“When I go back to that house, it’s like every inch of the walls knows the narrative. The paint has changed, the furniture, but my story is buried in the very foundation that that house is built on. It stores the memories that I can’t find…. there are such large chunks of my childhood missing (like the entire time from 9-13) and if I try to get close to them… it’s overwhelming. And if adult me, if more emotionally capable and supported me, if I can’t handle it…. what did child me feel like? What choice did she have?”
“She survived any way she could, and she did an amazing job. And it doesn’t surprise me that you disassociate when you are there. And I want you to remember that it’s not the time to change that. Notice it, do what you can, but it’s okay if it happens. It is how you stay safe.”
“Do you ever think I will be able to go back without disassociating?”
“Yes. I do. I honestly do.”
“But getting to that point… it is going to hurt. It’s going to be painful and full of grief.”
“I told you I would never lie to you. Yes, it will. Integrating your experiences isn’t going to be pleasant…. but I firmly believe it will be worth it. I believe you can do it. And I’m on board for the journey. I’m here”
I am safe at the airport. There is something different about this time, going back. I think it’s the awareness I hold now about my experience and my emotions that is making it feel different. I find it hard to avoid them on purpose. I used to be able to disassociate almost on cue. Not now.
I almost didn’t go five different times this morning. I almost purchased a ticket to go in the opposite direction. I pushed the timing to the limit and left myself very little room for error.
But I’m here. Gate B16.
I honestly don’t know how much I will post this time. Know that I’m relatively (at least physically) safe, in case I don’t write. And I care about all of you.
It feels so overwhelming to be cared for and connected when I am there. It hurts, and you all care so lovingly and so kindly for me – I am not sure, if I numb out, if I will be able to deal with the juxtaposition.
This is a journey in so many more ways than one. The show must go on.