the shadows behind my eyes….

these types of posts are the most demanding of any type of healing writing that i do.

these posts take me often to a place i don’t wish to go but am compelled by my body and unconscious to please visit, please get to know me, don’t be so afraid.  i’m trying to understand and dissect a part of myself that i barely know exists.  its existence revealed in the last 5-8 years in a hellish, tsunami wave that engulfed me, holding me under, no matter how hard i fought until i could barely breathe.  i was let up for a frantic gulp of air then plunged back under, over and over and over.

as much as i fight it, as much as i wish it wasn’t true, it is.  there is a part of me that lurks in shadows behind my eyes.  i feel it now although i didn’t feel it earlier in life.  it was there but i was: busy, in denial, ignorant, driven to keep going in order to outrun the demon.  back there somewhere it lives in the dark, giving a sensation occasionally so i don’t forget it.

to understand it, i must first sit with it.

we take the absolute and almost exhaustive measures for safety before i will begin to take a look at the shadows.  the doors of the house are locked, drapes drawn.  i’m sequestered to my bedroom atop several comforters, propped by pillows in strategic places to give the feeling of support and presence.  all facets must be respected.  earplugs in place and all people and dogs are on another floor of the house.  finally i feel able to look.  finally i feel safe enough to look.

there are facts by the millions stored in my unconscious.  there in those shadows are factual accounts of all the incidents that were put upon me as a child.  every man who molested me.  every man who lied to me and said we were playing a game.  every screaming instinct i had that something was very, very wrong. every adult who looked the other way.  its all there; stored, sealed, double wrapped, sunk to the bottom of the sea.  turned into shadows with a protective coating as thick as the July humidity.

but with any old wound, aged with gummy tape cracked and barely holding it together, one must remove the layers so very gently.  if one rips too fast, you will lose the integrity of the item, a scab getting ripped off too soon.

my eyes send me messages constantly.  there are tears that live behind them, ready to flow at the slightest provocation.  tender eyes that feel everything.  every injustice and societal hurt causes screaming pain.  the images of life too strong to be uncensored, they must be limited to those that nourish, ones that will heal the wounds.  my eyes spoke to me this week by dilating one pupil more than the other.  i feel it coming on, vision goes blurry on one side, the heaviness creeps in cause it to droop, tears flow in that eye only.

the AMA calls it Horner’s Syndrome because they like to study and describe situations.  they feel relief once its labeled but i don’t.  a name doesn’t provide relief.  it is neurological in nature and there are no actions to take to manage it.  i don’t go for their opinion after the first time it happened, now i just sit with it, because they can only help with the physical attributes of what these shadows manifest.  but its the emotional component is the key.  and that i figured out myself.

other messages come in a flip of a switch.  the light could stream across my field of vision in just the right way to access a memory.  a harsh tone or aggressive move by a person can send me sailing.  the oppressiveness of the summer heat can wrap itself around me so tight i fight for a breath….

i can best access the feelings from the shadows when the other senses are dulled.  sitting in silence with my ears plugged and my skin covered and unavailable,  my typing fingers will speak for me if i keep my eyes closed.  all outside stimuli must be stopped, the layers of protection increased to the maximum.  i remind myself to breathe and stop tensing my shoulders, its okay, its okay, breathe.  my eyes fly open at even the slightest muffled sound and i jerk to attention.  hyper vigilance doesn’t even touch the acuteness of this feeling.  its ingrained to every cell of my being, it has its own pull, a mind of its own.  it does what it wants and it wants to be crazy, OCD, and alert all the time.

but here’s the interesting thing….once i obtain the quiet and tune into the vibration of what is back in those shadows, it usually is fine.  in fact, i can’t think of a time when it wasn’t.  so i don’t know why i don’t go there more often because the actual act of ignoring this vital, motherboard of traumatic information causes so much distress.  my hope is that the more i sit with this, the more the shadows and i will integrate.

my husband says i have such a Stephen King morose streak to me, that i love the dark side and should just embrace it.  i argue that folks don’t want to hear about the dark, that most want to hear perky shit.  i do know that i continue with one mission and that is to shed as much light on PTSD, sexual assault and child abuse, mental illness, BPD.  the victims of these conditions have to cope daily with the ugliness of the situation put upon them and probably don’t even know what is happening and why they feel so miserable and unhappy.  my hope is that someone, somewhere will see themselves in the descriptions and know that they aren’t alone, that there is hope and that life can still have meaning even with these conditions present.

this alone continues to drive me to look as lovingly as i can at the shadows and am determined to make friends with it.  its really just part of me, just speaking a different language from a different time.

About Rescuing Little L

Documenting the pieces of my journey...recovery from childhood sexual abuse and cruel ignorance...the effects of those incidious acts through adulthood... until the grace of recovery transcended the trauma and shame of my past, making it possible to return to Rescue Little L.... View all posts by Rescuing Little L

16 responses to “the shadows behind my eyes….

