Monday, August 25, 2008

My Story

I have to preface this post. The things discussed in this post may bring back emotions or memories for some that they would prefer to leave tucked away today. I understand. I've been there. If you want to read on and share, know that this is a safe place to do so. If you do not wish to continue, that is ok with me too....

Ten years ago, life was great. I was young, clueless, and deeply immersed in the angst that accompanies growing up. When the school year started, we moved to a new house across town. It was bigger and held such promise for all of us. Football season began and I found myself busy with auditions and performances. I was eager to begin treading into college level classes and nervous that I would not be able to keep up with some of the higher ranking students. I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay at the head of the pack in everything I did. I was not popular. I was too thinly spread to settle in one click or another.

One night my world crashed in around me. All of the fears and nightmares I had kept at bay for so long suddenly in one fell swoop carried me away. I cannot say the word comfortably. I do well to acknowledge it to myself. I dare not whisper it. I always find myself looking over my shoulder nervously if I ever do utter the word. I don't think I will ever get over that.

I remember a train whistle in the distance. I was asleep after a long angst filled night of football and halftime preparations. He came in and took what he sought despite five people being in our home. I thought I was safe - until that night. I thank God every day of my life that my little sister and her three friends stayed oblivious and safe in the family room with my mother.

They never found him. Our tiny police department just didn't know how to handle things like that. My friends whispered behind closed doors and on telephones. Things like that never happened in our town. Surely this was just a ploy. I must be desperate for attention. Parents looked at me differently and no one would come to my house anymore. I was broken. No one knew what to say or do. Least of all me.

My parents, meaning well, encouraged me to leave it all behind. They wanted me to go on as if nothing had happened. I had such a future ahead of me and if I fell behind now, I would never catch up. I struggled to keep up and hide behind the walls I built up. It didn't work.

Ten years later, I still wake up at night scarcely able to breathe. I am drenched with sweat and fear. I cling tight to any ray of light I can find.

My husband knows. Sort of. He knows that it happened. He doesn't understand it though. I don't think that anyone could truly understand unless they too had been forced to stand face to face with my reality. He uses the word nonchalantly in the games he plays. He scoffs at my terror of a train's whistle. I can't blame him though. Anyone on the outside of my walls would think it silly to shudder and tremble at a passing train. A thoughtless word is just that - thoughtless. Without the images that flash on the screen of my mind, how could anyone possibly understand the pain or terror that goes hand in hand with those words, sounds, smells.

I don't have many friends anymore. The looks and cold shoulders of that time have jaded me I am afraid. I am one of those surface people. I know there have to be more like myself out there. I meet with colleagues at work and we have a great rapport. I can talk to people and carry on a fun and entertaining round of conversation. I love my family and hold them tight. But, no one can breach the surface. My husband has even raised a complaint or two that I should share more with him.

I can't. Part of me wants to hold tight to this memory that plays over and over. I dare not leak a breath of it to anyone. If I carry it and hold tightly to it perhaps I can protect all of those naive people that share their lives with my own.


rescogitatae said...

Arian- big big hugs. You are so brave and so strong to share that with us.

alicia said...

I can't imagine the strength it took to write this. Dealing with something so tramatic is unique to every person, so if you can't talk about it, and if you need to have that wall built up around it to function, I think that is totaly understandable. I am sure one day when you are ready, you will be able to tell your husband more, but don't force yourself to fast, healing is a slow process.

You are a very remarkable women to be able to share your story here. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

What bravery to share your story... I am so sorry this happened to you and how the trama can ripple on after the fact.

What a heavy burden you are carrying so close to your heart... As much as I understand the craving to replay it over and over again, perhaps one day you won't need to. You'll never forget, but perhaps you won't have to relive all the horrid emotions each time when it comes to mind.

Oh you are in my thoughts. I am so sorry for all he took from you, then and now. All my love!

Rebecca said...

I understand your pain. I am sorry you've had to carry it alone for this long. You are safe with us, to share as much or as little as you ever want to share. (((HUGS)))