Today, the day of independence. I wish I could say that my body feels that sense of independence as well, but it does not. Today, just like the past few days, are tough. Frankly, they just suck for me.
I remember it all so well, even all these years later. The day that I was molested for the first time. I don’t remember it being hot, but I assume it was a summer day because I remember having on shorts. In the front seat of his truck as we pulled into the parking lot of that funeral home. My view out the front window was a sea of flags at the cemetery. I remember him slipping his hand up the leg of my shorts and then my mind goes blank… until I see him open up the glove box to get something to wipe his hands. Next I hear those words that have echoed so loud all these years, “don’t tell anyone, this is our special love.” My heart races as I write that, holding back tears… I wish that day never happened, but the reality is they happened over and over and over again for years. I remember some of them in detail, others thankfully my mind has sheltered me from, but the pain is the same decades later. The nightmares roll in with sleepless nights and the desire to just stay in bed for days. Even after all this time… my body knows. It has taken me years to try to understand why so many Holidays just shut me down and finally about 5 years ago it hit me… it’s the flags. The flags of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day… if there are flags waving all together it takes my body back to that day, in that funeral home parking lot and emotionally I am that little helpless girl all over again.
I share because I know that I am not alone. Perhaps you or someone you know has been down this road. It may not be the flags for them, but I assure you they have triggers too or days when it is all just a little too much to bare. Today, I am grateful that God chose me to be the warrior in this journey, not because I am thankful this happened to me, but because I am thankful that God provided me the strength to forgive, but never forget. I am thankful that I have had the privilege of helping countless others on this same journey to understand it is not their fault, there can be life beyond being a victim and although there are very hard days, we can rise together.
You see, that kid… he makes these days worth it, better, happier. Someday he will know, but in a way he already does… he knows when mom needs extra help, extra words of affirmation, extra quiet time and extra hugs. Today, I will do the best that I can and celebrate the independence that I am not that little girl anymore, even though the emotions are so raw and real. I will celebrate that I don’t have to be the victim, I can be the survivor and I can be better for it. Today, find your best in whatever battle you are in and rest knowing that God will always be there to hold your hand for the brighter days ahead.
Anchors Up and let’s move forward together. Today is a page in the Chapter, not the whole book.
Xo - Lacey