The thing with the girl who has been to Hell and back, is that she doesn’t need to be fixed.
She doesn’t expect to be understood.
She needs only to be reassured, comforted and loved. Genuinely loved.
The kind of love she can feel in your presence and your absence. A constant.
She has trouble with the concept of object permanence.
The girl has anxiety about everything. From the “little” things to the very, very “important” things. When she is overwhelmed, she has a very hard time distinguishing what is most important from what isn’t important at all. Therefore, she assigns everything equal time in her head. Nevermind the limited space, she will find a way to put it all in there. Sometimes it gets jumbled. Sometimes it starts to tumble out and, in those times, she cries in frustration and she then attempts to push it all back in.
It is exhausting. Some days, just the act of living and breathing, of ‘blending in’ with the ‘normal’ people is …. exhausting.
She is overly critical of herself and others. She expects a lot from those around her. She tends to expect more than she knows others can provide. Perhaps she sets them up for failure, so they fail her sooner, rather than later. She doesn’t know.
Sometimes her expectations seem reasonable and, when those expectations are not met she is confused and frustrated.
She gets irritated easily but she can’t seem to help it. She needs more calm moments in her life. When you poke at her on purpose, it hurts her feelings. When she says “stop” she means it.
She has been let down more times than not in her life and that is “normal” for her. People keeping promises and being dependable are the exception to the rule. To assume everything will always go smoothly, to not prepare for the worst, has been a mistake for her. A very big mistake.
She is the only person she can rely on 100% of the time. To believe otherwise is unfathomable to her.
In her mind, eternal optimists are fools. Don’t they know they aren’t safe? Don’t they know how bad it can get?
She is expected to maintain an appearance of normalcy and competency in her day-to-day life. People are dependant upon her and she doesn’t generally let them down. In fact, rising to demands is her forte. She is labeled “high-functioning”.
Let downs are painful. She will meet any expectation placed upon her because, being given direction, expectation and clear guidelines are her lifeblood. She feeds on clear, concise demands, desires, wants, needs. She will meet ridiculous expectations placed upon her, just to show you she can.
She is an emotional masochist who wants to be free of it.
Not knowing what is expected of her sends her into a tailspin of uncertainty. She doesn’t do well with change. She is like a child in that way.
She stopped growing emotionally at around 8 years old, the first time her first abuser touched her sexually and then forced her to do things that she didn’t understand. She was ‘rewarded’ for doing those things.
She learned to equate sex with love, affection and special treatment; As well as fear, captivity, and helplessness.
The world has been a confusing and scary place ever since.
She seeks guidance.
Indecisive people make her uncomfortable and anxious. Being left to make all of the decisions in any relationship (co-worker, friendship, intimate relationship) makes her feel overwhelmed, resentful and parental.
She wishes she could let go of the wheel and let you drive for a little while. But then she is terrified you will crash … and hurt her. She doesn’t know how to let go.
Routines are comforting and nurturing for her. There have been far too many unexpected and chaotic events in her life. She yearns for routine. Unexpected changes in plans (even ‘pleasant’ ones) cause her to panic. She does not know why.
She withdraws. Not as much as she did when she was with the Sadistic Bastard, but, she does. She dissociates. When things become too much, she goes somewhere. She doesn’t know where she goes. She doesn’t remember. She knows this isn’t ‘normal’.
She almost died one day. When Sadistic Bastard wouldn’t let her go. If he couldn’t have her, then nobody could. When she thinks of it, she wants something to do with her hands, her mind, her body. She wants to escape. She would give anything to take away the vision of him doing those terrible things to her. But there is no escape. The visions follow her everywhere. They disturb her sleep.
She wants to smoke, drink, use, fuck.
She is resentful of her sense of responsibility. At times, she fantasizes about giving it all away.
The fact that her constant worry/anxiety is irrational is completely irrelevant. She knows it is irrational. Telling her so will only make her angry. If she could help it, she wouldn’t be this way, but she can’t. You either accept her this way, or you don’t. She cannot force herself to be someone she is not.
The protective measures she has taken for the entirety of her life have culiminated in this…this beautiful mess of a woman/child who only desires to be loved, if not understood.
Just loved as she is.
She needs to be comforted, yet she doesn’t know how to ask for it.
She is deeply injured, flawed and afraid.
She needs you to be perceptive to her needs. She needs you to assume she needs you, not that she is pushing you away. To drop your defensiveness and give her your warmth.
She resents her neediness.
She must be reassured often that she will not be abused or abandoned.
Absent that, all of her relationships will eventually suffer and die.
Someday, her smile will come back and stay. She will be herself again. She DESIRES to be herself again. The one whose burning passion and fire he extinguished. That part of her that died. She must be reborn.
Until then, she needs patience, love, and nurturing.
A hand, a heart, a hug.
Love, most of all.