Talking. I’ve resisted it for a long time. In the past, I’ve begun, and then lost my nerve – lost myself – and been unwilling to continue. I was going to say…unable, but that doesn’t feel true. I think the distinction is important. In the past I have made the conscious decision to stop talking, or, more often, not to begin at all. The longer I didn’t talk, the more it felt like the right thing. If I didn’t talk, no one knew what a terrible person I was. If I didn’t talk, the only person who had to hurt was me. And, in the end, wasn’t that what I deserved?
But it wasn’t. Very slowly, tentatively, I’m coming round to that idea. The idea that I can talk, and that I don’t have to feel bad or guilty for doing it. I don’t need to punish myself anymore.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my small self that it would be a good idea to talk. My 18 and 20 year old selves could have done with similar advice. I wish I’d been braver. Shouted louder. Made sure I was heard. Because I really needed to be. But the reality of the situation is that I can’t change what happened in the past. I can, however, change what’s happening right now. And I can give myself the chance of a different future.
Talking about painful things is, well, painful. Mentally…and physically. The act of remembering, of telling, of being honest, losing any detachment I’ve managed to maintain all these years, scares me to the point of utter panic. However, I am assured that talking is what I need to do in order to get better. So I’m doing my best to do that.