the forgotten road
It’s there- buried by the brush and overgrowth of scars, of emotional callouses that have built up to wall off the flood of pain that can be found at the end. It’s that road you suspect is hiding in that walled off part of your brain that you have never dared broach that forbidden place. You have walked up to it, even wondered what could be there, thinking maybe it could explain why you feel the way you do about relationships, why the word “intimacy” brings you to the verge of vomiting, why your body disgusts you and you can’t explain why. “Were you sexually abused as a child?” she asked. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I have been asked this before and my answer was always a firm “of course not.” Surely I would remember something as traumatic as that.
I have all the signs but none of the memories. So much of my childhood even up into my twenties is missing. It’s just gone. I remember faces but not names or interactions with the exception of a few that are seared into my memory and usually nothing good. The very first I began to remember things I was not prepared for was while I was sitting in a marriage session on sex (of course, that had to be it). Suddenly, I was no longer there. I was somewhere else, with someone else having things done to me that I can’t even bring myself to say. That was when I began to wonder if I should push past the overgrowth and journey down that road. The pain might be worth the explanation I would get. I was convinced I could handle it. But two weeks ago I was not so sure. I began to wonder if God in His mercy was keeping me from something I thought I wanted to remember, knowing that recall could break me completely. I backed away from that road. Some things are better left unknown.
Then came the day that I began to have flashbacks, lucid dreams, whatever you want to call them. At this point, I am not even sure what they are. It’s just pieces but always the same ones. My dad, large fingers, my tiny body, and a diaper change. I couldn’t be more than 2 years old. Then came the hot flashes that washed over me and making me more and more dizzy with each one. They started in my upper arm, then my elbows and thighs, and spread over my whole body. I couldn’t control them. “I must be pscyhing myself out” was my first thought. But those pieces kept flashing through my mind. “Make it stop. I will never be able to look him in the eye if this gets any worse.” I didn’t actively pursue this. Is this part of healing? Do I have to do this now? I can’t. I need someone, something to carry me through this but I feel like I need to isolate myself. Who would want me if this is true???? Dear God, I tried to leave it be but somehow this road has sucked me in and I am finding myself entangled in the memories that are pulling me further toward something that should have stayed where it was- forgotten.