Friday, February 14, 2014

The Shadow Within Me

     A shadow cannot exist without light. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I may not be the same person anymore. In fact, I know I'm not. However, that doesn't erase who I used to be and doesn't erase the hatred I have towards my former self. Some days I don't remember that life was any other way. Others lead me back to those places; they make me gasp for air. Don't get me wrong. I am not ashamed of where I've come from. The only shame would lie in no longer trying, but that doesn't make things any easier.
     Everyday is a battle, but it's a battle that I've won. Today, to an ordinary person, should have been a good day. Although I accomplished a lot and spent time with an amazing friend, my mind remains clouded. There were moments I went so very far away, moments that were terrifying memories, moments that had the potential to break me at one point. The thing that is hard for me is detaching myself from the past and living in the present.
     Life is about letting go. I don't know how many people have told me this, and I believe it too. Nothing causes me more of a burden than carrying my past on my shoulders. Bits and pieces I've let go. I have accepted that my father left me at five years old. I have resigned myself to the fact that nothing I went through was my fault. These things have all been very big steps in my healing process. Unfortunately they are not the end but merely the beginning of a life long journey.
     Abuse, especially extended and repeated abuse by family, tears that body apart; maybe not physically but definitely emotionally. The so called "broken pieces" I have had to glue together aren't just parts of a broken vase or a mirror. They are tiny pieces of flaming hot metal. They slice clear through my flesh and they never fit quite right together. Even if I'm strong enough to try to repair some of the damage, the pain of fixing what others broke is often more difficult than being broken in the first place.
     Slowly I have gathered up as many as I can, but it's merely a shell of who I could have been. There is no point regretting what I cannot change. I don't necessarily wish things were different, but I do wish the memories and the scars allowed me more room to become the person I am now. I am compassionate. I love helping people, especially the underdogs (everyone needs someone to fight for them). I have dreams that I am achieving. I'm active. I'm happy. Nothing can take that away. Nothing.  I may harbor a shadow somewhere within me, but that's all it is: a reflection of what has been. I am a survivor and that is how I know that you can make it through whatever you may be facing. Anything is possible. Stay strong!

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