This song has been a favorite of mine by Evanescence for years. I love the way they express the pain inside of my brain and that longing to be noticed while craving to go unnoticed all at the same time. PTSD is hard. Wanting to disappear has become a part of who I am. Knowing someone has felt the same, or close enough to have written the words and designed the music helps me to realize that my broken-self isn’t alone.
Please, please forgive me,
But I won’t be home again.
Maybe someday you’ll look up,
And, barely conscious, you’ll say to no one:
“Isn’t something missing?”
You won’t cry for my absence, I know –
You forgot me long ago.
Am I that unimportant…?
Am I so insignificant…?
Isn’t something missing?
Isn’t someone missing me?
Even though I’m the sacrifice,
You won’t try for me, not now.
Though I’d die to know you love me,
I’m all alone.
Isn’t someone missing me?
Please, please forgive me,
But I won’t be home again.
I know what you do to yourself,
I breathe deep and cry out,
“Isn’t something missing?
Isn’t someone missing me?”
And if I bleed, I’ll bleed,
Knowing you don’t care.
And if I sleep just to dream of you
I’ll wake without you there,
Isn’t something missing?
Why I write is definitely linked to my past. As many of you may know from hanging around through my ups and my intense downs I have been through a TON in my short life. Most of which was very traumatic. I suffer greatly from PTSD and a boat load of the side affects it comes with, like depression, severe anxiety, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, panic, and even self harm.
I have seen a dozen doctors/therapists/counsellors and I am on about a dozen different medications, all of which to help calm me down and hopefully help me to prevent the above symptoms, from getting worse than they are on a “normal” day.
However, along the broken-road I started to ask these very people who were set out to help me how they grew up, what their trauma’s are and I was shocked and felt more alone than ever when EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM told me that they have no experience with trauma but they are “trained to help trauma victims.”
One recommended after the loss of a baby that I go be like a “deer” and grieve in the woods for a few hours, literally shake it off and move on because that’s what animals are born to do. Just shake it off.
Unfortunately, I am not a deer, and unfortunately, I have been in a stopped vehicle while watching a gopher panic as it’s dead spouse lay in the middle of our highway, watching him run back and forth not quite sure what to do, trauma and sadness in the gophers eyes. Finally as he realized we weren’t going to hurt him he grabbed up the one he loved and pulled her crushed body off to the side of the road and into the woods. I am guessing he didn’t shake it off, he was too shaken up.
My heart broke for him as I sat there with a stream of tears remembering my own losses pouring down my cheeks.
I started to write. Not because I felt like what I had to say was of any importance, but because keeping it all in was literally killing me. My heart with an irraddic beat and requiring meds, my body shutting down, the blood stained razor adding another scar or two or three almost nightly. I needed to get the thoughts out of my head, whether they made sense or not.
Years later I call this a brain dump. Where I just open up a word document and let the words flow with no rhyme or reason, or I open a page in my journal and do the same. It’s unfortunate that most of my writings and ramblings are inspired or prompted by pain but it’s my hope and my prayer that in sharing my intimate thoughts, fears, frustration and deep love for Christ that someone who is sitting in a similar situation may find hope, or comfort in knowing they aren’t alone.
Their doctor may never have lost a baby or been raped, or experienced a trauma that they are willing to share, but I am, and its sad and scary how many have reached out to me to tell me they have been raped too, so many men have told me they were abused as a child after reading my words, some of whom claim they have never told anyone. I love that my hurt is allowing other people to hand their pain over and share in it and be understood rather than feeling alone and lost.
I believe the statistics are that 1 in 3 women are sexually abused at some point and 1 in 10 men. Of course those numbers aren’t accurate because they are based on what’s reported and I can sadly say that it is more like 9/10 people have been sexually assaulted or abused in some form at some point in their lives, whether it was a full fledged rape, molestation or something that made them feel uncomfortable, the line was crossed and 90% is simply too high.
Yet I am eager to learn and to listen and to offer guidance when the person asks.
So I write not only to cleanse my own brain of the pain that has plagued my soul since I was that 12 year old cold in the snow, but I write for those who have never shared and for those who have never been hurt and want to understand what they can do to support the ones in their lives who have been hurt.
I write because it protects me from myself.
I write because it’s a documentation of where I have been and where I never plan to go again.
I write because it’s my pained poetry, a tortured prayer where I know that God can see my soul through the blackness that often covers my heart and He can and will provide me with peace.
I was going to write about the rules, the rules I was forced to live by for so long, the rules that still creep up and dictate my life and give me so much fear. Its odd how something as insignificant as a list of rules can cause so much havoc in your mind years and years later. I often find myself saying “Sir” or having my eyes cast down while walking past a man. People don’t realize the depth behind being held and abused. They can’t comprehend how those seemingly insignificant things can and do affect me every single day of my life all of these years later.
