I feel it again…. that old familiar chill.
I am standing on the edge of a cliff, nothing but black below, feeling the odd urge to jump and yet I am frozen still and stepping back isn’t an option. No, the wind has made it clear tonight, with it's cold kiss trailing along my back, the hairs on my neck pin straight, there is no way it is going to let me back out this time.
No, seems like the only thing I can do is go forward. Again.
You see, standing here is not unusual; I have seen this ledge before, I have looked down upon this black abyss and felt this fear before. I have fallen from this cliff many different times, in many different ways in the past and let me tell you, it never gets easier. There were times that I’ve eagerly jumped from this cliff, and then there were times I was thrown from it, I’ve even slipped a couple times. However, no matter how many times I’ve ended up back here, the fear and anxiety of being in this place has never lessened.
I wish I could tell you how or why I always end up here. I can’t really even explain it to myself. I have awaken here at many different times in my life. I have lost myself here, again and again, and the different people I had moulded myself into, I guess they didn’t last.
They all ended up here, or down there if you will, in the bottomless pit below. Where does it go you ask?
I wish I could tell you.
It’s as if all of those times I have taken the leap, it wiped everything away and I woke up as if from a beautiful nightmare. Not too sure how I got where I am, but something about my life in that new moment of awakening is just…. forever changed.
However, I think I am getting ahead of myself. It might help you to know about the very first time I ever stood upon this ledge. As I believe it is really the catalyst for all of this and explains a lot about this place and it’s significance.
When I was young, I was free. I laughed loud, I ran fast, I smiled big like you would expect every child to; I had no cares in the world. I had dreams of becoming so many amazing things. My drive and motivation were limitless. In essence, I was a happy kid.
That is until that night, the night that changed everything, the night that spiraled into years, the night it all began.
You see, when I was young, I was sexually assaulted by someone close to me.
And so, in the blink of an eye the innocent young girl I was, a girl filled with hopes and dreams of a bright future, was ripped away from me. Replaced by a girl filled with fear, anxiety, anger, depression, and insecurity that she chose to lock away instead of confront. Why? Well, truth of it is, it was someone I cared about a lot and my family loved, and at first I wasn’t sure in what ways it was really wrong. In that moment all I knew was that I didn’t like it, but not being sure if what HE was doing was wrong kept me silent, kept me submissive. It took me many years of counseling and self-discovery to really come to terms with the reality of it all and the scars he etched into my soul when he put his hands on me.
Back then, I believe I didn’t understand the situation for what it was. Back then, because I trusted this person, I wasn’t sure how to really ask for help. It lasted a lot longer than id care to admit, and when an attempt on my life by myself was thwarted by my best friend at the time, I broke.
And that was how I found myself on this cliff for the very first time. Standing, overlooking the horizon above and the abyss below, contemplating my decision…
“What if no one believes me?”
“What if this is ok?”
“What if this is normal?”
“What if I tell someone and he hurts me?”
“What will people think of me?”
“Is this my fault? Did I do something wrong?”
“Did I bring this upon myself?”
“Should I just run away?”
I stood on that cliff for what felt like days until finally, the wind broke. I felt the breeze slow its circle around me, and with that I counted back from 3, took a deep breath, and jumped.
After I told my mom, it was a stressful time. A part of her didn’t want to believe it. It was hard for her to believe that this person she cared about so much could do this to her daughter for so long and no one ever knew. It was unthinkable and her face the day I told her still haunts me upon reflection. However, I know I made the right decision and from there is where things started to rebuild. Even though I developed intense insomnia and was still quite an angry child for some time, I signed up for counseling, I got a Big Sister from the Big Sister Program in Canada, and we moved. From there, I did all I could to immerse myself into things to keep me busy and keep me distracted while I worked through everything. And that was how I found my first and deepest love, Dance.
So I guess in a way you can say good things came from tragedy. Even though the road was horrible, uphill, rocky, and definitely not something I’d wish upon my worst enemy, I still feel like it shaped me to be the woman I am today. As if I was meant for that pain to be able to become the person I am today; the nurturing, strong, understanding, and beautifully imperfect person I am. My best friend at the time always use to say to me when I was struggling and wanted nothing more than to be a normal kid, “There’s nothing special about being normal Britt, this is your struggle because being special doesn’t just happen. Trust it.” And to this day, I am so grateful for her and those words every day.
So now that I am here on this cliff, contemplating the hardships and new decisions my life has placed in front of me, I reflect on the past times I was up here. The whispers from past pain and heartache singing on the breeze, flowing around me and through me, and within it I feel… light.
In some sort of sickly sweet way, there’s no place I’d rather be than on this cliff. Even though I am filled with fear, and hurt, and confusion, I know that atop this cliff I have had some of my most notable breakthroughs, and most impactful heartbreaks. All of those things leading to a beautiful rebirth, and so I know that whatever the reasons may be for waking up on this ledge, I know that when I reawaken again, I will be exactly where I need to be.
But, like every other time I was up here, easier said than done.
Oh… did I mention I am afraid of heights? I might be here a while.
I am Britt, a Brave Babe
and I love and accept myself xo