I felt the pain inside, probably for the first time.
It’s not anger, it’s not fear, but this mountain of pain housed inside my chest.
It pushes on my lungs. I think that if I can just breathe, it might be released.
So, I wait to exhale. Exhale the pain and poison that has been building in my body for nearly 40 years.
This image is one that helped me feel the pain…
The look in her eyes hit me… I saw it as innocence and trust. For a moment, I connected with the pain of the past. I even shed a few tears. But the connection was fleeting. Today I look at the photo and see a totally different scenario… one where someone is holding the girls legs to the left of the camera; and the girl isn’t trusting or innocent, but instead looking at the photographer for help.
I wonder if these two views of the same image are necessary for my healing. Much of my life feels as if it’s been run in parallel realities – one where I was safe, loved and nurtured; one filled with abuse and pain. By seeing these two realities within a photo, maybe I can start to bring them together more often.
On Polyvore, I titled this set “K”, as it represents Katie. The confusion about whether the image shows innocence or fear, fits with my knowledge of Katie. I was convinced for a long time that Katie had never experienced any abuse, but was silent because there were strong messages from the childhood about children being seen and not heard. A couple of years ago, there were signs that she was mute for other reasons.
Over the last year, my safety has become more and more questionable. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence that as my safety levels have lowered, Katie has been less present. With the absence of her and other younger ones, I also lost a great deal of hope. I realise that I need to bring myself back to safety in order for the ones such as Katie to be present. I need to find hope and safety within myself… I can’t continue to compartmentalise such vital aspects of my healing.
I’m also told that it’s a cop out to compartmentalise hope… That by doing so, I’m putting too much pressure and responsibility on ones that need nurturing, not expectations.
Now, to put that knowledge into action.