Healing is not linear. Sometimes the old darkness drop kicks you in the face and you still have to deal with the hurt.
I’ve been going through this with my mom lately. I’m going to be brutally honest here, so if you can’t stomach it, scroll past. As an abuse survivor at the hand of both my parents, trying to maintain healthy boundaries with either of them as an adult is a very real struggle. Trying to maintain a relationship is near impossible. But sometimes we achieve this kind of forced functionality where we step back and can take a tenuous breath. It’s never for long, it’s never sweet, but sometimes it’s calm. Sometimes there is a laugh or two. Sometimes there’s a birthday to be celebrated. And then we all step back.
So I’ve been enjoying this tenuous calm for about a week now. And tonight, it broke again over my head. And I asked, why? Why am I putting myself through this? What am I trying to recover? And it broke my heart because I realized, yet again, that there is no end to this. And there is no relationship to recover. It will never get better. It’s an abuse cycle. The only way for me to get better is to let go.
Which means never having the family that I wasted birthday wishes on as a five year old. Which means facing the dark. Which means so many painful and poignant things that I can’t even, at this moment, list them.
So, in the very heart of Madrid, I made this choice. My little sister and I are supposed to be enjoying a summer holiday and my mom is trying to control the situation, to take the joy and spontaneity out of it, and to guilt trip us because she wasn’t allowed to come because we put her and her claws away. I closed the door. Because this relationship is more hurt than anything else. Because I’ve never had a mother, one who actually cared enough to nurture instead of wreak havoc on my heart.
And I’m writing it here because I need help. Because I can’t do this alone. Because it’s all I know, and someday I’ll try and go back. Because healing is not linear. Most of the time, it just hurts like bloody fucking hell. And it’s hard.
So here’s my declaration. I’m not going back.
Because my mom stood by and watched, because she was silent all those years ago.
Because a child shouldn’t be hit when they don’t complete math problems quickly enough.
Because a child shouldn’t be beaten and dragged up stairs for not wanting to go to bible study.
Because we were children. And the adults in our lives are demons.
And oh, how painful it is.
People talk about forgiving the abuser as painful. I don’t think it’s as painful as forgiving the people who should have said something and didn’t. Who should have stood for innocence and childhood and didn’t.
I have a little sister who is not so little anymore. But she still watches everything I do. I hope that she will watch me walk away and have the courage to walk away too.