Image by Roland O’Daniel, used with Creative Commons License
I’m done asking questions.
For just over three years now, I’ve been praying daily for closure and for the courage and strength to ask questions. Someone I spoke to that December told me to “be selfish, ask questions, and don’t worry about people’s responses.” And yet, when I tried to talk to people (including the person who gave me that advice) about the possible history of the suspected offender, I got nothing. I got shut down.
For just over three years now, I’ve lived in fear, wanting answers but afraid to seek them.
I have stopped praying for the strength to ask questions. I no longer wish to bring up a topic that no one seems to want to discuss. The more distance there is, the more I doubt myself and the more I feel others doubt me. Surely if something had happened, I would have remembered it by now. Surely if the trauma I do remember was legitimate, more people would have helped me go through my healing process and listened to me when I said it was an issue. Now, I realize that it is my body, and I get to decide what is sexual abuse or trauma and what isn’t. I also realize that I could go my whole life without recovering a memory and it would not make my perceived trauma any less true or difficult for me to experience. But that is not always what other people seem to be thinking. I have put so much stake in outside validation that it has caused me to doubt myself when I need to be focused on my healing.
I do not have the strength to be selfish, ask questions, and not worry about people’s responses. I do not have the strength to doubt myself or my experiences so consistently. When I first started talking about the initial issue, the trauma that I do remember, I received validation from a precious few people. I will hang on to that and remember that I am the one who gets to decide what is traumatic for my body. I don’t need to ask questions. I need to move forward and heal.