Friday, June 24, 2011

Innocence lost

I don't know old I was the first time it happened.. was I 13 or 14 or maybe only 12. It all seems like a blur now, a big giant blur that merges together and I can't see the beginning, the middle or the end. I just see one giant muddled picture and when I look at it all I feel is numb. Numb and a deep sense of hatred for the place where it occurred.

One of my friends said to me last night that I associate places with people and the memories I have from being there. She is right, that is how I see the world and the places I have been. I see the pictures, the memories and the people in them. I guess that's why I hate where I grew up so much because when I look at the picture I see a big giant mess. I used to think that it was because of me, because I never felt like I belonged there but tonight I realise that it was because of the people I loved when I lived there and the things that happened to them. The horrible, horrible things that are stored deep down in my core, the moments that shaped me and broke my heart.

It's funny because I can talk about it, I can matter of fact tell you about the bullying, the eating disorders, the abusive relationships, the girls who lost their virginity too young, the alcohol, the drugs. I can tell you about it all but I can't feel it, I can't access the emotions that go with the memories. I can tell it so that you can access the emotions, I can tell it like the sad, sorry story that it is, I could probably even make you cry but for some reason I can't cry. I can't reach back to any of those memories and feel them, I can't see any of those stories and weep for myself and my friends. My heart doesn't break for us like I know it should.

When I look at it I just feel numb. A deep still sense of nothing. No fear, no anger, no pain, no joy. Numb. White cold numb. I realised tonight that I have been numb for some long that I don't even remember the first time I decided to become numb. Was I 12? 13? 14 - I couldn't have been any older than 14 so I'm thinking it was more like 13 or 12. But I can't remember the incident! Was it the first time one of my friends was hospitalised? Was it when my first friend lost her virginity because she could? Was it when we started drinking? Was it when the girls I hung out with became so obsessed with being popular that they stopped eating during the day & started doing whatever/whoever it took to be popular? Or the time my friend cut her wrists in the bathroom while I was away? Was it when she dropped off the planet? Was it when the rumors about her started? Was it when a group of boys took advantage of a girl years younger than them and had her perform all sorts of horrible acts - it was definitely before then. I think I was in grade 11 when that happened and by then it seemed kinda normal and no-one really said anything to them, they just talked about the girl. It makes me feel sick in my stomach to think about it but I still can't feel it like I should be able to because in part I am still numb.

Yep I definitely still feel numb and it bothers me that I can't remember when it happened, I can't remember when I first did it and it's frustrating. I can't remember the first time I turned my head away and decided to feel nothing. I can't remember the moment when I accepted that these things were a way of life - when did I accept that young women were to be exploited? That drugs, alcohol and sex were a way of life? I wasn't raised like that at all - my mother would be horrified - yet at some point I became a person who could look at it and simply feel numb. It bothers me that I can honestly say that I can't remember the first time I looked at a lost broken little girl destroying herself and her body and felt nothing but I know it happened. But it's worse than that because I look back at my past and it still happens, I can't feel it! As I write these words it's like there is a big black door between my eyes and my heart and I can see it and intellectually I know that it's wrong but I can't feel it. I can't feel the emotion that goes with what I'm seeing. I still feel numb, I look back at the place, the people and I just feel numb and I don't know how to feel anything else.. I'm scared to feel anything else.

I'm scared that if I were to sit down and look at my past, my teenage years, if I were to look at my life and the lives of my friends with the eyes I have now.. I'm scared of that emotion. I'm scared to let out the cry that I am sure is in my heart.. I'm scared to let the deep, deep sobbing that I'm sure is in my soul out. I'm scared that if I left it out that I won't ever stop.

As I write this my eyes begin to fill with tears, my natural reaction is the try to stop them, to squash this emotion. There was a reason I stopped feeling the choices that my friends and I made, it was because it hurt, it hurt so much that sometimes I couldn't breathe. It was easier to feel numb than to feel the hurt but I can't feel numb anymore. I stop and I close my eyes for a brief moment and let myself feel it, the pain I feel is so great that I cannot move, I am paralysed staring at my computer, a soft tear runs down my left cheek and I bite my bottom lip.

I snap back to reality. I am afraid of these emotions, they hurt so much but I can't escape them anymore I need to let them out and so I begin to let them come free and the blur is not a blur anymore, it is people. My friends, I see their faces in my mind and I just cry and cry and cry. I wrestle with myself and try not to cry, I try to capture these emotions, to lock them away and feel numb like I used to but I can't, so instead I give in and I cry. I cry for our innocence, for foolish decisions, for the years of pain.

I don't know that any of the people I went to school with were still sweet at 16, I cry for their lost souls, stolen and robbed of joy and love, robbed of the innocence of youth. I look at the destruction of our choices. The seperations, the lack of purpose, the addictions and I weep for them and I weep for all of the children like them that are currently stuck in that cycle that we were stuck in.

I have spent a little over 10 years journeying through the mistakes I made in high school and I wish I could tell them what I know. I wish I could tell them that love and acceptance isn't in being skinny or popular or in having a cool boyfriend or career, that numbing your pain with drugs and alcohol is like putting a bandaid on a deep cut that needs stitches, it looks like it might help but when you take the bandaid off the next day the wound hasn't healed and you still need stitches. I wish I could tell them that they are loved beyond measure, that they are worth more than rubies and gold, I wish I could tell them that their life has meaning and purpose and that it wasn't too late to be happy. 

I pray for the courage to tell them what I know, to share my journey, to show them how God has healed my pain.. I pray for the courage to be the difference for someone that someone was for me.. I pray that God would take this pain that I feel now and that he would heal it, that he would heal it not only for me but for them and for those on the path that we were once on..

Each of us has a story and I pray that this week you have the courage to let your story minister to someone else..

No comments:

Post a Comment