A Prisoner of the Past
You’re not too old to start anew.
Sitting in my black swivel chair, elbows on my desk, my eyes are glued to the screen. My chest pounds and tightens, the throat feels like choking. While pressing my hands with threaded fingers on my philtrum, I start shaking my head.
Scrolling through my old blog posts from 2014 and earlier today, I hope to rediscover the part of me that I somehow lost. Had I not done that, I maybe would have never remembered the strength and the power I once had.
Maybe, I would still be fooling myself by believing that someday and somehow, I could find a way to find that spark, that sense of inspiration, passion, and zest for life. Perhaps, I would have spent a lifetime unrecognizing the answers, although they’re right in front of my eyes, waiting to be seen and acknowledged.
Then, I hear the heavy rain starting with its loud raindrops and loud swooshes of the window blinds. As I turn my head to have a quick look, my heart sinks. It’s as if the harsh rain represents the gods’ sympathy for my heartache. The cold air sneaks in the angled balcony door and slowly caresses my skin like ice to comfort my aching soul.
The loud sounds of lightning and thunder get my attention. I stand to have a look at the natural chaos outside the four walls of my home instead of heading to the part of the house where I could hit myself. Just like my father and my aunt did to me when I was young. “Thank you,” I whisper before I return to my desk and take a deep breath and sigh, closing my eyes.
It’s difficult to live every single day like this, and difficult is an understatement. No, it’s even disturbing. Fear has been consuming my life for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, there was never a time that I felt confident and able to stand for myself without punishing myself first by snorting a white line of pain.
Being a crybaby was always an issue for my caregivers. Especially for my father. He often hated it whenever I cried for trivial things. I can’t forget the time he threw me on the bed with my face down. He grabbed his thick leather belt and rolled the other end on his big hand and hit my delicate skin with its silver frame. My aunt, my mother’s younger sister, once poked my forehead with a newly sharpened pencil or a boiling hot ladle she used for cooking dinner whenever she saw me in tears.
So, going to school with bruises was part of my daily life, underneath the mask I created for others to see. A perfect daughter that makes every mother jealous. Well, that’s what my mother wanted me to be over the years.
When I was around eight years old, interesting thoughts started to wander and found a home inside me. My hands pressed on the bruises that map around my body. During the break time, I found myself sitting at the end of the school building to watch my classmates and schoolmates playing, talking, and laughing, while I found myself puzzled and filled with a lot of whys and what-ifs.
“Why do I even exist?” I demanded the heavens for answers in tears. “I’m not dreaming to have tons of luxurious things, yet, why do I find it challenging to accept that I could deserve better?”
Quivering, my fingers continue to type in the words and my heart beats fast without pauses and stops. I could feel the shivers in my spine and my head feels like it is exploding. Years have passed, my youth begins slowly to fade as fine lines start to appear on my face. Unlike my classmates who are now maybe having the best lives as professionals, I feel stuck in a prison of the past, though the lock has already been unlatched.
The tears crawl down like rivers on my cheeks. My throat feels more constricted than before, while I type in more words.
Is it wrong to dream the simplest dreams? Is it selfish to fantasize about life, my life, not as someone’s daughter, sister, mother, or wife? I want to acknowledge who I truly am without feeling disgusted and acknowledge the “I,” without minding other people’s definition of me. Now, as an adult.
Although I spent my childhood in constant despair, I am grateful to my husband for helping me out in cultivating the fading inner child — thirsty for love and acceptance from my caregivers. I long for a life without the need for someone’s approval and upholding the truth that was never mine. At the last word, I freeze, slowly pushing myself away from the desk.
With my eyes closed and my fingers shaking, I press both hands on my face. Like the roars of the thunder and heavy rains slowing down, my tears start to dry, too, feeling relieved. I lean against the back of my chair with my head facing up in utter silence. A few minutes later, the door opens. I hear the voice of my husband, and I smile. “Hallo Schatz, I’m home.”
No fear. Not anymore.