it is what it is, but i’m calling you out (emdr series week four)

september 12, 2019

If you had the chance to hurt someone who almost killed you, would you?

I’ve been toying with this question since I left today’s session because if I write about EMDR I have to write about the abuse which means identifying someone who hurt me. And I’m not quite sure what they would do if I did. For once in my life I’m in a position of power over my trauma and I don’t know how to act accordingly. The point of this series was to talk about EMDR openly and candidly; I knew at some point it would come back to this but I didn’t expect it so soon.

This is an open reflection to my first abuser.

I have spent years protecting you, but from what? Reality? Too afraid to admit the pain you caused me, the lies you’ve feed to me, the delusions you forced me to have because you can’t admit your truth. I have neglected to write about you and what you did in the past four years of my career because I knew you would spiral. I know you can’t lose me and that weight is becoming unbearable.

You think the mind is feeble and that I can’t recollect the memories from over twenty years ago. You have put blame for your actions on others, trying to manipulate my own history so you could avoid trauma, negating the things YOU put ME through. Despite our conversation and the connection we’ve been working to build (mind you, because I decided to begin to forgive you) you absolutely do not know me and just how smart I am. I remember.

I remember because I relive it every time I close my eyes. I can still feel it, phantom pains of childhood trauma. I wanted to believe you were young, you were hurting too. And for a while that was enough. Because there was a time where I was a young adult in pain and I know speaking upon my own experiences that I didn’t treat the world with kindness. We are all living with our shadow self, we are not good, we are not bad, we just are. As I grew up the agony I felt over my mistakes justified your behavior even more, not only because I felt empathy and could understand why you did what you did, but because I felt like I was a bad person and deserved your abuse. Even now, there’s some days I still feel like your punishment was warranted.

I haven’t returned your messages, and if you’re reading this please know I do not want to talk. I’m not sure what my next action is but if you so selfishly reach out to me when I’m hurting, to try to take away my truth to save your own damn face then I can assure you what follows will be final.

I was afraid of pepper until last year. And if you know what that means, then we both know an inkling of what I know. I remember.

I stopped forgiving you when my son reached the age I was when I was with you. When I look at him I know there is nothing in the world I wouldn’t do for him, to protect him, to give him everything I can and to love him regardless. You claimed a maternal role, forcing me to call you a name you didn’t earn, mother.

You were all I had in this cruel world and you let me wander alone without food, covered in lice. I feel guilt every time I’m hungry because in my mind I’m still eating hot dogs off a piss-stained floor. You’ve spent all these years telling me it wasn’t you, as if my mind would lie to me so much to make you have to own up to taking responsibilities for your actions.

So before I dive into next week’s session, let me be frank. Your time is up. I will be writing candidly about my life because it is my turn to heal. I am done nursing your wounds. I am putting myself before you, the way it should have always been, and protecting my story.

I remember.

about the author/series
Tea Jay is a mother, yarn artist, and author. With her upcoming release, Bruised Peaches, a storybook for adults about childhood trauma, she felt it necessary to document alongside her own recovery with EMDR therapy in aide to nursing her inner child. Tea Jay is best known for her bestselling book, In The Gray Area of Being Suicidal, based off a video and article she wrote for The Mighty with the same title detailing life with suicidal ideation. Currently Tea Jay is working on creations for her etsy shop and writing her next novel(s).

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