The past several nights, I have slept with my hands clenched. I didn't set out to do that. And until I wake up and my arms hurt from gripping too tight, I don't even realize I'm doing it. I first noticed it on Monday morning. I thought I was starting to get some sort of arthritis - but as the day wore on, my arms recovered, and by that night I felt mostly normal again. Then, it happened again.
All week long I've been trying to understand why I'm doing this. Some days I think I'm a fairly insightful kind of girl, but other days I know that there are so many things I don't know/can't understand/am not ready to get. What I've begun to discern today is that ultimately my life's purpose is really all about learning to open my hands. Whether to accept the gifts God has offered already, to open myself to who I am and am meant to be or to serve others, all require an openness.
To be blunt, that's tough. I'm closed off to myself. I can cry over someone else's journey, but I avoid my own story. The pain associated with this cracking open is difficult to contend with. I feel as if I dropped the egg, and now I'm trying desperately to scrape the contents back into the shell. It is spilling out and I don't know how to contain it. And instinctually, I ball up my fists. My jaw becomes tight, and back into the turtle's shell I go.
Today I shared a piece of my story with someone I don't know very well. There are certain people in life that you meet, and on some level you instinctually trust. But what if my instincts are wacked out again? Once you let go of this burden, and heave it onto someone else, the hearer thinks differently of you. It's a story I don't tell often, in fact I think I've maybe revealed parts of the story 4 times in my life. It is the secret that drives a wedge between me and every other person I know. It creates distance between me and God. And since the moment the words escaped my mouth today, I've wished for them back. Some stories weren't meant to be repeated. They just hurt too much. Logically, I realize it's part of the movement forward, but it doesn't make it easier to speak of. Healing always involves ripping off the scabs, but I wish that it didn't. There are things that are so ugly and heinous, that i can't escape the ugliness. The terror and horror of those moments flows over me, despite my best intentions, I feel diminished by having given words and life to the story again. I continue to wonder what if - what if I had run faster, been smarter, reached out sooner... I cannot get past it. I cannot run through it or around it. The experience just is and I'm scared to live in it again. As much as I insisted that I would not let this experience define me, little by little I must admit that it has. That's where my sense of guilt lives.
I'm scared of men. I'm afraid to physically reach for people. I over-protect my children. I'm judgmental - mostly so about myself, but about others too. I'm unable to articulate why these things are, but I know them about myself. And in some way, in some place, I am mad as hell. The person I most want to trust is God. I want a close, intimate (don't like that word either) relationship. I want to understand and be understood. But, honestly, I don't trust myself. I don't trust my own instincts, my own ability to discern what I need or want. And, I'm pissed off. How does something like this happen? What was my sin? Those years were so painful, so difficult and so incredibly solitary. It's the age old chiche - why do bad things happen to good people? I want an answer to that one. Logically I know that was is is. It happened, it's over. Now get on with life. But every part of my life is permeated by this. My ability to reason, love, nurture - all is tainted by the all-defining moment. I can't even type the damn word.
There is nothing left to do but to wait. Wait for the healing that comes with time. Hope that I haven't said too much. And try to unclench my hands one finger at a time.