My pain is raw and fresh. I feel like the recently overturned soil in the middle of a field waiting to be filled in with the comfort of validation or, on the other hand, waiting for the toxicity of a chemical spill to seep in and overflow into the Earth.
My pain is overwhelming. My pain feels ongoing and without solution. I’ll get a glimpse of what love looks like and my daydreams drift to what our life would look like if it really worked out. What if I met someone who would dance me around in the kitchen or someone would could help to hold all the pain? What does it feel like to be really seen?
My emotional pain is like a deep wound that continues to scab over but then ripped off without cause. It gets easier to patch up with all the practice but it never fully heals. But, how could it heal? Men have hurt me all my life. Point me in the direction of a “good man” and I’ll reveal his lies, secrets and propensity for either emotional manipulation or explosive anger. How well do you ever really know someone?
I am an open vessel. Not the knock off kind you find in the home decor section at Target. I am the type of family heirloom vessel that has sat on the fire place mantle soaking in all the dysfunction and mystery of generational trauma. The type of vessel with a swirl pattern that seems to stare at you from across the room. I give myself up easily and fully. When held, my body feels like it is absorbed into the holder. My expectations are that you hold my body while also holding part of my pain and help to close the vessel with only happiness.
My pain is thick. Thick like congealed food you are trying to scrape off a pan you may or may not have left in the sink overnight. You think you have it scoured off and down the drain, until there is an oily substance left unable to be cleaned. In reality, the pain never leaves.
While men shutdown, don’t have words for their emotions and isolate, I have the thickest thesaurus for my feelings. My emotional pain is uncomplicated to describe and simple to construe. My pain haunts me during the day like a sick raccoon. It creeps up on me when I feel nothing but happiness by asking “what if he is lying to you?” or “you know he doesn’t care as much as you do” and of course “this happiness has an expiration date”. Picture sitting in the sunshine, watching your children play and then having a rushing thought of a bus plowing through your family. Or, laying next to your man staring into his eyes after sex and thinking “when will you leave me?”
I have been abandoned without explanation as many times as it takes to actually feel as it a comfortable and familiar situation. Being blocked, being ghosted or never heard from again is where my pain comes from. My appetite for connection is initially satiated but it is difficult to ignore that men would rather abandon women than admit to their mistakes, flaws or work on anything revolving around being vulnerable.
PTSD is a disability. PTSD is the accumulation of every time a man hurt me. PTSD is not being able to handle a simple disagreement because you think it will be the last time you ever talk to him. PTSD is feeling like when he critical of you, he doesn’t love you at all.
The psychological damage men have inflicted on me used to feel personal. I internalized that being a slut meant that men sought me out to treat me like absolute shit. As if, men look for a certain type of woman to inflict pain on. When catcalled, I thought men could tell that I let men touch me. When approached by a man in a bar, I thought he could tell I had sexual trauma. In reality, men inflict pain on all different ‘types’ of women.
How can I protect myself from more emotional pain? I have no idea. I try to not give myself up completely but it’s almost impossible. I am conflicted from within, I want to give myself but I don’t want to get hurt. Choose the nice guy? I’ve tried. It truly doesn’t matter if they are nice in the beginning. People mask their true selves. I have found that men are all roughly, the exact same, inflicting their emotional baggage onto me and projecting their insecurities into me.
Why am I being punished when I have so much love to give?