I no longer fear rejection the way I once did. Oh, I still fear it. I still have anxiety about it but for the most part I can and do know when I don’t want you in my life and why and I have no problem with walking away and freeing myself the way I once did. It’s funny how I use the word “free” because I am far from free. Yes I can escape a situation but mentally I am still a terrified 17 year old who is forced to sign slave contracts, threatened to be sold into the sex slave industry and beaten, raped and recorded for anyone to see. I just no longer need to use sex as a means of getting or keeping people in my life. Quite the opposite actually as it has now been five years since I last engaged in sexual activity. I am proud of that. I took myself back, at least the parts I could.
Lots of me is forever lost, damaged and even shattered never to be replaced or repaired. Wounds don’t heal. Not the mental ones anyway. They are just one upped by another and another until you think you have dealt with them. Then, one day out of the blue a word, a gesture, a touch will slam you back into the place you thought you had escaped all those years before. You realize you are in fact still bound by the chains that once held you so firmly in place. Sometimes, you will even still feel them against your flesh. Especially, when you are exhausted and your mind is allowed to wander.
You will panic, you will blame and you will be paranoid that the good people in your life are actually out to hurt you or are working for the other team. Life is nothing but a cruel, cruel game that we are all forced to play.
You will look a man in the eyes and wonder if anyone caught that, if he is insulted, if your Master will find out and punish you. Of course He will because when He asks you to confess you will admit it knowing you are to be punished for breaking the rules. It would be worse to lie.
Then you realize that you are free, or you think you are. You then begin to wonder if having down cast eyes is noticed by people in the life style and if they can tell you have been trained when you let the word “Sir” slip from your lips while your eyes are down. Being conscious of your every move makes you wonder if everyone else is conscious of it as well.
Part of me accepts that I am just trained now to be paranoid, to live knowing that I may or may not be taken at any moment by a Master who decides to claim me. Like I am branded with a slave mark that all Masters can see.
I struggle with figuring this all out. I struggle to know who exactly it is I see in the mirror. Getting dressed is different, being allowed to wear what I want, instead of what is pleasing/required by the person who had held me for so long. I can wear pants!! Although, I must admit I still prefer dresses. I never did before but I do now. However I know each time I put one on that it is MY choice, not His, but mine alone.
Being sick right now has left me with many thoughts and questions that I doubt will ever have the chance to be answered honestly. Likely because the statute of limitations will never run out and unless my captor is in jail for his crimes against me he will always have to stay quiet to keep from going there.
I stare out the window at the black of night and wonder if it looks back in at me. Being engulfed in darkness seems to be my forte. Even on the brightest days with the warmest sun I am wearing a shroud of black, covering me from head to toe, hiding who I am really am so well that not even I know who would be revealed if the shroud was lifted.
“I have no future. Heaven wasn’t made for me” –Manson
I feel like this is true and has been for some time. I am very sad and I am very lost and I am very deep in the darkness, wandering around without a light to guide my way. Searching for other lost souls just so I can feel, just for a moment, like I belong and these feelings are real because someone else has known them too.
It had been a long time since I felt safe, too long, maybe even a lifetime, and then I was wrapped up in blankets on a hard mattress being checked every 20 mins through a little window on the door and all I did was sleep. It was a Friday when I went in. A Friday morning and I never felt safer because like the character, Spencer, says on Pretty Little Liars, “I feel safe here. Those bars don’t just keep you from getting out, they keep other people from getting in.”
He wouldn’t be getting in. He wouldn’t be torturing me, raping me. My thoughts were my own and I could do whatever I wanted and what I wanted was to rest. It was the Monday morning when I walked out the doors. I had slept the entire time, other than a few showers. They were worried because I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t eating because I was tired. Oh so very tired.
I never knew how much stress I had been under all of those years until the pressure was alleviated for those brief moments and honestly, I didn’t want to go home and out of my safe cocoon.
Years later and I still struggle to feel safe. I still crave those moments of reprieve that I had experienced. The weight of the world off my shoulder and no one to walk by my window to steal me in the night, no one to kill me like he has promised.
I didn’t know then that I would spiral down into an abyss that I would barely survive, I didn’t know that the god who I had believed was the reason for my abuse was the one who would reach down deep into the pits of my own hell and offer me a saving hand. I didn’t know to not be afraid of the light because the darkness was all that I knew.
Almost 11 years later and I still struggle with feeling safe. With being me. With not panicking at every dog bark or knock in the night. I have come out of hiding and I have placed my trust in the God that saves because this is the only way for me to actually have a life and I try to focus on the Word of God, the Words that tell me to not worry about tomorrow.
So each day when I feel myself falling into worry or panic or stress I have to treat myself like I am a toddler and give it back to God and if I have to do that 1000 times a day I will because if I don’t I am giving evil a foothold on my life and we all know that one step leads to the next and I would rather be making godly steps then allowing Satan to step all over me.
I didn’t just dwell on the past, I lived there, for years and years and even more years and sometimes when I am not careful to be present my mind slips right on back into the black and abusive abyss, haunting my thoughts both day and night.
