Where to start? Just over two years ago-- two years, four months,twenty-one days ago, in fact-- I suffered a deep, soul-scarring wound. The cause is, for my purposes here, immaterial-- suffice it to say that I was subjected to abuse, trauma, betrayal, lies, deceit. I have struggled with deep depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome since then, and I think now my only way through is to write.
I sit here, and a song plays through my head, on an endless loop. I can't recall who sang it, or when I heard it last-- it's one of those soppy, whinging, broken-heart songs: I haven't got time for the pain...No, I haven't got time for the pain... It's my new theme song. It's true; I don't have time. "Get over it," I'm told, "you're fine, you're alive. There was no permanent harm. Get over it."
Get over it. So easy to say; impossible to do. That day is etched on me, body and mind and soul, forever. I carry it with me every moment, and will for the rest of my life. Get over it? The universe changed that day-- I changed-- eternally. Can't anyone see that? Can't anyone hear me screaming?
So much to do: work, classes, children, home, husband, mother, groceries, cat food, gas, Yule shopping, studying, playing endless catch-up. No time to dwell on things that are long over, things that did not, after all, kill me. To think on it at all is weak; to ruminate, indulgent. Selfish, self-serving. We're meant to be superwomen, after all-- altruistic, sacrificing ourselves for the good of others.
The hatred in me is astounding. It's buried deep-- too deeply for casual acquaintances to see-- but it emerges sometimes, frightening those around me who can't understand the depth of these feelings. I was murdered! I want to shriek. The person I was died that day-- don't you see it? They killed me!!
This is not me; it's a pale shadow of the person I was. I believed, I knew, I had faith. No more.
Funny how hatred and love can coexist. How sorrow can put on a smiling mask and pretend, if only for a little while. But in the dark it all comes back-- the sounds, the smells, the keen edge of the knife. And I lie there, gazing out my window at the mute silver moon.
Why, Mother? Why did you allow this? You knew how I'd fought it-- you knew how hard I struggled to avoid this sorry end-- and you let it happen all the same!
A voice from the void, from within my shattered soul, echoes beyond hearing. My daughter, I allow nothing but choice. You chose.
I chose. The cruelest truth of it all, because she's right, you see. I chose this end. I walked in of my own accord, on my own two feet. I let myself be led like a lamb to slaughter. I permitted it!
I cannot forgive. Not the ones who betrayed me, nor the implacable Goddess I serve, the joy in whose service eludes me now. Nor can I, will I ever, forgive myself, because in the end, I bear as much blame as anyone.
Foolish question, that-- one without meaningful, or even attainable, answer. So why do I keep asking it?