Six Years On
For years, I walked on eggshells, living in fear that I may say or do something to trigger his aggression. Knowing very well that even my very breathing slightly heavier than normal could do this. But it wasn't always like this, and that's the most complicated part of my story to understand.
Nobody saw this pain, nobody would understand. I sat alone, with my mind clutter, repeating scenarios in my head. If I left, he may kill me, after all, he said he would. If I stay, I am already dead. At this point it wasn't about making it work, no. Not at all. It wasn't about throwing a relationship away. As there was no love anymore, the hate I held in my heart wasn't only for him. The saddest part was it was for myself too. Sitting there rocking back and forth. This time, close to one of the last times, with a knife in my hand. As I sliced my upper thigh, I felt nothing. It was like I had been drained of all emotions, of all feelings. There was nothing. Emptiness.
I became easily panicked, loud noises & commotion would startle me. Being so highly alert all the time, exhausted me. And I could not sleep. The painful tight knots would develop in my stomach, and the flash backs would begin. Everything would upset me. I would upset me. Suicidal thoughts would flood my mind. But I’d never act on them, not since the last time. The night terrors returned, time and time again. Waking up, gasping for a breath in a pool of sweat. Walking through crowded places, feeling lost, alone & forgotten. My heart like it was about to explode. The flashbacks, it's like I would re-live every single tortuous day, again and again. No this wasn't fear. I wasn’t scared. I become terrified of my own existence.
This is what it feels like to live with something that has crippled you in so many ways. Something that has destroyed a part of your being. Something that turned you into a shaking, vulnerable mess. These life experiences do make you stronger, there is truth in that of course. But what they also do is ruin you, they ruin you not because you have chosen to let them ruin you. But because someone, once upon a time, pulled you apart & began to burn your soul. One can never truly heal from such events. One can never forget, nor will the mind allow for this to be forgotten. One can only begin to find peace with the past. And keep working on forgiving even the ones that don't deserve your forgiveness. Not only for them, but for you.
Now imagine trying to live after this, trying to love again and again. Wearing your heart on your sleeve, because you choose to hold on ever so tightly to that last thread of hope you have. Only to be faced with dishonesty every single time. You see, after being broken, shattered into tiny pieces, you were able to glue your parts together again. But just like a broken vase, you'll never be the same as you once were. You have scars, deep to the core; and your fragile heart, it keeps chipping away.
Sometimes it's about starting over, every single day. Reminding yourself you're stronger than yesterday. Sometimes there is no healing, as some things simply cannot be healed. Sometimes it's a matter of building strength, and not allowing yourself to ever stop loving. The strongest people are built from the most tragic life experiences. But that doesn't mean that these strong people don't crumble. It certainly doesn't mean that these strong people don't cry.
Having just built up the courage to walk away from a long term relationship, which turned abusive in the last few years, I felt alone, scared & filled with anxiety. I was in a very dark place, depressed, suffering from PTSD with ongoing night terrors, and on the verge of suicide. I couldn't talk to my family about it, or my friends. I felt alone, I did not feel that anyone would understand.
Yoga found me during a time where I struggled to find myself, after a time I had lost myself for another. Yoga found me almost 6 years ago, in a state where I felt no longer dead nor alive. Yoga lifted me up every time I fell, it reminded me of my strength and my capabilities. It reminded me that unconditional love does exist. Yoga brought me back to my true inner being.
Just as there is no ending, not to this path, nor is there an ending to healing, as humans we have so much suppressed, that each new experience may bring something new to heal from. But if we look at it as negative then it shall be negative, if we look at it as positive, then it’ll be positive. Yoga taught me that I am strong, it gave me freedom and it gave me my life back. Although I don't believe one can truly heal from such trauma, Yoga has allowed me to express myself through my writing, my art, through forgiveness for myself and others. Forgiveness doesn't mean to condone certain behaviours, it means to gather a deeper understanding of where they stem from, and let go. To not let what once was, control where you are heading now.
I went from wanting to die, because death was an easier option than to work on myself. I went from heavy medications that numbed me, to replacing that addiction with another drug addiction - to where I am now: educating beautiful young souls in a Buddhist school, running the awareness program within my school, teaching Yoga and Meditation, running my own business, writing a book about self-healing, in a relationship with the man of my dreams where is there is unconditional love. Healthy, happy and alive.
Yoga is a blessing. It is so much more than pretty Asanas on a mat or a mountain top. It goes deeper than that, it is the path to the inner self, to healing, to freedom.
I'm finding that the most important thing that is helping me to heal is focusing more on healing (even though at times it feels impossible) and rebuilding myself. Although I take time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I'm starting to spend far more of my time indulging myself in whatever feels good for my soul. When Yoga found me, it allowed me to stop carrying the past around with me, it allowed me to close old doors, and with that closure, new beginnings began.
Healing is taking one small step at a time, gently and with care.