Some days, I don’t want to be alive.
But those aren’t the days that scare me.
It’s the days where I do that are the terrifying ones.
Where I feel this fight to survive well up from somewhere deep within. This desire to live, and live well, and live for myself.
It’s those days that catch me off guard.
When you live so much of your life for other people, what is scariest is realizing you have the choice to live it for you.
I’ve been wandering within the borders of this storm for so long that I didn’t realize there were places where I could live without rain. I don’t need to be drowning. I don’t even need to be wet.
I don’t have to create problems – I don’t have to consistently dump buckets of water on my own head to make me feel like I belong where I am.
I can simply… be.
And that idea is so foreign to me.
I imagine it’s like viewing something for the first time – it’s strange. It’s different. I am allowed to stand on my own two feet? I have a voice, a choice?
As an adult I am able to yell “NO MORE” and I have the right – a right I was born with – a right that was ignored until now – I have a right to expect you to listen.
I can put up my hand and say stop. I have a voice. I write this story now.
And as I use my voice the trauma becomes not the narrative of my life but a thread of prologue. A part of the story that explains how I got here but that does not define who I am.
No, only I have that right.
And who I am does not need to line up with who they say I have to be.
I get to be me. And I get to decide what that looks like. And I can change my mind. And what I need today can be different tomorrow but what they all have in common is they are my. choices.
So yes, the days where I want to live are much scarier than those where I want to cease existing.
But I take off the shackles and realize I now have the power to walk out of my cell. I didn’t always, and I lament that, and I mourn it and I grieve it. And I love that part of me. That scared child who did not know anything of the world outside those four walls. Who internalized it. Who believed she was born to play the victim and that love would always be conditional.
But I’m an adult now. And I get to choose.
The outside terrifies me. The world outside the cell – one with choice and safety and stability – that world that is not my normal.
And yet day by day, as I grow stronger, it’s the world where I want to be.
I am reclaiming this life. For me, for her, for us.