oh god. this word.
i don’t know how many times i’ve sobbed about being tired in a therapy session. and i’ve meant it in terms of the hundreds of nights of stolen sleep, the physical exhaustion of my ridiculous on-call work life, but mostly, in the aching fatigue that comes from dealing with the fallout of incest and trauma. with battling parents and a brother who deny it happened in the first place, with a mother who thinks i’ve been hypnotized and a father who thinks my lesbian man-hating therapist planted ideas in my head (never mind that she is quite heterosexual and incredibly man-loving, never mind that i’m not a brainless blob that believes everything thrown her way). when i sob that i am tired, it is of the isolation, the shock, that this is in fact my life. i am tired of knowing this stuff, of carrying it. i don’t know when it will stop hurting. i don’t know how it ever could.
i spent much of my life convinced that there was something wrong with me. that all the labels and medications were to try and name and then fix the inherent brokennness that was me. and i was a fierce advocate for mental health issues, i disclosed often and in varying detail my journeys of depression, anxiety and panic disorder, because i hoped that i could help others (and myself?) by staring it in the face. i took full ownership of the wrongness of my neurotransmitters and hormones, medicated them, attempted to forgive my brain for its idiosyncrasies, and just tried to live the best life a damaged, sick, crazy person could live.
until remembering sexual abuse in my childhood, at the hands of two members of my family, turned it all upside down.
and over these past three years, i wished, so many times, i could just go back, that i could just unknow it all and go back. i have been gutted, time and again, by how difficult it is to share the responsibility for how i am; have been razed to the ground by the realization that the inherent wrongness i have always felt was a fucking lie, planted in me by the people meant to love me most. it is exhausting to flinch at the word family. it is exhausting to be reminded, with every interaction with my parents, that i am unseen, unheard, unknown. it is excruciating to nearly drown in the waves of abandonment, terror, and shame, and realize that this is how it felt, this is how little pocketcanadian felt all the time back then.
she wasn’t crazy. she wasn’t sick. she was damaged, oh yes. she was so so hurt, she was made to know things that she never should have, she was unsafe in her home, she was the receptacle for so much shame.
and unlearning all the things that were inserted into me, when i was too little to know different? is a full-time, full-body job. there is no amount of sleep that can remedy this sort of tired. there is just time, i am told. the passage of minutes, and days, and years, becoming accustomed to this new reality, to this identity, to these new labels. hoping that the sting eases. hoping that i can build a new life: of safety, of love, of compassion and gentleness, and that it can be enough.