Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Scars ... grudges ... and chicken

How long does it take for the scars of abuse to disappear? Do they ever go away? Whether it is child abuse, spouse abuse, or even strangers’ abuse, being in an abusive relation or witnessing abusive relationships seem to leave a permanent scar even if that scar is only obvious in one’s lack of inner strength, strength that usually enables us to deal with our shortcomings once we know their roots. Someone dear to me once told me I’m an adult now and should stop using childhood trauma (the term might be an exaggeration here) to justify my adult weaknesses. That person must have a deep reservoir of inner strength. I’m glad they do. But I don’t.

I am one to hold grudges. Even when I try not to, I can’t seem to help it. I have a really bad memory but when someone hurts me I can’t seem to forget. Maybe I forgive, but I almost never forget. Could that be why I don’t remember much from my childhood other than the times I was hurt? My only memory of the book fair that is held in Kuwait every year, and that I am sure was a yearly pilgrimage of my family, is of a dirty old man harassing me. I was fourteen back in the days when fourteen year old girls were actually girls. Or maybe I was just too buried in my sleazy romance novels to notice my bodily desires :). Up to this day I do not enjoy a trip to the book fair as much as I would want to. I even remember what I was wearing that day. Me. The one who wouldn’t remember what she ate for lunch yesterday or what she was wearing for work this morning.

People who lose their temper scare me. They actually scare me no matter how big or small they are. They scare me even when I know they have no intention of harming me. They scare me even when I know they can't hurt me. They scare me simply by heading towards me while they're angry. It's an instant irrational flash of fear that is/can not be explained or even contemplated. A very short glipse into darkness that is quickly chased away by my rationality. But chased away or not, it existed. For that blink of an eye it existed. Before my mind could register it my feelings took hold of it.
How chicken am I?