This pain is a noose. Choked beneath the weight of my past, I can’t breathe. The past and the present look nothing alike; and yet, here I stand, feeling every bit as naked and ashamed as I did then. As if all the growth and change still isn’t enough. As if I, still, am not enough.
I pride myself on my rigorous honesty. My almost embarrassing level of truth-telling that has always exposed me just a little more than I can contain. While I feel as though I am supposed to apologize for that, I simply can’t.
Having someone stand in the cracks of your past is a scary endeavor.
Will they get lost in there?
Will those cracks become bigger than me?
Will they become stuck between the then and now just as I once did?
Will they find their way back to solid ground? Back to me?
I dragged my body out of there and tried to find the balance between acknowledging what it was and never looking back. I stand in the truth of the present and despite my fight, that history still has its hands all over me.
Shame is never too far away. It sits and waits for small, dark opportunities to silence and suffocate. The quiet of my shame pierces my ears; and as I speak my truth, it pierces the ears of those I love too. There is no victory in the face of that. The only victory I know is in continuing to stand, continuing to breathe, continuing to speak despite the strength of that deadly noose, lest I allow it to take all I am, yet again.
I want to hide. Standing here right now I feel like I’m being devoured by my own life. The mirror is held up again in its taunting method of discovery and it sneers, “Remember that ugly little thing?” I have no choice but to say, “Yes,” as the one I love most stands beside me watching what the mirror reveals.
Death was in that reflection. I died a thousand deaths, a thousand different ways; and despite my life today, the power of the past still tries to destroy me.
“Lioness,” you thought? Ha! You’re still that weak piece of trash you always were.