A Journey Without to Within

Fear and pain are one in the same.

Have you ever been so afraid of pain that you numb yourself to all feelings entirely? Happiness doesn’t even find you because you’re not in the same dimension. Laughter becomes a memory of a time when you did not know what it was to be hurt on the inside.

I grew up, with no choice of my own, in a life of chaos. I grew accustomed to the daily style of an understated roller coaster. Extremes were a common theme within my main frame. Anxiety riddled me of my solitary being. At such a young age, I realized that I could not depend on anyone in this life if I ever wanted to be free. My younger brother was born. Things seemed calm.

The day I decided it was me and me only, I was around the age of 4 or 5; we were watching a movie in my parents’ bedroom. Mom and Dad had told us they were going to be having a few friends over and that we would be best upstairs. To this day, I still can’t remember what the movie was. My brother wanted something. The thought of even writing childhood memories onto paper riddles me with chills, though honesty comes naturally to me, feelings do not.

As a young child, I was joyful, experimental, independent, all the things you should hope for in a little girl. I was surrounded by so much love. What I was blissfully unaware of is that there are two kinds of love. The love I had was conditional love, but what I didn’t know was that this kind of love came with pain attached. That pain followed me, surrounding my joy like a noose for years. Childhood was more confusing than enjoyable. I looked up to my parents, like most children do. I wanted to understand their love, to understand family, to understand it all. One day the rope was cut loose. I was exposed. Exposed to everything. This was around the same time that fear became real for me.

We moved a lot. I remember living in 9 different rentals and going to school in 6 different towns. My parents never owned a house. I didn’t know what it was like to be attached, to people, places or things. Never had a place to call my home. As a young kid, I had convinced myself that people weren’t dependent upon those safety nets their families had created for them when times were tough, they needed a lending hand, or a caring ear. All things that unconditional love lives for – to create a haven during hard times for the ones that keep their hearts beating year after year. I guess most would call it stability. What does a life look like when you grow up without this stability, only knowledge of conditional love that was filled with pain? Much like mine. And I know that sounds cliche, dramatic, take it how you will. There are many others like me out there, from similar or very different backgrounds. No story needing to be the same, but the emotional result turning us into equals. I was broken, alone, disastrous, exaggerated and lost. All perfect adjectives to describe a teenager. Only it didn’t end until my late 20’s. It just became compounded with other types of pain and slowly I buried it’s origin. But the walls were still there – as cemented as ever and higher than a five-story building. Though, I usually couldn’t see them until it was too late to turn back. That room was always the darkest.

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