I am a Warrior

Several of the women recalled lying awake, motionless, waiting for the inevitable – a brother or father coming in to molest them.

The Body Keeps the Score, van der Kolk, Chapter 2, Trauma Before Dawn

These were my nights. Many of them. And, I survived. How I survived is the thing to be questioned.

As a budding teenager, I found food was everywhere. Readily at my disposal and I had full access. What better way to spend your day but in pleasure. I would eat to the point of exhaustion. After a good rest, I was back at it again. Sometimes I didn’t stop until my belly threw out all that had been stuffed into its container. Addiction many would scream.

It saved me. It saved me from a complete life of despair – in those days. I would have endlessly suffered through the day contemplating ways to self-destruct. By that, I mean suicide. There was no other way out of my circumstances. I hadn’t gained the autonomy of adulthood and I was stuck. Utterly hopeless. Anything that made my flesh feel better, I honor now. It was a breath of fresh air to me. Anything but the misery of the bleak existence I found myself in.

I get all the rhetoric with stuffing ourselves with addictions to ease our pain. I call horseshit on it all. I needed something in a tangible way to sooth me. I was made to gorge on my parents’ destruction, and now I had a choice. I know. I know. Don’t hurt yourself. I wasn’t.

I am alive. I made it out. That was what mattered. Oh, sure, I made it out to another abusive relationship, and then another. And, I am standing. Still.

What matters is that each day we choose to move forward. That’s what really matters. I have found greater ways to love myself but I still will honor those days when I found what I could to bring comfort into an abyss where there was no comfort. Anything that paused the pain was a friend to me. I understand that now.

Today I am solid. I don’t care what other people think of me. I have strived. I have fought. I stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Ephesians 6:14-15

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