Depression is just one word. I don’t feel just one word. Depression is a feeling. “I feel depressed.” I thought I was just depressed. I don’t just feel the word depressed. I don’t sit in a lump feeling unmotivated. I cannot lump my emotions into one feeling. I look at depression as one big blob. That does no justice to the emotions I am feeling. I am “depressed” would be like using the word I feel “tired” when really I feel exhausted to the core of my being. Saying I am depressed would be minimizing the intricate combination of emotions that I am feeling right now. It feels like a word that a 3rd grader would use when asked how his day at school was. “It was blah. I’m mad at John. I’m tired.I hate school already.” I want your PHD words. I want, ” It was horrific. I despise John. I’m wearily exhausted and I abhor school!” Depression just seems too simple for how I am feeling right now. I am in no means minimizing the validity of the word. I am just saying I feel a heck of a lot more than just depressed right now and those feelings need to be spoken.
I posted a few pictures with this blog. One I was holding my cousin when she was just a baby while we were up in the mountains. I was smiling at her because I adored holding her and her brother who was a few years older. The other picture was Thanksgiving with my family. I was tan from a summer of skiing. I believe I was 11 in one and 15 in the other. These were the years that involved the beginnings of the abuse that I can recall and everything in between.
I can’t remember crying. I look at these pictures and I remember different incidents and I can’t remember crying. I remember the abuse. And I will not sugar coat it. So many people say “abuse” and they don’t describe it because of many reasons: They can’t. It’s too hard to say it. They are not ready. They can’t reveal it yet. I understand that wholeheartedly. But when people out there in this big wide world hear the word abuse they need to know what abuse means from those of us who can say the words. Today, I told my therapist a few words. It was the first time I have ever spoken these words.It is easier to type them than to say them outloud. But it is nice to have a person looking back at you giving you that safe space and validating the realness of the experience. And I cried.
I cried for all the times I never cried before.
When a man was laying on top of me with his penis pressed against me and his tongue down my 11 year old throat… I never cried.
When a man forced his penis inside me when I was not ready and then left me bleeding on the floor…I never cried.
When I was date raped in a shower…I never cried.
When I was smothered by a 50 year old man forcing me to watch porn and rubbing his body all over mine and feeling all over me when I was 11, kissing my neck and making me feel his hands on me… I never cried.
I NEVER CRIED.
My mother wrote in my baby book that I was very emotional. She said that I never had to be spanked because if you looked at me wrong or raised your voice I would cry. Apparently, after a man forces his body on top of yours as a child you forget how to cry appropriately.
When I was sodomized… I did not cry.
When I was bullied I never… cried.
When I was bribed, manipulated, scared, petrified, mortified, horrified, humiliated, intimidated, violated … I DID NOT CRY!
When my parents let my brother go back and ski with the man who molested me, I did not cry. I was not filled with rage. I felt no anger.
When my father did nothing to the man who molested me (other than shaking his hand), I did not cry. I did not feel rage.
When I sat on the end of my dock, on my lake, and watched my brother skiing with everyone who denied the truth and everyone who enabled a molester, I did not cry. I did not feel rage.
When my stepfather read the letter that I wrote to my family detailing the abuse that I endured and he replied with selfish hurtful words… I did not cry.
I remember being a little girl and getting a black baby doll from, I think, a flea market. I loved that baby doll. I don’t know why she was so special to me. But I was made fun of for having a black baby doll. My parents had a burn pit on the side of the house where they burned garbage and leaves and such. I walked out there one day with my baby doll and I threw her in the fire. I watched her burn up and I cried. I had to have been maybe 7 or 8. That is the last time I remember allowing myself to really deep down feel. A few days later I went to a friend’s house and this friend’s mother had a porcelain doll collection. One of the dolls was black. I wondered how an adult could have a black doll on her bed but I was made fun of for having one. My parents bought me a white porcelin doll like my friend’s mom’s doll. When I was about 32 my daughter accidently broke the doll and I cried. I cried because it reminded me of the black baby doll I threw into the fire pit. My husband can tell you the amount of times I have cried since we have been married, it has not been a lot.
Today I cried. It was not because I was depressed. Today I cried because I allowed myself access to the part of me that couldn’t cry. It was painful. It was excruciating. But I allowed myself to feel. I am allowing myself to feel rage. Every part of my being deserves to be free to feel. I am overcome with sadness. I am overcome with rage. And I should be. And that is normal. What is not normal is a child who has been silenced. What is not normal is a child that has endured sexual abuse, a teenager enduring sexual abuse, an adult enduring sexual abuse. I experienced trauma. That deserves to be validated. Rage and tears can be and should be shed.
It was not only my voice that was silenced, it was my emotions.
Nothing about me will be silenced any longer.