i cannot save her, only myself

Why aren’t things different? Better? Fixed? Why is it that when the rain starts, I am still falling down into the dark pits of past trauma? I don’t understand it, why I am still tormented so. I can still remember, physically, the touches that I did not agree to; the fear of making a sound; the emptiness.

I need my husband to hold me like a small child. He wraps me up into his arms, and allows me to melt into his body for as long as it takes for the boogeyman to go away. Because the boogeyman is still there; the boogeyman still feeds.

But I will not give in. Against everything in my body fighting it, I began counseling again last week. A more intensive program than I have ever been a part of. The night before my appointment, the stress and anxiety made me very ill. The brain likes patterns; the path of least resistence. Let me just continue pretending nothing ever happened. Yes, don’t go to counseling. It won’t do you any good.

And I almost didn’t go.
But I did go.
And although hearing and knowing that I will have to finally really confront the trauma and abuse from my past that is eating me alive, I will continue. I have to. I don’t want this to keep happening. I want to be able to leave the house without being scared. I want to not recoil when I think certain thoughts, or hear certain sounds, or smell certain smells. I want to wash this dirt off of me, the dirt left by those terrible people.

And I will. I know I will. Because as little as my confidence is, I have been through worse. I have survived. I have found a safe place, a home, with someone who does not ignore my needs. I have chosen to live this long, and I know that this life is worth living.

This summer, I spent my time trying to fix my little sister’s life. I moved her in with me, away from the toxic family I had already cut ties with. I wanted to give her a shot at a life free from shackles, from abuse. I wanted her to know that it is never okay to excuse said abuse. I wanted to try to make up for the mistakes I thought I had made. And it was hard. It was almost defeating. My marriage almost ended due to the stress, as both my husband and I put all of our effort into helping her. I quit counseling. I paused my life because I had sworn as a child to be her protecter. So I gave. And I gave.

In the end, none of it made a difference to her. Not only did she decide to go back home, but she chose to be like them .. pretending the abuse I finally worked up the courage to tell her, never happened.

But I am now free from the guilt that I thought I had to feel. I gave everything I had, and it just wasn’t enough for her. But that is not on me.
I wash my hands of it.

10 thoughts on “i cannot save her, only myself

  1. Very brave. I wish I had something amazing to say but I am humbled by all you have said and can only offer very gentle hugs and hopes that each day is a little easier for you.

  2. You are really brave and just be proud of yourself that you are doing something about your trauma. I know going through counseling and therapy is not easy because you are opening up memories which you have buried deep six feet under. Thank you so much for sharing. All the best. xo

  3. Focusing on myself, like you’re doing, sounds almost like a threat. If anything I want to be distracted from myself. But it sounds like, in your case, you’re making healthy choices right now. I wish you all the best in your quest to deal with the traumas of the past. Here’s to a better future.

  4. To me, the key here is that you are still fighting to put these demons to rest. Despite the pain & the anguish, you are fighting to be rid of them. This speaks to your character Erica. You are courageous, you are brave & you continue to inspire me with your strength. Continue to heal my friend.


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