October 18th, 2016

Toronto

The Tell Me To Make Peace

"Stop carrying it around, it's only hurting you. You have to move on."

Maybe I am the only one hurting over it--he sure as fuck isn't losing any sleep. But my past and what I've experienced isn't a bag I can drop; it's not something I forget as I forgive, that gets erased as I learn how to cope and counteract the effects of learned behaviors. I can accept that something has happened, that I will never have any resolution, and still have to deal with every day the effects. The abuse isn't happening any more, but that doesn't make it disappear.

Time makes it hurt less; coping mechanisms make it easier to deal with, I get that. But it doesn't make it less WRONG, and no matter how well-intentioned, though I would never say it to the faces of those who say it, "Stop carrying it around," is patronising and hurtful. No matter if what you mean is really, "Find the way of living and coping that heals you most and makes it hurt the least," what your literal words are saying is that it is my CHOICE to be a victim, my CHOICE to keep my ingrained behaviors and flashbacks and anxieties, that dropping years of my life like so much garbage on the side of the road is something I have CHOSEN not to to, or perhaps just haven't thought to try before.

I work EVERY DAY to make my abuse, my depression, my illness, my anxiety not all that I am; not something I dwell on, not a 'crutch', because the world has nothing but disdain for that, but I can't just erase them from my everyday life--their big effects, their small effects, the little things and the big things, the ones that you see when I have a screaming breaking point meltdown and the only coherent emotion in me is FEAR and the ones that are routine, with their routine medication and their routine mind over matter therapy techniques and their routine therapy sessions and psychiatry appointments ('do you really need those? hasn't it been long enough? you have to let it go, it's only hurting you'). I can't get rid of them. That isn't a luxury I am afforded. Isn't that the first thing they tell you about medication? About therapy? 'They're tools. They won't fix anything overnight.' And yet I keep hearing it, professionals and pedestrians, people I trust and people I love and it hurts every time--"They'll get their own in the end. You have to stop carrying it with you. You're only hurting yourself."

Like it's new information. Like the promise of divine retribution will magically make me healthy again. Like if I really had a choice, I would choose this--flinching from loud noises and flashbacks and a constant stream of medication and a fear of authority that would make me cry in a tai chi class--over leaving it in the past 'where it belongs', 'moving forward', 'letting it go'. And when I think I'm making progress and doing just that, healing, not letting it have control over even a small aspect of my life, little victories, it's not good enough. It's not fast enough.

"You need to let go this.

"It's only hurting you."