I sometimes feel like i’m an echo.
I look like him. Sound like him. Talk like him. Walk like him.
And i’m still afraid of him.
The last few days have been ruff. Went to a function and had an anxiety attack. Grounded myself and got through it though. Caught up with an old acquaintance even, and met new people. To the old acquaintance, I actually said “I need help.” I have been attempting to get out among people and I knew she could help. She invited me to volunteer at her church’s MLK Day of service event and, feeling good & confident, I accepted.
I woke up the next day full of anxiety, lava-mud churning and i knew i wasn’t going. On TV and my timeline, there were quotes, excerpts of speeches from MLK and commentary on this day of service. I felt horrible. I felt guilty for not being able to go. I felt angry. At what or who I didn’t know. I felt scared of everything and nothing. I needed to get out of the house.
You may be asking what this has to do with me feeling like an echo and if you’ll be patient, I’ll get there.
I left the house and drove around. I got some food. Drove around some more. I decided to go to the movies to see Just Mercy. Half way through, a scene set me off and I left the theatre in tears finally understanding why this day of service thing had my anxiety so high. In that scene, a man on death row was about to die and had asked the lawyer to be with him that day. As they sat together and talked, the man said to the lawyer that he “was the only one who ever fought for me.” And those words cut through me like a knife. Wripped through the layers of survival I had put up to reveal the true hurt I feel. The still raw anger at the silence and my inability to undo it. I wanted to scream. I wanted to rage through it. I wanted a drink.
I felt like an echo who couldn’t be heard. The walls of the canyon were my own and only I could here me. Everyone could and can see me, but none, it seems can hear me. I am a silent echo whose voice goes out but never gets past my own mountain.
That mountain is the abuser. I look like him. Sound like him. Talk like him. Walk like him. I am an echo of him.
And that is what I hate. I hate that about me. I hate the him that’s part of me. I hate everything he did to me. I hate everything he gave me.
I feel like a silent echo.
And as I work through this enormous burden of self-hate, I remind myself that I am not him. I am me. I have my own name. My own body. My own life. I remind myself thar I am not what he did to me. I am not a failure, I am not weak, nor do I need his approval.
I will learn to not only see ME, but I will hear me. I will BE because I AM.