Real TALK is our series of articles from fellow survivors of sexual abuse / assault covering topics that might be helpful to you. What we aim for here isn’t perfection but real experiences here in Hong Kong. If you have suggestion to add, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes I find myself following a trail, a trail going back years and years, and faded around the time I was 8 years old.
A trail to another life, a parallel universe, where my childhood was “normal” and I grew up without the Darkness, and I became a person without shame.
But instead, I’m in this life where I sit on a couch and stare wide-eyed at my therapist as she speaks, my mind filled with a background buzz that flutters between the dull ache of my sprained ankle, memories of the violence of my recent nightmares, the tears of anxiety that I could feel welling up, the frequent but fleeting daydreams of suicidal escapades – while at the same time wondering what I might have for dinner.
Suddenly she stopped speaking and asked me what’s on my mind.
I wonder if she can tell. Where do I even start?
I said I’m not sure.
But I was thinking: Who would I be? What would I be doing now, if I’m not me?
So I told her I was getting a haircut the next day.
I rub my left thumb with my right hand. The joint hurts. Or maybe it’s just the ligament.
I need to remind myself before our next session: hiding in your thoughts doesn’t work if you stare unblinkingly at your therapist like a crazy person.
I don’t want my story, my past, to be a thing. And yet it seems to have taken over my psyche, like a fungus that has taken root in my head – sometimes it flares up, sometimes it’s beaten down, but it’s still there, like the teeny tiny fishbone stuck in your throat that doesn’t exactly stop you from eating, but you know it’s there.
Thoughts. These are what occupies my head, and plays in a low hum as I move through my days. Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good.
What’s your background noise?