My father was full of hate. He raged. He spewed harsh words that would cut to the bone leaving a wound so clean it couldn’t bleed…it was just exposed…gaping…unable to heal itself. I lived in fear of him until I was 15…when we finally left.
His love was unattainable. I know this because I spent my childhood trying to attain it. I tried every angle I could think of as a child…which granted was limited.
I tried being funny…making him laugh. When my father wasn’t enraged, he was hilarious. Charming and gregarious…that’s part of what made the dark so dark. It was always unexpected and uncontainable.
I tried being a tomboy. It wasn’t a secret that their was hope I’d be a boy…and disappointment by some when I wasn’t. But try as I might, I was still a girl…with girl interests…and little girl emotions. I put up a tough exterior, but inside I was shattered.
I tried being an over achiever. Getting good grades, performing in theater, being a track star…maybe I could earn his love through personal accomplishments. The result was throwing myself into “things” as a means to mask how I was feeling.
This shadow has followed me around my entire life. It’s impacted every relationship I’ve had with a male. I inherently wait for the other shoe to drop. For a relationship that feels good…supportive…nurturing…to turn cold without any notice.
Some would say that becomes a self fulling prophecy…and maybe it does. Actually, it probably does because I’ve become so sensitive to the turn…overly aware of the chill…that I probably see things — feel things — when there’s nothing there. I’ll own that. It’s my issue and I’m trying to work through it. I’m trying to release that trauma to exist in the moment of what’s occurring, rather than allowing old fears to seep in and sabotage.
But it’s not something I can necessarily work through on my own. For starters, there has to be a trigger to set it off…and that involves a third party. The hope is that the third party is close enough to me to understand this trigger and when I’m in it…when I’ve fallen down that slippery slope of fear…they can extend a hand…offer a hug…step back from the heat of the moment and see a little girl hurt.
I can only hope that their heart is big enough to fit me and the wounded little girl in it. That through love and nurturing, we can heal her so she can let go of those past traumas. So she can feel accepted…loved…cared for.
The adult me logical knows all this but when the button is pushed, the little girl takes over. I regress to the age of the wound…I feel it happening…but it’s almost like the adult me is silenced. The pain is too great to ignore. It’s years of compounded anguish…of silence…of fear…that comes pouring out. It washes over like a tide wave and I’m left fighting to keep my head above water.
I’ve worked through so many of these triggers…and released them. But this one is deep. For most of my adult life I’ve kept it buried so deep that it didn’t get triggered…plus, let’s be honest, there were enough other triggers setting on top it that it was protection by obfuscation.
Keeping people…men…at arm’s length was the best policy. If I didn’t let them in, they didn’t have the power to hit the button. They were always just out of reach of it. But that’s a lonely existence. You know what else is lonely, though, letting people in that don’t understand the button. Not because they’ve done anything wrong but because there aren’t words in the moment to explain what’s happening. It’s a reaction and the result is hurt on all sides.
I know the best way to release the trigger is to trigger it until it’s no longer a trigger. That means pulling people in to press the button…letting them press it…riding the wave…and hoping that when the dust settles the trigger is gone but my loved ones are still there.
I have no idea of the outcome…nor can I be tied to the outcome. I have to trust in the Universe. Trust that whatever happens is what’s supposed to…and no matter what it’s meant to be. That on the other side of all the pain is a beautiful waterfall of dancing unicorns bursting with love and emotion.