(trigger warning) Part of being made to feel so small through adolescence is that when you are forced to let silence shape you, fear takes up so much of that space. Speaking vulnerably about things that are not concrete or are new to me activates a part of my nervous system that has been conditioned to feel fear and danger, my body and voice are often halfway out the door in the first minute. It’s taken years to get to a point where I feel capable and equipped to turn my attention to this and find different on-going ways to re-shape this part of me. Disavowing and internalizing my own experience and feelings at the command of my abuser for over a decade nurtured an often disappearing person. This left me especially vulnerable to further harm as an adult. It’s important to state that it’s our society that helped shape, support and protect a person who could do this kind of harm and particularly to a child (there is little that is unique in this experience). The same society that has helped create and support conditions where access to healing is its own kind of privilege. If for not having access to resources over the years I don’t know that I could have reached the same place I am today. When I speak and my voice shakes now, the fear goes all the way back to kid-amanda. At 31, many of the communication pieces have been untangled and I’ve experienced a kind of self-assurance and confidence that is new to me. However, it always seems like the game where new /old pieces appear only once the ones in front of you have been seen and heard. I suspect this will always be the case but with less frequency over time. This new piece has emerged like a large rock cutting through fog, a small flat rock surfacing to the top of the swamp, a green yellow glow rising to the top.