I know why the uncaged bird doesn’t sing.
What lurks beyond the cage I cannot say.
I reach, but knees knock against hollowed-out bones like the hollowed heart of their carrier.
Doors swivel, flip, revolve out of character.
The path unclear.
Will I fly out over, around or under? I cannot decipher a clipped wing from a mended one.
I am mentally trapped as a Stallion tied to a plastic patio.
The uncaged bird doesn’t sing.
What song sings of hovering and haunting?
Which lines describe the demonic fingers clawing against infested wounds, grasping through caged wires?
What lyrics embrace the bubbling acids of uncomfortable bellies and irregular heart palpitations catalyzed by adrenaline laced veins?
What chorus would you add to the jittery jumps and perceived threats of violence when he gently comes in the room?
And what of the Bridge?
Shall I raise my voice in a triumphant cacophony of screeching heaves and moans?
Shall the finale please you to hear me scream and writhe for unending eternity?
Will I fly, will I fly?
Reflecting a bit today on the ever-present haunting effects of being severely sexually violated as a child. One of the most irritating & wildly misunderstood consequences of my abuse is that I live in a jumpy, jittery, fearful cage on most days. If I’m in a crowded room & someone calls my name, I jump. If I’m in my house, knowing someone else is there and they walk by, I jump. I hear a noise when I’m sleeping, I jump, scream. A mouse in the house out of the corner of my eye? Ear-piercing shrieks.
Even the simplest “threat” of violence can trigger my mind and body into a reaction worthy of someone coming at me in imminent attack. When circumstances generally feel blown up beyond my control, the fear is gripping. Living these past 17 months in the aftermath of a divorce, custody battle (THE FEAR, MY GOD, MY GOD, THE FEAR) & a lost job/career has felt like an entire world caving in on my chest. My usual fearful jittery-ness has amped up 1,000 times over. In short, I’ve never been so jumpy. Ever. And it was all ready bad.
Over the years, many have made fun of this, it can be funny. I’m ALWAYS shaking, shivering, cowering and fearful. EVERY movie. EVERY television show. EVERY dark alley. EVERY parking garage. EVERY scary man. EVERY situation other women seem to handle just fine. But, when it all adds up, I’m ALWAYS shaking, shivering, cowering and fearful. It’s exhausting. I must repeat the phrases, “you scared me!” or “I’m scared,” or “I’ve never been so afraid!” multiple times per week.
It’s not something I’ve ever felt the agency to change, or the freedom to shake. And so I do not leave my perceived cage. I do not fly, most days, because surely I will die. The alternative is to release through tears, which I have a seemingly unending supply. Whether or not, this behavior crosses over into PTSD I do not know. All I know is the fear. Some days I struggle to push through and around it. Some days I don’t. I practice various healthy coping strategies to calm myself and work through the fears, but some days? They don’t work. I press on any old ways.
As usual, I strongly advise those of you have who have suffered any type of abuse as children to seek understanding & hope.