It is rare these days when my nights are riddled with violent memories of abuse steeped in religious overtones. On the nights it does happen, it leaves me feeling robbed, once again, of my own self peace.
Nightmares of forced abortions, cleansing rituals mired with caustic agents, public lashings and the sneers of an entire family all roll up in to what I now refer to as my own personal hell on earth. My brain torments me with flashed images of loved ones from my current time in and among the horrors of what used to be what I thought of, at one time, as my life.
It is nights like this where I wake up and my hand unknowingly moves to where I cut ephesians 5:22 from my skin, where my former husband burned it into my flesh so many years ago. The scar is no longer present, but my memory of it will remain for as long as I am breathing.
This was part of my reason for starting this blog. The abuses I was subjected to were not limited to the physical. I spent so many years without a voice, suppressed and silenced by those who worshipped a god I vehemently hated, but could not speak against, out of fear. It is the reason it has taken me so many years to find my rational, reason based self. And yet, on nights like tonight, I struggle with those terrors. Irrationality creeps in and the fear seems to be stuck in my chest.
It is the same reason I deal with depression. I know it is an irrational fear. That ghost no longer controls me, and yet, it does. It creeps in and makes me feel hateful, angry, emotionally repressed and incapable. The fact that I cannot yet reign in the instantaneous distress sends me into a depressive tailspin, which becomes something else I struggle to control. The rabbit hole, which is depression, seems to be always a step behind me.
I know that I am infinitely in a better place than I was 17 years ago. Fixing the overwhelming issues that religious abuse left me with feels like a never ending battle. And so, the cycle continues.
But tonight, damn it all.. Tonight, I did not wake up screaming. It’s better than where I was a year ago. For that, I am grateful. Positive forward motion.
Just be good. The world will follow.