  • revrannulf

    It’s a brave thing to do; to face the journey within… Blessings to you as you dare to find out about the past. Blessings to you as you walk through each day. Blessings to you as your healing builds a safer future!!

    • Rescuing Little L

      awww…I can always count on you for incredible support! Nice to hear that you think its brave…my family of origin would sorely disagree with you…but that too is something that I try to gently leave behind…Thanks dear friend!

  • the warrioress

    Gosh you are a brave woman; one of the bravest I’ve ever encountered in print…..

  • the warrioress

    lol..I didn’t read your first comment before I left mine. Seems great minds think alike. You *are* brave, Little L.

    • Rescuing Little L

      thanks warrioress! i must admit i don’t feel brave most of the time…but appreciate the feedback. there are times when i wonder if this writing helps at all, then i see a comment that lights up my heart…

  • WordsFallFromMyEyes

    “Most want to hear perky shit” – I love the blunt honesty in that comment. It’s true, isn’t it. I started a video diary of me giving up alcohol –, & anyone chancing by would think it’s negative – an alcoholic’s video diary? Hic!! But it’s not. It covers much more.

    And same, with what you are suffering. It’s not plain old negative, it is REAL and MANY FACETED and it is your experience and people WILL RELATE to your experience in some degree or other. I think keep writing honestly. Survivors can’t lie about the past, just can’t, so I wouldn’t even try. Healing comes by the truth being exorcised like vomit from your gut & you might spew a lot of words in & around that vomit, but the gems of truth – say, like little cubes of potato in the vomit (!) – they are out, outed,

    & you heal.

    You are brave, & I commend you. I love honest blogs of true lives.


  • Crowing Crone Joss

    I hold you in my heart during these, and all shadow times, and send angels to surround you as you heal. Oh brave soul, may all that you are declare the beauty of you, within, without, breathe it in.

  • Wholly Jeanne

    Oh Sugar, where to start . . . first of all, I’ve been out of town, my days crammed to the limits. I fear you’re right: most folks only want to hear that perky shit, so be it. There are those of us who, while we may not love the darkness, realize its presence and the richness that can be discovered there when one dares (as you do) lock the doors, close the blinds, unplug the phone, and sit, and we also know (as you do) that always putting on that perky dress only makes it worse – something that’s absolutely indecipherable to a brain that speaks only logic, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Ignoring it does not make it go away. Masking it is impossible. Sitting in the soup of it is the only way to peace, to discovery, to some semblance of understanding, to changing anything at all.

    • Rescuing Little L

      Wholly Jeanne…you are so good to me! You always have me in a puddle as soon as you call me Sugar….you know, I’ve never been able to pull off the perky thing, I just look silly dancing around to a tune that I don’t even believe in…give the real stuff any day! So cool to have you in my blog world…Hope your out of town trip went okay but sounds like you need a bubble bath and a good nap! Take care and thanks!

  • Robyn Lee

    Just reading your words has had such a profound effect on me. I am sending you healing energies and blessings. Though I do not know the pain you suffer specifically, I am extremely empathic to any pain, and live in my own state of torment daily. I also have this condition you describe (Horner’s Syndrome)… with dilation of one pupil more than the other associated with dysautonmia which is paralyzing at times…. I wonder if it is our response by the nervous system to the level of trauma we endure.
    Like you I am experimenting with some posts on my blog that are harder to face (those are some of my ‘pain shadow’ series) … I do hope this kind of expression is healing and cleansing in some ways for us both… Be well always, RL

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hi Robyn…I read your story the day I subscribed to your blog. It was so compelling to read about the daily and probably hourly pain you endure. Its not often that we can just let go and speak of the pain we have, I know I often hide it to spare my family. While its a good distraction to try to continue with life it feels equally as good to honor and speak of the pain we have.

      I love how you discovered your photography, its similar to how I started writing….needed another way to define myself besides trauma and illness…so glad to have found you…((hugs))


      • Robyn Lee

        Laurel, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I am with you, in that the desire to spare our loved ones and also hide from the pain is often so great that we repress a lot. It’s had for me to hide very often because it’s so physical, and impacts my ability to participate in activity, but I also agree the distraction is welcomed. I think there is a time and place for both the expression and the distraction. My blog is much reflected in this – as I will move far away from my issues in most posts… and then return on occasion, as it seems you do too. Yes – the blogs give us a portal to define ourselves differently which is so important… Hugs to you my friend – much Love RL

  • Tiffany (lifewithblondie)

    I can relate to your post in so many ways! I think that’s the reason I search for the “perky shit” in my life… to always fight against the darkness that tries to creep in.

    • Rescuing Little L

      Hi Tiffany…loved your blog…and yes! it is a delicate balance to maintain balance between the dark and the perky, isn’t it…but I’m one who will always listen to the tough stories too. Lately I’ve been thinking about more hopeful posts, don’t want the blog to be overly morose…So cool that I found you!

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