I got pregnant when I was 13. I lost the baby a month later. The whole process was traumatic, and it’s one of the traumas I’m finally working on processing. It’s a loss I’ve never really allowed myself to grieve.
But, here I sit, writing this. And I’m feeling the pain 13-year-old me carried quietly and silently for years, too ashamed to speak into existence.
I haven’t written a word in two weeks, I told my therapist during our session today. Nothing. Not even a single journal entry. (Not that I keep a journal, but you get the picture.)
You need to write, he replied. Step out of the shame bubble. Process the feelings you haven’t allowed yourself to feel.
It hurts, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe it has to hurt before it feels better.
And right now, I’m hurting. Hurting more than I wish I were, more than I’d like to be. I’m starting to learn that that’s ok. It’s ok to feel pain, ok to feel hurt.
And I’m trying to process all of this, all of this trauma and pain and hurt in my life. Trying to feel emotions I haven’t felt in years. It’s hard, and it sucks. And my cousin lost a baby this week, and I’m grieving for them because I know what that feels like. I know what that feels like; I wish I didn’t. I wish that at 25 I didn’t know. I wish that at 13 I didn’t know.
I wish so many things. But the trick is that you can’t wish for more wishes–you have to make do with what you have, and what I have are my words.
I haven’t written anything in two weeks because I’ve been too scared to walk into the uncomfortability of feelings, of emotions. My life is in a state of flux right now: my job is ending at the end of the month, I’ve come to accept the fact that the church I’ve called home for my whole life is no longer home, I’ve gotten angry at things for the first time in years, and I’m still processing.
I’m still processing so much. And I’m hurting, trying to hurt without hurting myself, trying to move forward through it all. Because my first instinct when I’m hurting is self-harm, and then my second instinct is to stuff my emotions inside. But neither are productive and doing so resulted in three suicide attempts.
And I feel ashamed. I feel as though my life ended on the day that I was raped, and now here I am trying to learn how to live again. Boy, is it hard. Boy, is it exhausting. Boy, is it so hard to just get out of bed in the morning. Boy, is it hard to pray to a God that I’m not sure I even believe in right now.
I feel shame and hurt and anger and pain. I’m letting the tears fall as they may because my therapists says it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to let the feelings out when they come. And boy, have they come hard over the last few weeks. Shame. Hurt. Anger. Pain. Fear.
Fear. Boy, am I scared. Scared of feeling, scared at what the future holds, scared of writing.
It’s easier to hide in the dark than to hide in the light. And I’ve come into the light–started this journey of writing about my battles, my demons, my past–and I can’t turn back now.
I’m racing towards what scares me and that means acknowledging all of this–my hurt, my pain, my brokenness–putting it on display for all to see because there are people I want to reach, I want to help. I want to use my story for good.
But that means admitting that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I don’t have any of this figured out.
But maybe that’s the beauty of it: maybe we can figure it out together.