So many years ago, I packed away my childhood, each year was placed neatly in a box, labeled and sealed shut with packing tape. And I took those boxes full of memories; memories full of pain, fear, sadness, abuse…and I placed them in the far back corner of the attic of my mind. I made the boxes diminutive and negligible, they were nothing special and I tried to forget they were there. I did this so I could get through each day without the painful reminder of who I used to be, what I used to be, what he did to me. I did this so I could live.
I knew the boxes were there, and I would go into the attic and check on the boxes…just to make sure the packing tape that held all the contents, all the filth and the same, was still secure, that nothing I was unable to face could escape. At times the tape would peal back, allowing the contents of the boxes to peak through the cracks, and I could see things so horrible I would be physically sick. The contents in the boxes would taunt me, beg me to look inside, to admit that they existed, and I would have to hurry and close the door to resist them. I resisted the temptation so I could live. So I could protect myself, and those I loved, from who I used to be, what I used to be, what he did to me.
I knew that eventually I would have to unpack those boxes, and put them away, where they belonged. And at times I tried to do it – but the contents were so rotten, so ***** and shameful, I couldn’t put them out for anyone to see. And I denied that they belonged to me. I denied them so I could live. So I could protect myself, and those I loved, from who I used to be, what I used to be, what he did to me.
Panic grew inside of me as the pain leaked out of the aged boxes, pain that was always there, but like the sound of my own heart beating, I no longer noticed it. It just was. And then the pain became overwhelming, loud and intrusive, I could hear screaming and crying, and noises that did not sound human , an animal in pain, I thought. I closed my eyes and put my hands over my ears but the screaming didn’t stop. It would not stop. I could no longer deny them. I could no longer protect myself. I could no longer deny who I used to be, what I used to be, what he did to me.
Now, today, all these years later…these boxes that represent ME. And as I look around me, at the pain, and the shame, and the sadness, I not only see what these boxes held, I feel it…I hear it…I taste it…I breathe it. My vision is blurred from my tears…spilling over, some streaming down cheeks; others poised on the edges of my eyelashes, awaiting their turn to fall...right into the content of those boxes filled with my pain. Her pain. The pain of a little girl, abused and broken, unloved and unheard…
I can hear her screaming and crying. I can feel her pain…it is real. And I can feel it, and I can hear it, and I can taste it…I breathe it.
And I can no longer deny who I used to be, what I used to be, what he did to me.