Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Stark truth

In March of this year, I wrote a 3 page piece describing the details of the Hell I experienced between late 2013 and late 2015. It's easily the most brutally honest thing I've ever written. I thought about posting it here or finding an established site I'd feel comfortable sharing it on, but nothing seemed right. I thought about making a zine for it and pairing it with pretty artwork to soften the blow, but I'm still not sure that piece is meant for anyone's eyes but my own. It describes the horrifying way I was treated by a very specific person, but never discloses who this person is. That's because I'm related to this person and I've struggled greatly with knowing how to move on and how to share my story when this person is so closely tied to my life and everyone I know. I've decided to do the exact opposite, though, and just say who it is.

My youngest brother (who is 5 years older than I am) hurt me irrevocably when I was a child. He moved away from home before I started high school and for many, many years, I was happy. Then, he moved back in November 2013 (abruptly, without warning) and put me through the worst Hell I've ever known. To say the ground was pulled out from under me is an understatement. My entire understanding of reality was burned alive inside of me. I never knew I could feel pain so intense. For 2+ years, I lived in constant fight or flight mode, unable to think clearly or breathe properly. I couldn't even begin to process what was happening, let alone all he had done to me throughout my life.

This all happened, of course, during a transitional phase in my life, when I was deciding what to do next (do I go back to school?, do I move?, do I start a business?). I fell quickly into a deep depression, which led me to feel like a stranger inside my own body. I began having panic attacks every time I went out in public. I picked up old, self-destructive habits. I disengaged from social media completely (even Facebook). Simultaneously, I watched those I love most get sick and be hospitalized. It felt as though someone had grabbed me from behind and thrown me off a moving truck (and like I've been trying to catch up to that truck with my own 2 feet ever since).

I've struggled with understanding why this happened to me (whilst completely aware that horrible things happen every day to people, which only deepens my uncertainty), but I do know that because this person is related to me, it would've happened at some point, and maybe it happened at the best possible point in time. It's in the past now, but it still occupies my thoughts far more than I wish it would, and in a sad turn of events, this person (my brother) is now reaping what he's sown in a very real and scary way. Despite everything (which is a lot), I don't wish him harm and his current state further complicates my emotions even more. All I can say now is that people really do reap what they sow and I've never seen this truth unfold so plainly before my eyes. I wish everything could've turned out differently, but I'm at least grateful to know how strong of a person I really am.

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