The was a girl.
Well... she was really too old in her thirties to keep calling herself a girl, but the word 'WOMAN' seemed too weighty and ponderous and capable and adult to apply to herself. So she still thought of herself as a girl.
Let's call this girl- Sally.
Sally had a hard childhood. She had so many bad things all crammed inside her head and shoved way down because life doesn't just stop happening because horrible things happen to you and because you have an awful family.
When you pick up the shattered pieces of yourself and try to make them into a life- you can't stop and put bandages on your cut up places. There's no time to stop. So Sally tried REALLY HARD not to think about the things she couldn't let herself think about, and she had nightmares all the time but she couldn't think about that either.
Sally made a couple of good friends who cared about her. She fell in love with a man who cared about her even more. And for the first time, Sally started to feel safe. But then, of course, all the things she'd been shoving down and away started to come back and Sally had to begin the hard work of dealing with these things. She got a therapist. Her boyfriend listened to her. She cried a lot.
And Sally found people on the internet who had been through some of the same things she had and it made her feel less alone. She wrote and wrote and it really helped. And it began to feel like her life was real and had really happened, instead of a shameful nightmare she could never quite get away from.
One day... one day Sally visited her parents, even though they didn't have a good relationship. It was going to be her mother 70th birthday and Father's Day in the same weekend. Sally desperately wanted to have some kind of normal relationship with her parents, even though she always dreaded every single visit, for months and months beforehand.
Sally's father always looks at her like he hates her. Like he's not sure who made the horrible mistake that left him with this fat failure of a daughter.
Sally's father did NOT want a fat daughter. And he has spent her entire life making sure that she knows it.
Sally's therapist thinks her father could be a narcissist. And living with a narcissist is extremely unpleasant.
Sally's parents spent the entire weekend in hateful silence. Sally's parents ignored her and her boyfriend for an entire weekend. Sally's parents have always trafficked in emotional abuse, among other kinds.
Right before Sally was supposed to go back home (like 10 minutes), Sally's father broke his angry silence to tell her that he had found and read her blog. That everything she said was a lie. Because she was a liar, ever since she was a child.
Sally's father is big into gaslighting as a form of emotional abuse. Sally is never sure if she remembers her memories, because her whole family says that all her memories are lies.
Sally's father told her she BETTER NOT EVER write anything about him again.
This has proved EXTREMELY difficult for Sally. She went back home. Where she decided that enough is enough. That it's finally safe enough to refuse to be abused anymore. So she doesn't speak to her family. This is a very good thing.
But writing and talking to people on the internet is a big part of how Sally has dealt/is dealing with the fallout of all the bad things coming out.
Sometimes Sally feels like is so full of feelings that the merest brush against her skin will cause the feelings to come squashing out her pores.
This is not really a nice way to feel.
Sally wondered if there was a way to write about her distress.
Because Sally has been having nightmares every night for weeks. Sally dreams that she is still a teenager, still in high school, still trapped in her parents house. She wakes up gasping, crying. She wakes up frightened and furious.
She would very much like to stop having these nightmares. She thinks that writing about them might help, but... how?
She is afraid of her father. He was the demon monster of her childhood. He was not to be crossed. He was the one thing she was always most afraid of. Was/is. Am.
And Sally thought... What if I write a story? What if I take my most painful memories and make them into stories?
Would that help the sinking feelings of despair these awful nightmares bring, every night, around 2AM?
And you know... It did. A bit. And Sally thought- is this good writing, who knows? But maybe I should keep doing this. Maybe it could keep helping.