Trying to figure out what I look like without my abuser’s influence is a lost cause, in a lot of ways. The personality I have is the personality I have. The facial expressions I have are just the facial expressions I have. It can’t matter anymore where I got them, because I am not as moldable as I was back then. I can’t change me, but I can learn to live with me instead. Learning to live with me is a slow process, because I go through stages of anger where I want to slash and burn everything about me that reminds me of her, and there’s no way to do it without destroying myself as well. Because of this, being reminded of her every day is not the blessing it once was, but I’m trying to reach that place again.
I have to, because the more I remind myself of her, the more I hate me.
It used to make me so proud that I was so young when we met that we had some of the same mannerisms and speech patterns. Now, I’ll be talking to someone else and something will come out of my mouth so pitch perfect it’s like she’s standing behind me… usually at a time where it’s inconvenient to feel that level of pain.
Once I know that a thought has me in a tail spin, I know I can stop it. However, I do not get to choose when the initial thought appears, or how. I know how to mitigate damage, but not how to prevent it. It is in that way that my body plays tricks on me. I can tell myself all day that I don’t want to think about her, don’t want to be in grief, don’t want to dwell… and then in a conversation something that I always say that I picked up from her comes out of my mouth in the way that she would say it and I didn’t mean to but BAM!
It is a continual process- learning to trim branches without killing the trunk.