How am I doing after giving my testimony yesterday?

Let me tell you — I hate hearing people say they “can’t” do things. I train my team out of saying it. I train my kids out of saying it.

So, I’ll refrain from saying, “I just _________.”

Instead, I’ll say:

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m tired.

I’m isolated, yet I’m a spectacle.

I’m raw and sensitive, yet I really feel nothing at all.

I feel alone, even though I’m part of a growing tribe.

I feel hopeless, even though others say I give them hope.

I want to scream, “Stop admiring me! Stop thanking me! I’m nothing… Don’t you see that? I’m the same nobody-nothing I’ve always been… Please, look away. Don’t see me. Don’t notice me.”

I’m not holding it together well.

I worry I stirred that pot, when I should have thrown the charred stew out a long, long time ago and forgotten about it.

And… I’m angry.

I’ve had several phone calls from fellow survivors; survivors of my abuser. They are my tribe.

I am ANGRY that we “bond” over the words he used to coerce us, and the ways he touched us.

When I’m not quite sure I’m correctly remembering the excuses and the shame-making statements he used on me, and I’m struggling with the wording of the memory, a tribe member says, “Yes! That’s exactly what he said to me!” and I get ANGRY that he was so “good” at sexually abusing us that he had stock phrases.

I see his social media posts about interacting with the church youth group in my community, and I get ANGRY that I let a pastor make me feel like a BAD CHRISTIAN when I tried to tell him he has a child molester in his church.

I’d love to tell you how the testimony went yesterday, but I ______ (okay… CAN’T) think about it, right now.

I’ll get back to you, soon.