Disclaimer: Geoff loathes this movie and book upon which it is based. That’s not why I am posting it here. That’s just a bonus. (Love you, sweetie.)
The scene above is important for one really major reason. For all of their ups and downs and crazy drama, Rhett no longer cares for Scarlett. At all. He doesn’t love her, he doesn’t hate her, he just doesn’t care.
This is probably where I should warn you that this post is about unpleasant things. Trauma, PTSD, abuse – a lot of stuff. Turn back here should you need to. Likewise, for a variety of reasons, what I’m going to write may be a bit opaque with oblique references. This is necessary. I apologize for the confusion.
Not caring is important. It can be really healing. For those of us who have experienced abuse or trauma, getting to the point where we can address the subject, perpetrator, location, or other aspect of that abuse without feeling overwhelming emotions can be a huge milestone. Getting to the point where we’re not actively suppressing our emotions but able to feel indifferent to the person or people who hurt, or helped hurt, us is amazing. Some of us never get there.
This past week I was presented with an anxiety inducing opportunity to speak my truth. I was able to tell a story to someone who I needed to tell it to. I knew going in that the chances I would be believed would be near 0. In truth, very little of what I said got through. Less was believed. At one point I was challenged for proof.
There isn’t any proof. I don’t need proof. This was my #meetoo moment 35 years in the making, my word is enough. I am enough. That they didn’t think so is not my problem. That they don’t fundamentally understand assault, what it does to survivors, and their role in what I survived is not something I can do anything about. That is their failure as a human being.
After the conversation, in which I only raised my voice once, the anxiety slowly ebbed. As the week went on, I discovered something. I am free.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in therapy for a long time. My current therapist and psychiatrist are a team I have been seeing for 15 years. I have a severe depressive disorder, PTSD, and an extreme anxiety disorder that sometimes makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Finding the correct medical regimen while also establishing a good working relationship with my therapist AND unpacking all the baggage has taken years.
What I have learned in this time is that once I worked through the anger, resentment, hate, and fear, was that I needed to tell my story. And I needed to tell it to one person in specific who not only played a role in my trauma, but who I knew would never, ever believe what I had to say. As I sit here and write this, I know that they have likely forgotten or ignored what I said. It will likely never be brought up again. That is their problem. Especially as they’re not in a position to hurt, or enable the hurt, of anyone else.
Here’s the thing, that burden? It’s gone now. I did not blame, I spoke. My anger, which I worked through over many years, was not rekindled. I spoke my piece/peace, held my ground, and set my boundaries. And suddenly, I find that I care nothing about them. I’ve long known I did not love them, now I know that I simply don’t give a damn.
Someday when the phone call comes that they have died I will thank the caller and simply go about my business. I have sorted my baggage, I have done the hard work, I am free.