In this post, I will share an excerpt from my autobiography that was very popular on my former Facebook page for the book. This is because everyone has experienced some type of loss in their lives that does not have anything to do with the negative effects of abuse. I have written a few articles about grief that I will hyperlink at the end. In the meantime, here is the extract on grief.
Little Girl Lost (1993)
Grew up real quick
Had my childhood cut short
By a monstrous man
As an adult I grieve
I grieve for the lost innocence, fun and freedom
That all children are meant to experience
I cry over what’s been taken from me
Sometimes my sorrow cuts deep
As the waves of sadness wash over me
I realize that I don’t have to grieve
For the little girl
I once thought was gone
I can find her and rejoice
In the pleasure of her company
She’s not that difficult to find because she’s in me
She IS me
She just got lost in all the pain
No, I’m back
Grief is what used to (and still does) surface almost immediately after releasing my anger. The greater my rage, the deeper my sadness and sorrow would be. When experiencing major bouts of grief I have found that certain things seem to slow down in my life (i.e. my professional and social life) and in my body (i.e. my digestion/appetite, my energy levels, ability to concentrate, and so on). There were days when I could barely move from the heaviness of this emotion, especially around my chest. I often found it difficult to breathe. On one occasion I consulted the doctor at university because I thought I was having an asthma attack. Even though she could not find any sign of it she gave me a prescription in case it got worse, as I had informed her that I used to suffer from asthma as a child.
This childhood ailment was a direct result of the abuse in those years. However, as I relived my trauma in my twenties I began to feel the way I did back then both physically and emotionally. In present-time, I was also grieving for my entire youth, for everything that I had missed out on. I was conscious of some of the things I was grieving for – my innocence, my virginity (this is an important rite of passage for everyone which was taken from me), my peace of mind, the lack of joy in my life and love for myself. There were aspects that I could not articulate but I still felt this pain that I was unable to name. Writing and talking about what I could express as well as crying, went a long way to alleviating my sadness.
The long-winded process of feeling overwhelming grief can take decades – the greater the losses the more profound the sadness. There were times when the pain was so acute that I wished for death. It was as if the pain itself was a form of death. This is very different from the destructive feelings which lead to suicide because the result of profound sadness is total transformation – grief is the most self-altering of all emotions. As dysfunctional aspects of myself disintegrated (like the metaphorical destruction of the Phoenix), I morphed (or was resurrected) into the person I was born to be. Hence the words at the end of the poem above, “I’m back.” The little girl, the pure soul that had a few seconds of untainted life after she came into this world, now has the chance to live again as the individual she/I was always meant to be. This means experiencing joy by doing what makes me happy. Ultimately, this entails fulfilling my life’s purpose.