This morning as I was preparing for the day - getting everyone up, dressed, getting breakfast and lunches ready - I looked at my kids. My beautiful children with not a care in the world. Their biggest worry is if they have time to play a quick game of Mindcraft before leaving for school. They're pretty lucky.
I'm jealous of them.
When I was their age, I had a lot on my plate already. Yes, I worried about that last bit of morning cartoons and making sure I finished my breakfast, but I also worried about so much more.
I worried about being touched every day. I worried about getting taken to school by grandfather and what would happen in the car. I was a stressed child at their age. It sucked.
I haven't thought about what happen to me in a while.
Who am I kidding? Something triggers the memories of abuse every other day or so and I can usually handle it. It's when the memories seep into my dreams. That's what breaks me.
I don't even have to dream about the abuse, really. The dreams come to me and usually it's normal stuff. I'm just hanging out in my old family home in Los Angeles. Or I'm hanging out with my family from my past, out and about like everything is normal.
Last night's dream crushed me as I woke up. I was sitting around a table with my abusers and they were asking me to open up and talk about what happened. It was surreal. It was as if they were trying to counsel me or something. I couldn't wake up. I tried. I knew it was a dream, I just couldn't break from it. The only thing that saved me was my alarm to wake me up. For once, I was happy to wake up on a Monday morning.
It's hard to be happy and all there when your brain attacks you. And no pill can help that. There isn't a pill in the world that will erase my past. Memories cannot be erased. I know it's not happening anymore. That all stopped when I was thirteen, but the consequences of my past haunt me.
Sometimes I'll be driving and I'll see a man that reminds me of one of them. Or I'll be out to dinner at a restaurant and I'll hear someone's way of breathing at the table next to me. I'll smell something in a room that triggers a memory. All of these are constant reminders of what I had to go through as a child.
It sucks. So, yes, I'm jealous of my kids. Not sometimes, but a lot. They are so lucky to have overly protective parents. They're lucky that every person they come into contact with is combed over and they are never left alone with adults. They're asked everyday about how their days were. I have long talks with my children that they never have to be afraid of telling me or their Daddy anything. We'll never be mad. They will never be afraid of getting blamed.
I'm jealous of them, but so thankful for them as well. They are evidence of good parenting and safe lives. All they ever need to worry about is normal things in their lives. They are good, well-rounded kids with a good head on their shoulders. They have parents that would kill for them. Yes, I would.
There is no happy ending to what happens in my dreams. The happy ending, I suppose, is when I wake up, knowing that it's not happening anymore. That my biggest worry now are the normal things in life. Just like my kids...
I know I'm stronger and more resilient because of my childhood. I know that I am brave. I know that I am enough. Just sometimes...sometimes the little girl inside of me wants know that I'm all those things. She wants to know that it all ends. She wants to feel safe. She wants to know the future.
She needs for everything to stop, so that she can have her happily ever after.
It will happen, sweet girl. It will. I promise. Some days will be bad, but others will remind you how strong and brave you've always been.
Look at what you have to look forward to.