My name is Matt and I am the worst kind of liar Ė I lie to the person I should love the most Ė me. Last year I told a psyche nurse and then my wife that I was sexually abused a child. Big cracks in all I have been holding back. I started therapy. Spent a year there, marking time. Keeping it all back.
I caught myself chewing a piece of gum today. It had lost all of its flavor hours ago, but I was still chewing it. Itís a perfect metaphor for how I have been living my life for a while. Mindlessly chewing and all the flavor has gone. I think I am ready for a new piece.
I have been really trying to examine a lot of my childhood, and have gained some knowledge and understanding. Knowing is the easier one. I know for example that I was sexually abused for almost four years as a child. Understanding is the sucker punch that stops your breath for a minute. For me itís where knowledge because internalized Ė the truth. I understand that I was an easy target for the perp because I was lonely and neglected eight year old boy who wanted someone to show him he was important.
Then there are the beliefs. I donít believe my mom would have sent me to live with my dad if she knew how bad the environment was and that he was a drug addict alcoholic. Sometimes it takes someone else to challenge your beliefs Ė Your mom should have checked out the environment and made sure things were safe and sound before shipping you off to live somewhere. And sometimes the knowledge and belief simply donít fit: I know I was not responsible for the sexual abuse, but I still believe that even though I did not start it I wanted it. I liked it.
So here I am with all the puzzle pieces of my childhood in front of me. And have fit some things together. But some of the pieces are still in the box. In the dark. And these pieces donít fit anywhere.
Iím fucking terrified to put all the pieces on the table. I am hollow at this point and scared that I will find out that so much of what I consider to be me, to be my reality, will end up being nothing more than a boyís response to unspeakable pain.
Iím tired of lying to myself. Iím ready to tell my therapist all. But scared of finding out that I am not who I am. Is that what healing is. Untying knots and adding more? Is that what it takes to be happy? To feel whole? To feel self-worth? To be the authentic me?
What have you uncovered? What did you take from knowing to understanding? What pieces did you have trouble with? What beliefs didnít fit?
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"