I own a slightly embarrassing amount of journals.
One for herbs, one for tarot, one for each child, one for daily gratitude, one for painting, one for travel, and so on.
Lately, I been focusing on my “word vomit” journal.
I simply sit down and write.
No thinking ahead.
No pretty lettering.
Just real, raw, sloppy emotions.
These are some of my favorite pieces to go back and read.
They can be intense, and painfully dark, but they are beautiful.
After several deep discussions with close friends,
I was appalled to learn that many were abused as children.
Worse yet, most of us had it swept under the rug.
Out of site.
Here is a the entry I frantically scrawled across two pages,
my blind rage flowing onto the paper.
. . . . . . . . . . .
at the worst possible times, the flashbacks come.
when i am about to fall asleep,
in the van on the way to dinner,
sitting on the porch, watching the children play
careless and free.
a vivid and painfully detailed memory will flash before me,
filling my vision and numbing me to the world.
the rest of the world fades into a dull roar,
and i am trapped in the past for that one horrifyingly long moment.
then, as quickly as it came, it vanishes.
my eyes strain to refocus on the world around me.
my ears are filled with the unnaturally loud commotion of life.
my palm is aching.
i look down to realize that my fist is clenched shut,
so tightly that my nails are about to rip through the skin.
jaw locked, pulse racing.
my heart feels like it is being consumed by fire and my eyes start to burn.
i quickly survey the area,
making sure no one has noticed the sudden and silent attack from my mind.
if i am lucky, i can focus enough to slow my breathing.
a tear or two might escape, but my heartbeat will slow.
i will survive, i can go on with my life.
i can push the memories behind me,
and bury them, again.
when fate is not on my side,
if i am alone with nothing to distract me,
there is no point in fighting.
i’ll whip my head around in a frenzied search for something,
to override my childhood,
to take my attention,
to save me.
it’s useless, my mind would never surrender me.
the flashback is over, the damage is already done.
my breathing speeds up, my pulse doubles.
every muscle in my body tightens,
bracing itself for the wall we are about to hit.
the pain is too much, i slam my eyes shut.
willing the tears not to pouring down my face.
but they flow on,
hyperventilating, i know i have to calm down, but i can’t.
the memories return in greater detail.
one after another they flip before me,
like some sort of sadistic picture book.
gripping fistfuls of my hair,
i toss my head side to side, trying to rid myself of these demons.
all around me is vast emptiness.
there is nothing,
nothing but a small girl.
four, maybe five years old.
she is curled with her knees to her chest, rocking herself slowly.
her long chestnut hair hides her frightened little face.
she is naked,
i kneel next to her, gently lifting her into my lap.
my arms wrap around her frail little frame,
and we sway.
our breathing slows, her sobs quiet.
“no one will hurt you,” i whisper fiercely.
i never see her face,
but i know who she is.
i take a shaky breath
and open my eyes once more.