You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
– Christopher Robin to Pooh
I absolutely love that quote. I have used it a lot with friends and family-just to let them know that I believe in them. I only wish that I could believe that about myself. But I’m not there yet.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote about my fear of being photographed. One of the most important pieces to my journey is to try to conquer each of the fears that I have in a very intentional way. A couple of months ago, I got the nerve up to put some feelers out about getting some pictures done. This is the first time in my life that I actually asked for someone to do that just because. There have been events in my life that have required photographs. I’m sure I could have refused, but I never wanted to show any weakness. Now that cat is out of the bag and I am being more transparent, I’ve let you know just how bad it bothers me. So, I not only inquired about it, I set up an appointment for a short photography session. I had only told those closest to me. Today is the day, but the weather is not cooperating. I still have several hours before the session for it to clear but I don’t know if it will. The photographer has been so understanding and comforting, and although I hope I don’t have a meltdown, I feel like it will be okay if I do so. I have no clue what I will do if this doesn’t happen today. I may not have the guts to do this again.
For the past 4 or 5 days, I have continuously felt this unsettling in my stomach. I’ve looked at my clothes and even bought some. Funny though, 4 hours away and I have no clue about what I am going to wear. I just can’t focus on myself like that. It’s way too uncomfortable. It makes some gut wrenching nightmares that taint my sleep. I wake up sore and out of sorts. It makes me analyze why I was abused. What I must have looked like to make it happen. Irrational thinking starts to take over. The enemy comes swooping in. I can hear the words… ”you look so much older than you are” “you can be a big girl, can’t you?” It is so easy to let this snowball into a major anxiety attack. So, what I do is take a breath, refocus, and remember that it’s not my fault. I did nothing to cause that. He was the one with the problem. He’s the one who stole my innocence from me. And I get mad. Really mad. Yes, the tears come, but they are tears of determination and anger. I simply cannot allow him to continue to keep me on the ropes. But the more I fight back, the harder it pushes back. I know that there will be times when I have setbacks. But I cannot and will not allow them to preside over this journey. I will reach out to those that are supportive of me. I will pray about it and I will ask others to do so as well. I also know that I am not only fighting for myself, I am fighting for millions of others that suffered sexual abuse as a child. I continue to work for and hope for peace for others. I want others to have peace and joy in their hearts like they once had. It’s still there…it’s just hidden under the scars.
“Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers” –Maya Angelou