Since going public about the abuse, I’ve felt the urge to go back and explain myself to friends and (moreso to) acquaintances that, really, I’m fine. The fact that I am in a place where I am making this information known is a huge step toward releasing it and moving on. I don’t want to burden anyone with it, or to for them to worry about me. I may sound sad and hurt and angry, but really, I’m OK…
That is, until I’m not OK.
The happy, positive, take-it-all-in-stride mask of mine is screaming to go back on. It’s safer there. Pretending I don’t have any problems feels comfortable. I do believe there is some value to the attitude of “fake it till you make it.” A positive attitude can take you far, and it’s a heck of a lot less annoying to be around than a negative one. However, in my case, pretending to be fine used to be my only option. There wasn’t a time or place where I was safe enough to stop faking it, until now. I have “made it,” emotionally speaking, and now I feel like having a good, hard-earned cry about it.
I feel like crying in the same way Forrest Gump felt like running. After a lifetime of pain and heartache, Forrest ran for three years, two months, fourteen days, and sixteen hours. When he stopped, he said, “I’m pretty tired, I think I’ll go home now.” And then he was done. He could move on. I am grieving in a similar way. There may be a day where I look up and realize I am done, and there may not. Right now I am putting one foot in front of the other, unmasked, allowing myself to feel whatever I am feeling.
And that’s all I have to say about that.