It’s Time to Heal – Brianna’s Story
“So, several people from church have told me you have a split personality disorder.” I leaned closer to the passenger door of my date’s pickup truck and felt tears begin to brim in my eyes. These were some of the first words my “date” said to me on the way to the restaurant. I felt ashamed, confused and misunderstood. Not only was the accusation untrue, it was a defamation of character, lies that were being spread about me at my old church, the church where I once faithfully served, the church where I poured out my candid confessions during prayer.
The church where I had been told that it was healthy to be vulnerable.
He saw my discomfort and quickly responded, “But, I don’t care what they say. I’m not judging you.” Still, words spoken always leave some sort of mark. I began crying. As a women who was bullied and ostracized as a child for not fitting in due to various health diagnoses, as a woman who has been in rehab facilities more times than she’d like to admit, and as a woman who is daily working on reclaiming her identity, I did not need to hear this. At the restaurant that night I made choices that I’m not proud of. I went back to old, destructive habits hoping they would erase people’s perception of me.
I went home that night and wept. Not a ‘pretty cry’ kind of weeping but intense tears of grief. I had held on for so long hoping that I would be able to alter people’s perception of me. I had told myself if I just strived harder, if I volunteered at more events, if I smiled more, if I said yes even when my heart whispered, “no”, if I stayed silent when something didn’t sit right with me; then maybe I would become who I thought I was meant to be.
I couldn’t hold on to the façade of perfection any longer.
The next two weeks I kept crying in random places. On my early morning walks, on the bus, before entering the door at work, deep emotions continued to spring up. I felt as though I was breaking down. I continued to show up for my life amidst the swirling feelings. It was hard; it’s still hard. I felt like I was starting over again. And there was no formula, no direct path to complete healing, but it felt raw and quite frankly, it felt so darn good to have a real cry. To cry from the depths of my heart over the disappointment, over the accusations, over the misunderstandings that for so long I was handling by “turning the other cheek.”
But, I know it’s time.
It’s time to feel the disappointment.
It’s time to speak my inner truth.
It’s time to feel the weight of the grief of trauma.
It’s time to allow all of me to sit at the table, not just the parts that look presentable.
It’s time to bestow compassion on the areas that I once hid.
It’s time to heal.