Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Whispers in the Hall

A few years ago, I started a novel entitled "Whispers in the Hall." This novel was about a slightly mentally unstable woman. Or, at least, it was going to be. The novel barely got off the ground, and had already veered off it's intended course. But, I had a deep connection with the title of the novel, and so I decided to re-purpose that title. I created an entire blog titled "Whispers in the Hall." This blog was about abuse - statistics, stories, links for help, and things such as. But again, I found I had problems getting it off the ground.

Recently, I have again recognized the connection I have to the title. And I have also recognized that both the novel and the blog were interconnected. This post is not a sermon. It is not a novel about a crazy lady. It is not statistics about abuse. It is simply a rambling that I need to write about a title that is my mind.

I was abused. I have not kept this a secret, although admittedly I have not always been forthcoming about all the abuse, nor about the lasting effects of this abuse. But in the past few months, these effects have hit full force. I am a runner. And there are many triggers to this instinct to run - most of which link back to my childhood. I will drink to run away when a trigger is hit. I will quite literally hide (in closets, dark rooms, under tables, outside in the dark). And I will physically run away.

Everyone I know who has been abused has some form of lasting trauma from that abuse. And there are triggers which will cause a reaction - either emotional, or physical, or both. With me, it can be both. An angry voice will usually cause me to hide. The words "I love you" will often make me emotionally push someone away before they can betray that love. Being sexual will sometimes cause me to feel sick to my stomach. That intense, cold look of anger in someone's eyes will cause me to completely melt down, curled up in the fetal position crying.

Whispers in the hall... those little voices of the abused child inside us... cry out from the depths of our mind - from those sealed rooms we locked them in so many years ago. Whispers in the hall... those little memories we have buried so deep we sometimes don't even remember them... find a way out, though we may not recognize them.

So many rooms and little voices reside within these halls. There is the small voice of the little child molested by a family friend for years - the same little child who used to hide under her bed, and when that didn't work, would hide inside her own fantasies to ignore what was happening to her. There is the voice of the child and young teenager who was beaten and betrayed by parents who were supposed to care for her - the same child who would hide under her blankets or in the closet, or if that didn't work, would hide inside a book or her own writing to escape the physical pain; the same child who eventually ran away from home. There is the voice of the teenager who was raped by a friend - the same teenager who, after the fact, learned to hide in the bottom of a liquor bottle.

So many voices - voices which are eager to cry louder when they see the eyes of another scared little child... even those small scared children whom are living with the mind and body of an adult. Voices which plead to speak out and yet are so scared they want to cower. Voices which want to be more than just whispers in the hall, and yet cannot speak above that whisper. Voices which are only a whisper trapped in a room at the end of the hall, and yet echo through the halls with unavoidable cries and screams.

The only way to lessen the reactions caused by certain triggers is to, once again, face these voices - let them out, if only momentarily. I must once again allow them to be more than just whispers in the hall, lest they trap me, making me but a whisper.

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