Flashbacks in the belly

That knot. Right in the middle of my stomach. Like it’s twisting around my insides and not going to let go.

That’s one of the strongest physical sensations I have when something triggers a reaction in me related to the trauma I suffered. It’s happening a lot at work for me right now, so much so that I know I need to find a new job or figure out a way to make my own way in this world.

It happens because where I work, the two people in charge are male. That, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. But it’s a very paternalist/patriarchal setup. Neither of them wants to let go of control; hence, they are very controlling and dole out information and responsibilities in the tiniest pieces possible. They wouldn’t see themselves that way, but I do — and so do other people in the office.

That whole “man in charge” thing has really played with my mind in recent months, bringing up all sorts of painful emotions.

I need to leave. That feeling was validated today by someone completely outside of our workplace who sees things totally objectively. She asked me outright if I felt I could be happy staying there, and I told her I didn’t think I could make it work. She said I was a “smart cookie who could do better.”

So let’s see what this smart cookie can really do, shall we? I have to start by untying the knot in my stomach.

Please?

I would like, for just one day, to go back to being the person I was before he hurt me.

I would like to know what it felt like to walk freely, unafraid, with my whole life in front of me: filled with possibility and with the ability to make my own decisions about my future.

I’d like to know what I thought about, what I dreamed about. I’d like to know what I really looked like in the mirror. No distortions.

I would like to feel my SELF inside, that inner voice that was strong, finding her way, listening and watching and taking everything in.

I would really like that.

 

Continuing the story

I started this journey on a tumblr blog, which I will leave up for just a few more days. My goal for this blog is to chronicle my continuing story, this time of rebuilding myself following intensive trauma therapy.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you’ll find this blog — and the book I wrote — inspiring and helpful.

–Lucy