I know a girl who follows me everywhere. Switchblade toting, tough, fearless, confident, feisty – the kind of girl you wouldn’t want to cross paths with in a dark alley. Yes, she may be a bitch, but I’ve grown very fond of her.
I keep her around to get me through the hard times. She is my defense, and she comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s in my heavy eyeliner or my biker jacket. Other times, it’s in my attitude or the way I strut when I walk down the street. But no matter what form she takes, we are inseparable. And because she is so unlike me I need her even more.
I am the conservative type, a push over, and way too sensitive at times. I’m defenseless, and often without anyone to protect me except for this girl. She fills the gaps where I just can’t do it any longer. She is the one who helps me “fake it till I make it”.And although she isn’t completely who I am, I can’t yet let her go.
But I’ve found through the healing process that as I make strides, a little more of me shines through, and she begins to fade away. She isn’t completely gone, but she won’t stay forever.Although false identities serve a purpose for a time, look past what defenses you may be putting up and get down to the real you – the one that is hiding under the layers of pain and abuse. You’ll be surprised once you find her.
Bethany is cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse, an online resource for male and female abuse survivors looking for practical answers and tools for healing. Besides helping abuse survivors see the beauty within themselves, she enhances the beauty of others as a professional make-up artist and has worked in television, film and print.
[read Bethany’s story here]
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