Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I need to feel safe. Security is something I had very little of growing up. I couldn't rely on my home being a safe place for me. My relationship with both of my parents was unpredictable at best, and downright scary at worst.

We didn't have the type of family where we talked about our emotions. We didn't really talk about anything; with each other or with anybody else. The kids followed orders or otherwise we kept a low profile and just hoped that we wouldn't be targeted by a foul mood or an errant chore.

The masks we wore in public were something we learned from a very early age. We were to behave a certain way when company was over or when we were out in public. We were well-behaved, courteous, and quiet. We were clean and dressed appropriately. We all played the part very well. It was like a play being performed. No fighting with each other, no back-talk, no doing things you aren't supposed to do... otherwise we all knew the consequences when we'd get home, or get in the car. Most importantly, we never talked about the things that went on at home to anyone. We didn't talk to family, friends, teachers, neighbors; we just didn't talk about it. It wasn't just discipline that kept us quiet, it was genuine fear. The threats uttered weren't idle for us.

Unpredictability became so commonplace that I grew to find monotony and routine as the calm before the inevitable storm. The longer the calm lasted, the more anxious I would become. Before I was even 11 years old, I began to find laughter, celebration, and general good moods around my house to be such high-tension moments of my life that I had trouble sleeping and eating became difficult.

Things are very different in my family today. So different, in fact, that I often feel like I don't belong to this new family. It's an environment where good moods and laughter are much more common. Joking around, playfulness, and frank conversations happen frequently.

But I still don't feel safe. The scars left on me from all those years have never healed. I am still anxious in moments of peace. I still struggle with talking about my emotions instead of letting them run rough shot over my life. I still feel inadequate most of the time. I still fight urges to try to play peacemaker in every situation. I still feel alone due to finding it so difficult to talk to people about how I'm feeling or what I'm going through.

I'm working on it, though. And that's all any of us can do: try. I don't want to feel alone. I don't want to feel like I don't belong anywhere or that I am somehow beyond repair or more than anyone should have to 'deal with'. So I'm working on it. I'm talking finally. I'm letting the poison out so that I can begin to heal and begin to find my voice.

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