Unafraid to Be Free: The Emperor Who Wove a New Pair of Socks.
I am the Emperor who parades through the world with a mind unlike any other.
It is filled with thoughts most men would never think and walls most people will never construct, because to live in my head without such safeguards would surely destroy the thin line of sanity that allows me to walk through each day.
These barricades divide the ironclad boxes that each contain a horror I’ve lived, and its devastating effect that I’ve not yet allowed to integrate within my conscious awareness.
A rape, a threat, a fear of punishment for the sins of a three-year-old unlucky enough to be sent to a nursery school of horrors and a part of a family of sickness and dysfunction.
A thought, a feeling, an insight of the years I was locked in a ward where to be heard meant to be silenced, and to those who spoke most clearly, their muzzled voices came with the result of their own final self-silencing.
My adult mind becomes grey and fuzzy in those moments the walls are weakened, and confronted with the knowledge that I must tear them down and empty those boxes, one terrifying event at a time.
Like you might empty your sock drawer and dump its contents in a disheveled array on your bedroom floor in order to sort them out, create some order and neatly fold them back into a settled space, I am challenged to dump my box of broken memories on the dusty floor of my frightened heart, in the hope I can release and reorder their horrifying reminders before finally folding them up into a neat pile of put-away.
Yet memories, unlike socks, do not always come in perfect pairs, and the memories unleashed come in disconnected flashes of fear and confusion, as what may seem normal to the non-victimized can be a source of complete mental breakdown when a scent or sound or sight takes you unbidden to your knees. To your knees.
Do you hear the tense? It is written in third person, for the boxes which are stacked in my mind are so carefully packed that they prevent me from knowing that the you of each rape was really an I, and boxes or not, one day I must face that the 3-year-old, 10-year-old, 13-year-old and 20-year-old who packed all those artifacts so deeply inside, is the me who is now so frightened to dig through their contents.
I walk through the world as a being numbed. I can tell you the story of each box’s treasure, the how and the when and the where of who raped my body and violated my soul, but the truth of the words that escape me so easily is still far removed from the cesspool of horror that would make the revealing real.
I can speak of the most violent of occurrences, how it feels to have a penis of a 60-year-old man stretch the jaws of a mouth made for lollipops and bubble gum, until I choked and gagged on its pummeling.
I can recount with a smile the horror of the feel of hairy knuckles when clamped on the lips of that same little girl in the threat that she Swallow, not spit, or the breath that she gasps for will run out while she struggles to gain it. That little girl, with the blond wispy curls, who is me.
Boxes — they protect me, they haunt me, they break me, as in their once role of preserving my sanity, they now rob me of the chance to live and feel and be free.
Single socks once part of a pair are useful in their creation, yet, when separated and lost in the passage of time, cease to be useful and become baggage which takes up room that might be better occupied by different socks.
My memories, still boxed like single socks, have outlived their purpose, as they now take up so much space in a mind afraid to be ordered, that they leave no room for new memories, new thoughts or beliefs or feelings that could be neatly arrayed on the shelves of a mind allowed to be free. It is time for new socks.
I am the child of three, of ten, of thirteen, and twenty, demanding my right to a new pair of socks and the ordered mind that comes with the freedom of spilling my boxes and releasing my pain and its shame.
I am the Emperor demanding a new set of clothes, invisible to the outside world, but to a mind struggling to find its wisdom, these newly-woven garments of cloth and opportunity can bring order and freedom to a mind and a being who is owning my right to its office.
So I shall tear down the boxes and empty their contents, respecting their legacy as they once fought to protect me from crumbling.
I am strong enough to face their tales, and stand with the pain and the rage that accompanies their release, though I tremble with the vulnerability of the Emperor, afraid to be exposed in the nakedness of my unclothing.
It is time to parade through the streets, unafraid to be free, unafraid to feel, and live and breathe, to sport brand new socks, and clothed in their newness, to dance in the knowledge that I was and I am and I will continue to live, in the truth of the divinity that I’ve always been.
Chameleon Child is a woman who has just begun to use pen and ink to emerge from the shadows of an oppressive past. Her words are the lamp by which she lights the path of a larger life. She enjoys watercolor painting, pencil crayons and coloring books, mystery thrillers and the company of those who make her laugh. Her loves? Two four-legged felines and a niece who is the light that shines her way. Her mentors — one whose wisdom offers its tools, another who carries her heart — the reflections of her truth, and the ones who guide her healing.