"It comes like a whisper, you know? Just the slightest sound of his name to tickle the insides of my mind.
Stupid, I know...why think about someone that isn't thinking about you? Why think about someone that has hurt you and made you feel less than? Why think about someone that doesn't even deserve the space in your mind that they are so rudely occupying?
Because your brain is a mischievous little thing that wants control and attention.
Is it your heart that is the wolf in sheep's clothing that directs your brain into succumbing to its charm?
Who knows where this civil war originated from.
Is it the brain that holds onto the emotions, the sights, the sounds of the event...
Or is it your heart?
Your ever-confused heart that doesn't know what it means to be touched gently and loved unconditionally for more than the curves of your body?
I am researching myself daily, you see. Checking in and seeing who I am today... who I am this minute."
Emma pulls her legs up to her chest and burrows herself deeper into the couch. She looks at her therapist with slow tears rolling down her deep brown skin. She's quick to look away and take a deep breath.
"That's the most honest I have ever been with anyone. To not understand myself is scary. I thought I knew how to fight this war inside of me. I thought I understood how to lock away the pain so that it won't impair me. But here I am, fighting this civil war and not even knowing its origin. Partly because I have blocked so many things out of my conscious mind that I don't even have a solid timetable of events anymore."
The therapist nods her head and moves around uncomfortably in her office chair. She looks down at the carpet.
"Do you mind if I sit on the floor? I think better when I am comfortable."
Emma smiles slightly.
"I would rather be on the floor. My hip flexers are really cramping up."
The therapist smiles and they both move to sit on the ground.
She rubs her big bright blue eyes and runs her hands through her deep brown hair.
"This is the thing," says the therapist as she leans back on her chair, " have you ever heard a soul break?"
Emma frowns as she takes the frog pose to loosen her hips.
"I'm not sure... no?"
"Of course not. You can't hear a soul break because the rips and tears are silent. Slowly but surly it is beaten and hurt until finally it rips. You don't know where the pieces have gone, but you do wake up one morning realizing that the very parts of yourself that you tried to keep together have turned out to be the exact parts of yourself that you have kept from being mended. Thus... you wake up one morning wondering where that spark that makes you 'you' has gone." The therapist tilts her head, observing Emma as she takes this in.
"Are you saying that my soul is broken?" She inquires.
"I am saying that in your attempt to protect yourself from deep emotional pain... you have created a world in which you cannot be touched. A world in which you can recreate your past and play make-believe in the present. Your soul, your heart, your innocence was violated. And you're trying to cope the best way that you know possible. But in the end, unless you truly deal with the things that have happened to you...unless you truly process them and forgive yourself...you will continue to live in a place where you think you are fine but you're not. Do you understand?"
Emma looks out the window and observes the water fountain outside.
A bird comes and sits in the fountain for a moment, basking in the water and the warmth of the sun. The bird turns its head and holds Emma's stare for a moment before flying away.
She looks back at her therapist with tears filling up in her beautiful big brown eyes.
"The first guy took my childhood. The one after that took my sense of self. I want myself back. I want my soul back. My confidence. My self worth. Me. I want me back. Whole and renewed. I am afraid to unlock the pandora's box that I have created in myself. But if this is what I have to do to regain control over my life... then fine." Emma wipes her tears away as they begin to flow faster.
The therapist nods her head up and down.
"You have been through a lot. From the moment you were born. You have never seen a healthy relationship, much less been in a healthy environment. But here you are in the land of opportunity living out your dreams under the warmth of the California sun. This is your last hurtle. You have gotten this far. I know you can go further."
Emma nods her head and takes a deep breath and exhales.
"I am ready. Lets do this."
Emma breathes deeper. "Baby steps."