The thing is, no matter how you have been abused, it changes you. Just because you cannot see physical scars does not mean that they do not exist. My scar is that my comfort zone is about thisbig. When I was a kid, I had a friend who was A LOT older confide some things in me that should never have been confided from adult to kid. I am not sure that my friend would have even cared if I’d told anyone, but it didn’t matter. There was no one to tell. Everyone who saw the relationship knew it was off, and many people tried to dissuade me.
That version of “off” created so many trust issues in me that I don’t know where to begin. I don’t have friends. Not really. I have Dana and a few people that are close to me. The rest are either Fanagans or acquaintances. Of the people that are close to me, only one or two at a time get private time with me. It is not that I don’t care; it is that I do not have the emotional stamina to handle more than that. It’s not me trying to control a situation so much as it is me trying to control the possible number of things that could go wrong in said outing.
Nothing’s going to go wrong. I’m just nervous. There’s no reason to be nervous.
When I was younger, I would say that I was sick because I was. My mind would play these horrible tricks on me where I wasn’t being invited because I was fun to be with, jolly, etc. I was being invited to be the scapegoat and the court jester. Not wanting to play either one of those roles forced me more into my shell, so I just decided to stop going out. We weren’t making much money, anyway, so it made more sense. I felt anxious about getting out socially, so naturally, we’ll just bring the party to us.
And then I host parties and in about the middle, I’m done. I start acting like the classic second child who thinks her imaginary friend won’t play with her.
There has got to be a way to handle all of this social anxiety, but I know that I can’t do it with medication alone. It’s not a chemical imbalance. It’s an old tape that says, “you can’t trust anyone but me.” If the abuser is good enough, and mine was, he or she will make that tape speak louder than any relationship in your life.
I was so little, and my relationship with my abuser was such that it obliterated all of the other three.
As an adult, this manifests itself with me trying to go through life only trusting my abuser, because that’s what abusers do. They make you think that there is no other opinion that is right except for theirs… to the point that you will defend what they say against the Bible and the dictionary.
And that’s where I am now. I am so much better than I was when I began this journey, but changing my mental relationship with my abuser is what I now know is my life’s work. I don’t like that my emotional response system is so temperamental that I can’t trust it. I don’t like the things in my own mind that I can’t seem to change, because the thought is so deep-seeded.
Because as I get older, this mild distrust of everyone is descending into “maybe we should stay home.” That way, I don’t have to meet any new people, and I can stay in my own little bubble of fear. It’s worth changing. It’s worth letting a little light in. I just have to find the magic words that will fill me with sunshine, and make my mind’s eye blink because it’s so bright.