I have tried so hard.
I have done everything I knew how.
Said the right words at the right times.
Made sure to never cry or become ill or get upset in front of you so you would never see how weak I am.
Refused dinner so you would see how determined and persevered I was until I became skin and bones so I would look beautiful and small enough.
Achieved greatness at school, worked hard and acted like I enjoyed being the kid with the 4.0 GPA who knew everything when I really was drifting further and further away from any desire to learn.
Tried to forgive every harsh word you hurled at me like they were boulders designed to crush me once and for all, told you it was “fine” and “no big deal” with a gleaming smile when you came to me later with feigned sorrow and apologies.
Accepted every missed meet and practice and game and graduation and ceremony with grace and poise, understanding of your busyness.
Done everything I knew possible to make you proud, took home as many first place trophies and certificates to be framed and winning art pieces.
Torn open my skin with a shiny razor blade to release whatever chemical imbalance that was hiding deep within my blood that made me unworthy.
Never walked around the house without makeup and a put together outfit so you would never see my flaws.
I did everything, and you never cared.
It didn’t change anything and it didn’t change the fact that I wasn’t and am not good enough for your prized love that sits on a pedestal reserved for few, your daughter not on the guest list.
And I’m not sure why I’m still trying, why I would still give everything and anything to finally be worthy and deserving of you.
But maybe it’s because more than anything, I just want to hear you tell me that you love me, and for you to actually mean every single sound behind those three little letters.
I wonder when I’m going to realize that you never will."
Coping with Flashbacks:
1. Tell yourself that you are having a flashback, and that you are safe now.
2. Remind yourself that the worst is over. The feelings and sensations you are experiencing are memories of the past. The actual event has already occurred and you survived.
3. Breathe. When we get scared we stop breathing normally. As a result, our body begins to panic from the lack of oxygen, which in itself causes a great deal of panic feelings; pounding in the head, tightness, sweating, feeling faint, shakiness, and dizziness. When we breathe deeply enough, the panic feeling can decrease. Breathing deeply means breathing in so that your diaphragm expands. If you were to put your hand on your stomach, your stomach would push against your hand when you inhale.
4. Get grounded. This means stamping your feet on the ground to remind yourself that you have feet and can get away now if you need to. (There may have been times before when you could not get away, now you can.) Being aware of all five senses can also help you ground yourself.
5. Reorient to the present. Begin to use your five senses in the present. Look around and see the colours in the room, the shapes of things, the people near, etc. Listen to the sounds in the room: your breathing, traffic, birds, people, cars, etc. Feel your body and what is touching it: your clothes, your own arms and hands, the chair, or the floor supporting you.
6. Get in touch with your need for boundaries. Sometimes when we are having a flashback we lose the sense of where we leave off and the world begins, as if we do not have skin. Wrap yourself in a blanket, hold a pillow or stuffed animal, go to bed, sit in a closet, any way that you can feel yourself truly protected from the outside.
7. Get support. Depending on your situation you may need to be alone or may want someone near you. In either case it is important that your close ones know about flashbacks so they can help with the process, whether that means letting you be by yourself or being there with you.
8. Take the time to recover. Flashbacks can be very powerful. Give yourself time to make the transition from this powerful experience. Don’t expect yourself to jump into other activities right away. Take a nap, a warm bath, or some quiet time. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Do not beat yourself up for having a flashback.
9. Honour your experience. Appreciate yourself for having survived that horrible time. Respect your body’s need to experience a full range of feelings.
10. Be patient. It takes time to heal. It takes time to learn appropriate ways of taking care of yourself and developing effective ways of coping in the here and now. - University of Alberta, Sexual Assault Centre"