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My little brother hero-worships me. It's painfully obvious at times. I love him and I try to be a good older brother when I can, I really do. So when he showed interest in wrestling I talked him into coming to a practice to see how he liked it. He didn't make it half way through. He said he didn't like wrestling because he felt overwhelmed being attacked the whole time. I realized that I was okay with it because that's how I felt all the time.
I have always felt like I'm being attacked. I feel like everyone is a threat. Everyone is sizing me up and waiting for me to drop my guard. The first sign of weakness will be seized upon and exploited. It's no wonder I'm so wound up all the time.
So I came to this conclusion in the shower this morning that maybe my perspective is completely wrong. Maybe instead of focusing on what happened to me, which is something completely out of my control, maybe I should focus on what I did to get through it and whether or not some of the things I'm dealing with now are consequences of continuing those behaviors. I've been thinking all along that if I can just confront all of those memories, if I can dig them all out of where I buried them, and wrap my head around them that somehow it would be cathartic enough and I would magically find peace. Whatever that means. But let's be honest. Each new memory just twists the knife. Each time I find something new, I just find that it makes all the wounds fresh again. I don't get tougher, I get more damaged. And the constant assault on my peace of mind has made me even more on edge. I've just gotten more and more hypervigilant.
Maybe Holly's right and it's just better that I forget some things and never remember. It's difficult for me to understand making peace with the horror of it all without knowing everything that happened. I guess some part of me is getting some sick satisfaction out of it, maybe. Because it's like every new thing is worse than the last thing. More painful, more degrading, more stomach-churning. It's like I want to relive those things so I can fall apart now the way I should have. Now that it's safe to feel all these messed up things that I kept locked away for so long.
Except it's not safe to do that now, right? I have responsibilities to take care of. I have to get this apartment into shape so we can move. I have to find a better job. I have to take care of Holly and Jenna. No days off. I don't have time to fall apart and put myself back together. So I've got to keep the past buried where it belongs and put away all the tools I used to get through it. I don't need to be hypervigilant. Not everything is a threat anymore, and I can take care of most threats now. I don't need to keep people from getting close to me. I have people I love and trust now, and they love me for who I am. I can let them see when I'm hurting. If I tell myself that over and over, maybe that's all I need to get as close to a normal life as possible.
I guess I recovered a good memory the other day. I don't really want to get into it because it's too long of a story. It made me really sad because I realized that there's probably a lot of good stuff from around that time that I don't remember. All I'm going to remember is the bad stuff. We went to Disney World one time. I barely remember it. I barely remember any time with my family at all. Maybe that's why I feel so distant from them. I felt like an outsider for all the parts I remember and I can hardly remember any of the good times at all. It just doesn't seem fair. Why does it feel like every time I turn around something's being taken from me? First my memories, but now my entire childhood? Small price to pay for it chipping away at my adulthood, I guess. I hate feeling like I'm compromising. Perhaps discretion is the better part of valor.
Does nothing for the seething anger, though. It still stings. I'm angry because I feel like something else has been taken from me. Not only the memories, but the right to feel all these things. I never really did. I just buried it, telling myself that one day I'd be strong enough to face it and now that I am I have to let them go. What if it's just a pipe dream? What if there really isn't some peaceful life at the end of the tunnel. What if it's just trading off one thing for another, and it's always just this hollow chase after something that was taken from me before I even knew what it was?
But I guess it wasn't really helping anyway. I would have gotten somewhere by now, right? Besides, it's costing me a lot. I'm sick of being this way.