There is no one way to move forward though, no way to get over the PTSD. I take meds, a LOT of meds. I have actually posted pictures of my meds on Instagram because of how disgusted I am in having to take them, but they are what allows for me to be focused enough on the present and the future that I can actually live with my past. They free me from the phantom chains and release me into the loving arms of God.
For a long time I would dwell on the fact that suicide attempts never worked and “God never wanted me back” or “God won’t even take me, nobody wants me”. Somewhere along the jagged, slippery road I have realized that He is the only One who ALWAYS wants me. ALWAYS loves me. Even at my worst. Even when I have sat there bleeding out and overdosed He breathed life into my lungs and told me it wasn’t my time and He planted seeds of purpose that the meds have allowed to finally grow!
I was raised Catholic. I always had at least a Bible or two around and I had read through it in it’s entirety several times before I was done middle school. Yet, I didn’t dwell on the words or let the Word dwell in me. I didn’t allow God’s love to flow into me even though I had accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. I knew the words on the pages, and the pages knew me, but we had little connection.
I look back now and I see that hell on earth and I know without a doubt that had I not went through all of that I wouldn’t be where I am spiritually today. I wouldn’t be blessed to be able to say “I understand”. I wouldn’t be able to listen with an emphatic ear or pray from my heart words that bring a world of welled up tears.
I have felt like Job and even used Job 3 as a suicide note. You see how distorted the Bible can become in the mind of someone who is completely undone? Now I feel more like those who were in the lineage of Jesus, right back to Genesis –the Beginning. Where polygamy and sin ultimately led to David and from the stump of Jesse we received Jesus!! I feel like that, like all of my ugly-sin is sending out shoots and new life and growth.
I am not healed, but I am whole.
When I feel like my life is less than, I know that God will use those moments to give me a more than opportunity. Will I go down in some great book centuries old? Not likely, BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t turn life around and be an example to the people I interact with and impact every day.
Sometimes I wonder why my heart feels shattered but then I read your words and I know I ask myself what I did wrong hoping that one day I’ll be good enough for my dreams to grow The birds whistle regardless of whether or not they are free Envious, I cry to myself thinking why can’t their songs belong to me? Who am I in this life or the next when I am perplexed by the dangers of this awful hex…
Looking into the souls of those I once loved
I realize I am trapped being pushed and shoved
The chains are still on my ankles and wrists
Even the days where they are nothing more than a phantom mist
I am held firmly stuck in the past always succeeding yet coming in last
Giving more of myself then I knew I had, can giving of yourself turn out bad?
Licking the dryness of my weathered lips reminds me of the hands that scolded me while resting on hips
Smiling because I see her once again I know I am safe from myself yet another time
Playing these games that are supposed to be life, I can’t help but wonder which life is mine
Battered and bruised and down on my knees another day has passed with me unsuccessfully begging please
It doesn’t take a fist to bruise my soul
It doesn’t take dirt to bury me in a shallow hole
Living is pain and I often can’t breathe
No matter how hard I try God won’t let me leave.
Yeah, you put on the white cloak and you sat there at my bedside when the world was completely engulfed in all things dark. You convinced me that I was to suffer and be in pain and feel the sting of the whip crack against my broken flesh because I couldn’t be obedient to Jesus holy name.
Then, one day the truth poked through and I knew it was live or die. I wouldn’t let you win – not this time.
It was a dark and cold February night as I fought for my life in a battle with you, the person who claimed to have the One on your side. You raped me –torn, bloody, raw. To prove that you were a man to be obeyed. You held a knife to me, you choked me, you knocked me out but the real God prevailed and He got me out.
The priest cupped my hands firmly 4 months after that night and her words stuck with me. “Even Satan can read. He is the master manipulator, the father of lies.”
Tears flowed down my cheeks –a release that I had been holding onto, holding in –the pain was killing me. I held the Bible firmly and slept with it under my pillow trying to pray the past away. In search of the true Truth and not the one I was forced to obey.
My notebooks grew thick as I began to study, read and write. It was God in and evil out throughout the day and night. I was on the hunt for the One who protects and does not hurt, the One who saves because He was the sacrifice, the One who forgives those who society won’t redeem, the God who came to earth with skin on to fulfill prophesy of old.
Somewhere along the broken road without even realizing I had done it – I believed, I had accepted Christ into my heart and life was finally looking up, the clouds still lingered and the pain of the past still stung-fresh, but above every dark cloud there was Light and every shadow was cast by the Light and when I realized that there could be no shadow if the Light didn’t exist I knew that I was on the path just right.
And so my notes have grown and my heart has not only found God but it’s a place in which He resides, the weary-drained no longer steals from my soul because the angels with their swords aflame keep the evil one out. When I do see his ugly face my tongue becomes the whip and the lashes that make him flee are scripture on my tongue.
I am saved. I am free. I am redeemed.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; ~Ephesians 1:7 (KJV)~
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