Monday, January 18, 2016

Walking Through Fear

I remember standing in line with the heat of the Texas sun flooding down, as I held my brothers small, sweaty hand. We were waiting to see "Grease," and the buttery smell of popcorn rushing out of the air conditioned theater each time someone opened or closed the door made me feel sick to my stomach. I was eleven, and I didn't understand the word "rape." I didn't have the vocabulary at the time for what had happened to me. The timeline in my head is confused, but it must have happened not long before this memory.  We stood in the heat, and I remember feeling lost and numb. As soon as we stepped inside the lobby, I vomited all over the ticket takers shoes. My brother began to cry. I took him into the bathroom, wiped his tears, and scrubbed the splattered bile from my tennis shoes with a useless paper towel. We weren't with an adult, but they let us in without question to see the movie. That probably wouldn't happen in 2016. I dropped into that film as if my life depended on it. I was every song, every line, and every laugh. It was then that I must have decided I no longer wanted to be me. I don't think of that time in my life very often anymore, but I still live with certain fears. A preview for that movie was on the television the other evening, which brought back that particular memory. I was also triggered at the yoga studio because I now teach a 7:00-8:15 p.m. class on Monday nights. I'm nervous to walk to my car in the dark when I close alone. We are located near a Pizza Hut, and often there are a couple of guys out there taking their smoke breaks. I fear groups of men even more than I fear a man who is alone because I was raped by two, and I'm almost certain that while I was being raped, there were other people who knew it was going on. I'm trying, but it causes a lot of anxiety for me. It also brings out some anger, because I'm tired of being afraid. I even thought about giving up that class because of it, and that is ridiculous. I do not want to allow fear to get in the way of living my life. I am not a little girl anymore. Wish me luck tonight as I walk through my fear.

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." ~Sarah Williams

Artwork by~ Akageno Saru


Mishap Maven said...

There are no words. I'm in tears for that young girl, yet I am in awe of and feel so proud of the strong warrior woman you've become.

8thday said...

I have been a longtime reader, and admirer, although I don't think I've ever commented. I have been in and out of therapy for decades trying to sort out and conquer the after effects of rape and trauma. And I am pretty excited to say that I think I have finally come out the other side, mostly because of a therapist who convinced me to write and talk about it.

Please know that I am here, rooting for you. I hope you will continue to write about your fears and your victories - not only for you but for all those anonymous people, like myself, who have read and have been bolstered by knowing we are not alone on our shared journey. You will never know how some of your beautiful poems helped me through many a dark night.

Sending you warm and healing thoughts and wishing you peace.

Thank you.