i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember i can’t remember

Found out that the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse in the state in which it happened to me was up four years ago when I turned 23. What the fuck.

Turns out there is scarring in my genital area. I guess my flashes of memory are true after all.

Pushed myself way too hard with memories and flashbacks and thinking and thinking and thinking over the past three days. Now I am in immense amounts of pain. Knew this would happen.

Things have been pretty hectic. I started a new job (a good and challenging change). I am still working with my “new” therapist (been seeing her for a few months) and I feel like she understands me better than the other therapists I’ve been to. Still struggling with the usual suspects: it didn’t really happen, I made it up, what if he’s doing it to other children, but he’s my father, my memories aren’t clear enough, still can’t do any form of penetration, visual images that are sickening. I feel like I go round and round and round and get dizzy and then take a break for a bit and start all over again. Sometimes it feels like I will never heal (from what?!). Some days I feel better and confident and like I can be happy. Sometimes I just feel like hurting myself so badly, but I will never do that. I guess this is the way it goes.

I have a new therapist and things seem to be going well. Except for one thing, which is that every time I am driving to see her (I go directly after work and it’s about a 25 minute drive), there is a thought that pops into my head with some insistence and urgency: “She’s going to find out.”

Find out about what?

I am so very tired. This is hard work and I just want to float and float away into a dreamless sleep that lasts forever. I’m not suicidal. Just tired.

My wife whispers into my ear, “You are safe. You are safe. You are safe. You are safe.”

And I am.

turn the heat up if I’m cold.

choose to stay in pajamas all day and not shower.

take a really long shower until I’m out of hot water.

eat a bunch of cookie dough.

have sex.

not have sex if I don’t want to.

ask my wife to give me a back rub.

stretch my muscles out.

feel my physical pain and admit that it hurts.

pee when I need to pee and not hold it in order to avoid inconveniencing others.

get a drink of water.

hug myself and rock.

I am allowed to do these things.

listen,

when I found there was no safety

in my father’s house

I knew there was none anywhere.

You are right about this,

how I nurtured my work

not my self, how I left the girl

wallowing in her own shame

and took on the flesh of my mother.

but listen,

the girl is rising in me,

not willing to be left to

the silent fingers in the dark,

and you are right,

she is asking for more than

most men are able to give,

but she means to have what she

has earned,

sweet sighs, safe houses,

hands she can trust

– Lucille Clifton