I am living in the aftermath of my latest reckoning with my past. It has rocked my world even further than I had realized was possible. Walls that I had built in my mind when I was 4 have come crashing down, and that part of me that I had caged for my own protection has been released. She is free, and she has so much to learn.
It doesn’t feel safe this world that I find myself in as I make these realization and accept the past I hid for my own survival. I’m at a point in my trauma therapy where the realizations are from the very core of where it all began. These were the pieces that have been broken for so long they have been incorporated and accepted as reality, no matter how wrong or harsh they were.
The first of these memories was like pulling a tooth to get it out of mind and off of my tongue. The words were fought for and won from an ugliness perpetrated against me by very selfish people who were no my parents, but they were people whom we lived with and with whom I was entrusted. They broke me slowly at first, but once they had reached a point where I did not fight, they progressed a lot faster. I began having regular training sessions in how to behave sexually in different situations. They gave me names for the different behaviors I was supposed exhibit.
It came to me this week, the name they used whenever it was time for me to be punished for any infraction. It was my own name. My name was a bad girl. The number of times I heard those words, over and over throughout the punishment section of my training. The hardest part was when I was punished for doing as I was told. I would obey, and their response when I was done, was that only bad girls do those things. “My name” is a bad girl. Over and over. I would even have to repeat it back to them, “My name” is a bad girl. Bad girl, bad girl.
These words have echoed throughout my life from the time this memory was created over 30 years ago. It has been a root that has grown into my foundation. A thought that has reverberated round and round my mind tainting thoughts that had nothing to do with my past and only my present. You don’t like me because I am a bad girl. I am always wrong so why even speak because I am a bad girl. My pain never ends because I am a bad girl. My heart is broken and I am alone because I am a bad girl. I deserve the bad things in my life. I deserve the mistreatment. I deserve to never look up except at your discretion.
I know these specific memories are not the only ones that have fed the lies that have been my foundation of how I think and feel about myself. There are many more. This one, right now, has lowered walls and opened doors to parts of me that I did not even know existed. She is free now, this one who was punished over and over and told she was a bad girl.
She hasn’t seen the light of day in over 30 years, and she is a bit afraid of this world she has awoken into. She can be quite skittish after all of things that she has endured. But her strength is unparalled, and she will not give up. So if you find her crying and cringing in this world, show her a little love. She will not give up, she will grow up to be a beautiful woman who wants to change the world. If you stumble across her, say hi for she does not know the ways of this world. She is trying to understand all of the rules and protocols. She is trying and working and studying so that this world is hers as well.
She is beloved of the one who created her, and her name will only belong to her. It is not given or taken away or damaged by anyone in this world. Her name is hers to give, keep, and save for those who are worthy.
Until next time.