I’m trying to find the words, but I can’t.
I don’t know how to explain the awful feeling that washes over me when my body is reminded of the trauma.
Is there a word for being completely overcome with revulsion from my head to my toes?
I get this initial feeling that tells me it’s about to happen. My chest becomes hollow and caves in. I’m completely exposed. I along with everyone else can see inside me. Everyone knows what I am. Everyone knows i’m disgusting, and they are repulsed by me.
At least that’s what my mind is telling me.
It mostly happens when I’m around my family. I suppose that’s because they were there for the trauma. They remind me of it without even trying.
It’s not anything I think about that causes it. It comes out of nowhere. The feeling creeps in on me when I don’t see it coming.
It’s like my body is remembering something that my conscious mind isn’t.
My body remembers.
It remembers that it has to be afraid of these people. My family. It has to be on guard for any possible attack.
It needs to protect itself.
This is all happening while my mom is talking to me about what I want to eat. I smile at her and pretend nothing’s wrong while my body is screaming at me. Begging me to run for cover. My mind is telling me what she thinks of me. She sees right through me. She knows my dark, twisted thoughts. She hates this part of me.
I could never admit this to her. She already lives with the guilt. I can’t imagine what good it would do…
But it hurts to keep it a secret. It hurts to have to pretend I’m fine. What I really want to say is, “Mom, I’m in a lot of pain. And being around you reminds me of someone that is long gone. It reminds me that you didn’t protect me when I was a defenseless child. I felt so alone. I lost you that day. I don’t think I’ll ever get you back the same way.”
But I can’t do that to her. It would open old wounds for the both of us.
The thing is deep in my heart I’ve forgiven her, but my body hasn’t.
And I don’t think it ever will.