She asked me, “Does it ever go away?” and i wanted to tell her it did… but couldn’t lie to her.
“No,” i told her… “it doesn’t ever go away...” and she continued crying – her pale skin blotching with emotion… her shaking hands taking kleenex after kleenex from mine . i told her that she could find ways to deal with her issues, to take her power back, and that she might even find that her experiences would help her navigate the world with greater empathy, but that it never just ‘went away.’
All she wanted to do was tell me what her brother did to her… what her father had threatened to do to her… what her mother should have done but didn’t do… what she feared she would become… or not become. She wanted to tell me that she felt fucked up (and i recalled a sentiment i’ve given voice to many times… i am broken… i am broken).
All she needed in that moment was for me to tell her it would be all better – that she’d be able to forget her past… but i couldn’t lie to her.
“There will be soft places for you to fall...” i told her… “and people who will see beauty where you see scars… people who will support you while you learn to love yourself.”
It is affirming, when people trust you enough to share such things… but with it comes such a burden. i wanted to scoop the young girl up in my arms, wanted to rock her until her tears subsided. And i wanted to hurt the manchild who first hurt her… true enough… but all i did was listen to her… suggest places she could get proper help… and then deal with my own demons as i heard her footsteps fading down the hallway.
“There will be triggers, “ i had just told her, “that bring memories to the surface.”
Ah, but i didn’t tell her that one day, decades from now, a young woman might come to her… raw with emotion… and share with her the horrible secrets that were crushed and swallowed whole… and it would trigger her… as it triggered me today… with an overwhelming fresh pain… that it would cause her deep sorrow… not to recall her own scarred life… but to realize that the same monstrous things were still happening… still happening.
It was a very emotional afternoon.
Food therapy: slice of cake from pattycake and a nice cool glass of almond milk.