The things I wish my friends knew….

I wasn’t always this person. The one full of doubts constantly wondering if you’ll truly stick around.  I wasn’t always the person who cried so easily at the smallest of things. And I wasn’t the person who kept people at arm’s length but instead the one who greeted everyone I met, even the strangers, with a hug.

Walking away from abuse does not mean you get to walk away from the scars that have formed.  It doesn’t mean an instant healing of the heart. Sadly, instead, life goes from constant chaos to learning how to live again in a world that can be insensitive to those who have spent years enslaved in emotional bondage.

Life has become a struggle.  A constant battle to find the good in those around us. To trust that those we meet have pure intentions not looking to take something from us through control or manipulation.

We live with the obstacles of continuing triggers that shake us to the core when we are reminded of the past, the trauma we experienced. Nightmares that wake us in the middle of the night leaving us exhausted when sleep can’t be found.  The moments of fear that creep into our mind followed by the sudden fits of panic that steal our breath away often fill the hours of our days more frequently than we like.

The constant need to explain ourselves as the flood of emotions we often face leave us overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. The moments of turning inward as the waves of self-doubt still creep into our minds and leave us with feelings of emptiness. The embarrassment that arises from crying yet again from something as simple as a glass of spilled milk sends us scrambling for a safe place to hide.

If we could only make those around us understand what we’ve been through, those events that changed us from the fun loving, friendly and outgoing person we once were to the guarded and anxious person we are today, then life would get a little easier.

If only our friends could accept the person we are today.  To not question our every reaction or moment of silence.  To understand that our thought processes are nothing like their own as we no longer see the world through the rose colored glasses we once did. But instead, every situation meticulously dissected.

If only our friends understood the constant struggle our minds face as we attempt to navigate the relationships that surround us. If only they could see the ongoing battle with the thoughts that still linger from years living surrounded by lies then things might be a little easier.

Oh the things I wish my friends knew….but truly, more than anything, I wish they could know that girl…the one back then who always had a smile on her face and saw the good in everyone.  She might have been a bit naïve and trusted people more than she should but she was full of life and radiated joy.  Maybe one day, these friends will get a glimpse of that girl as their friendship and patience begins to restore the crushed and broken pieces of me. 

Nicole Hamilton

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