My coping mechanisms – detaching



‘Let’s go and have fun’ he’d said.

I resigned myself to my fate and stood up as he held out his hand for mine.  I followed him.

I ended up lying on the dusty ground, littered with twigs, leaves and grass. I could hear the tiny twigs breaking against soft skin as my tiny frame sunk into the ground.  I could feel the sand granules digging into my skin in protest against the injustice of the weight of this tiny frame and the big man on top of her.  My only ally.

I looked up.

I noticed for the first time, the beautiful intricate detail of the tree above me.  The greenish yellow of the leaves, the branches swaying back and forth as if to a beautiful symphony.  A butterfly sailed by, joining this beautiful performance to which I was afforded the front seat.  With my imaginary hand I reached out to the sky to touch the soft tiny pillows of clouds sparingly scattered across the sky.

At that point I remembering splitting into two modes of existence.  I dont know if it is the first  time I ever did it, but it is the first memory currently I have of doing it.  At that point I became present to the existence that noticed the trees, the butterflies, the leaves lazily flying past, and the colours of autumn.  To this day – autumn is my favourite time of the year. Because of the colours and smells.

I chose at that point to be absent to the physical pain I must have been feeling at that moment.  I became absent to the fact that my tiny 5yr old body was being exerted to pressures, pain and brutality any human being shouldn’t endure.  I became intentionally unaware of the fact that my heart was being subjected to an emotional pain, mixed with disappointment, anger, feeling let down, insignificant, betrayed, confused, conflicted.  It all swirled together in one big mess that was difficult to endure let alone understand.  My mind was trying to figure it all out, knowing this was wrong and shouldn’t happen, wondering if I somehow deserved it, wondering if anyone would come and rescue me, wondering why me, wondering if this is what life is all about.

Wondering, feeling, swirling…….the war inside of me was too much.  So I chose to watch the trees instead, watch the butterflies, smell the autumn, and pretend.

So I detached……for over 2 decades.

But I can’t anymore.  I desire to be whole.  Wholeness comes at a price.  Being brave enough to confront those buried moments, confronting the forgotten war.  Being brave enough to feel the pain and deal with it in a sustainable, healthy  way.

I am ready to be brave.


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