In memory of a husband who passed away years ago from alcoholism. I use to hate him for it. I also have a mother who is an alcoholic as well as a brother who is an addict. Their are so many addictions out there. There are so many people we all know who are addicts. It took me a long time to realize it is not their choice.
One of the most difficult parts of my life tends to lie underneath the surface. It wasn’t until my later years when a psychiatrist explained to me that all the emotional pain in my life has a tendency to cause actual physical symptoms of being unwell. I have been told that your body remembers. Your body remembers trauma, certain times of the year when you experienced the trauma, even certain times of the day. Both emotional and physical symptoms are intertwined.
I am in no way a professional on this subject matter, I am not a medical doctor nor a psychiatrist. I can only tell you from my own personal experiences what all this means to me. I absolutely believe it. It is not something I wish on anyone. For me personally, being sick to my stomach, feeling terrible on the inside with no means of explaining why, has literally been a challenging part of my life.
For example, I did not write anything yesterday, because after a brief visit with my mother and grandmother, I began to feel physically ill. I became so ill in fact that I had to lay down for most of the afternoon. The day went by and my face became flush and my husband could literally see that I was not well. I am still feeling the physical pains in my stomach this morning and I am hoping this will all go away soon.
What does a visit from my mother have to do with anything you might be asking. Well, in my younger years my mother was a practicing alcoholic. She would come at me with hateful remarks about how I reminded her of my dad who use to beat her when they were together. I remember specifically one day when she came home from the bar and tackled me down to the ground because I was washing dishes and she accused me of taking over her house. Now this might have happened over 30 years ago, but trust me, my body still remembers. My mind still remembers.
My mother and I’s relationship has been on and off over the years, and is now mending, so I found it astonishing to realize yesterday and today, what all is going on with me physically even now after the immediate trauma has past. I find it personally saddening to forgive someone and to try to move forward only to have the physical symptoms raise their ugly heads and want to hold me back. Now mind you, my mother was not the worst case I had to deal with growing up, my father on the other hand, was by far the worst of them all. So, to sit here and realize at this very moment, that if I were to ever physically see my father, I might need to mentally prepare myself for what might happen to my overall well being.
Perhaps all this is just a fluke. Perhaps all this is a coincidence you might be thinking. Well perhaps, maybe. But this is not the first time this has happened. This has happened to me so much in my life, that my heart is weakened, and my immune system is low. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I suffer with severe headaches. I have weakened bones. The list goes on.
I am fortunate to have good days. These are the days that when I feel okay, I literally look like a mad woman attempting to complete anything and everything and can practically overwork anyone because I utilize those days to my advantage. I self consciously know that time is of the utmost importance because eventually I will be overwhelmed with some sort of sickness, or pain, or depression and I will become no longer functional. Some days the sickness will last just a day, other times it may last a week or more.
I am curious to know if there are others out their like me. Do you suffer from physical unexplained illnesses and pain? Does it tend to happen during certain times of the days, months, years, when childhood trauma occurred?
Our minds and emotions are powerful things for this I know for certain. I am like an onion with so many unpeeled layers that even my own mind doesn’t recognize these certain events until the physical symptoms appear. What I wouldn’t give to know these timelines for I could better prepare myself. It is a mystery to me to what lies beneath..
I am blessed to be here and if my work is helping you in anyway all contributions are welcomed! Thank you in advance.
I wrote this poem sitting in a high school class when I lived in Texas. My high school years were the most terrible, turbulent years for me. I was dealing with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Quite honestly, I do not know how I survived. I was so isolated as a teenager. Know one seemed to notice, and I rarely talked, at least not much. Have you ever been in one of those families where children are to be seen not heard? Yep, that was me, that was mine.
It has been so many years since I wrote this, yet, I still remember every word. Looking at the words, and reading them out loud to myself, I’m beginning to analyze. Somewhere, deep within me, I must have been holding onto a small flame. A flame for life. I had dodged the bullet so many times, fighting for my life, fighting just to live.
I can see the words, “No One Else Seems To Know”, and they are haunting. I believe people, children, as well as adults, and even the elderly, tend to hold their abuse close to them and that is one of the most daunting things that keeps the abuse going. Perpetrators seem to hold some kind of power over us, over them.
For me, something inside of me just snapped one dreadful afternoon. Instead of taking the abuse, I stood up and fought. If I was going to die, I wasn’t going to just lay down and do so. I was going to fight to live. And I did. Here I was a scrawny teenager fighting a 6 foot grown man. The look on his face, to this day, remains frozen in my mind, it remains frozen in time. I took my life back that day. I became that Willow Tree, grateful, for the gift of life….
*If you notice, quiet people, whether the young or old, please talk to them. I personally feel like you can make a difference in someone’s life. Reach out to that kid on the playground, sitting by themselves. Reach out to that elderly person, alone. Take some time for a conversation. Who knows, you just might make a friend, or save a life.
Thank you for reading,
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