My Middle Way

My Middle Way

Warning: May contain triggers for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Today I sit constricted
My waistband tied too tight
Until I sat down I had not noticed it
Digging into the forgotten flesh
Just below my belly button
But this time
I do not allow myself to fix it
I decide instead to feel it
An irritation around my middle
I hate this
I have always hated this

I have despised the soft center of me
Since I was 8 years old
I have rejected any sensation starting
From this spot
My entire being crawls away from it in all directions
Shattering me and scattering my pieces
I have always had a vague notion why I split
But today I simply feel it and let the thoughts in
And there it is

A memory as clear as the mark it left
HE used to grab me around my middle
HE used our childhood games
Of hide and seek
In a basement, dark and full of horrid hiding things
While the others hid, HE sought me out
HE would take me by my middle
Hauling me off with HIS giant hands
Encircling the entire middle of me
My flesh and guts a handle for HIS gripping

So this is why
I have punished and pounded and pulverized
This pound of flesh that lies
Between waist and once wasted space
This is why I crudely cut a giant jagged hole
And gladly let myself spill out
And happily filled it in with cold concrete
I have been terribly trying to loose his fingers
Trying to pry them off
The memory he buried
In the middle of me
I have been trying to reclaim my own geography
Violence for violence

NOW I return
NOW I am still, here
NOW I sit on solid ground, his hands are not around
NOW I hear the birds sing of safety
NOW after all of this restraint
I decide to forego formality
Before it is officially over
I move of my own accord, free
Not to fix with force but to find out for myself
To feel the spot where he used to handle me
To see if it still exists under there
And as my hands begin to move
The ending bell rings, allowing
Sounding as if to say to me

It is over
His grip is gone
Your center has returned
You may hold your own middle now

And so it is
And so it has
And so I do
Soft and gentle
I take myself in my hands
And I find
Only me

This post was originally published on November 12, 2015

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