November 14, 2018

Of truth and trauma

"Keep the child within you alive.”

Her timeline was flooded with similar tweets and messages. All of a sudden, everybody wanted to be a kid again.
14th November, the day when everyone reminisced about their childhood days, the good old days like they called it, the days of glory.

She cringed at the mention. Try as she might to avoid it, she was forced to temporarily relive her past on this one blasted day every year.

She had managed to slay the monster from under her bed.
But every once in a while, someone would reminded her of that ugly phase in her life. She would then feel it fresh in her bones, in the blood of her veins...that ghost of a memory that devoured her entire childhood or whatever she had ever loved of it.

Unlike the others swinging back and forth in nostalgic meanderings, she never wished to go back. How she hated the kind of wishful thinking her friends indulged in—-the kind about time machines and hypothetical travel that can transport one through time back to their childhood. What was the big hype about cotton candy and hop scotch anyway? They missed the innocence of childhood, they’d say. And she’d stay silent, not wanting to argue any further, because they wouldn’t understand. They hadn’t had to live with her demons.

They hadn’t had to go to bed every night, terrified wondering whether the monster from under her bed would come atop of it. They hadn’t had to go through the agony a nine year old felt when a middle aged male violated her fragile body. They hadn’t had to lay beneath him afraid of being crushed to death by his weight, his palm blocking out their shrieks until they could feel nothing but the wish to die before the next morning.

They hadn’t had to wake up to the disappointment of  seeing another day, to the helplessness of knowing they wouldn’t be believed, to the dread that they would have to bear the same excruciating pain again that night and God-forbid so many innumerable nights in the future, and to the insurmountable anger and disgust at having to acknowledge the man their mother loved and depended on as the monster who visited them in the dark, as the demon who raped them when all else were sleeping, as their ‘Dad’.

Yes, she was glad she wasn’t a child anymore. It had taken her years to fight the cutting, the drug dependency, the suicidal urges.

And now she was finally here. She had fought through the ghosts of her childhood to reach where she was today.

It had taken forever to kill the child within her. The scared, trembling, fragile child whose vulnerabilities had made her a victim for far too long.

Today on Children’s day, she felt a protective urge towards all those who might be going through the same experiences as her.

“Keep the child within you alive.” flashed the message on her timeline.

She knew the message meant well, but she did not need it.
She had cleansed herself from the toxic effects of her  ruined childhood, killed off the demons.
Now if only she could exorcise the ghosts!


Author's note:  Those who undergo the trauma of childhood abuse often tend to internalize such incidents and suffer internally for years after.

If you are one of them, please remember; YOU are strong. YOU are resilient. YOU have survived it. And most importantly, IT IS OVER!

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