosity kept me turning the pages when I realized that there are things I have blocked out from that time period. Maybe I didn't want to remember all of it, but I did write it all down. I also realized that I never truly dealt with the trauma of being brutally assaulted by a man I had once trusted.
After a lot of physical therapy and doctor care, I rushed back into my life as a 25 year old, anxious to simply be 25. As a result, I stuffed down a lot of confusion and glossed over a lot of fear. A lot of life has happened between now and then, but the words I wrote as that 25 year old girl opened a wound I had avoided tending.
I have never forgotten what it's like to have someone slamming my head against a wall. I have never forgotten the pain of being kicked across a room. I have never forgotten the look of evil in a man's eyes. I have never forgotten the feeling of absolute terror. I have never forgotten the inner strength that kept me alive.
But I had forgotten that he destroyed most of my photo albums from college and high school. Strangely enough--beginning about 2 years ago--I started looking for them at my parents' house when I visit. My memory completely blanked out the facts of what had happened to them---until now. Interesting. I had forgotten that he ripped up most of my clothes. I had forgotten that my doctors wanted to keep me in physical therapy but I was too stubborn to cooperate.
Why did I forget these seemingly small details yet remember the most horrific details such as his eyes and the scent of the night? Why does it matter now?
It matters now because I want to be healthy and healed. It matters now because I want to embrace my future without old wounds bleeding into it. I can deal with scars but not open wounds. I am on a precipice of all things wonderful. My dreams are coming true. I am happy again. I see the big picture and it's pretty damn spectacular.
I will not be haunted anymore. I will not be held back by fear. I will no longer hide. I don't believe in coincidence. I have no idea why that journal fell out into the open last night when I was looking for the damn cat. I do know that the only way to heal is to wade through the muck and come out the other side battered but not broken.
Avoidance never works. Eventually, whatever it is you're hiding from finds you and bites you in the butt. You're better off turning around, facing it head on and smacking it in the nose.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com