goodbyes – jorja smith

i think a way for me to be happier in myself is to process past trauma. i never properly dealt with anything bad that happened in my life, because i never spoke about it at the time i went through it, e.g. when i was a child. because the people who should’ve protected me were the ones causing the pain. similar to recently, i went through a tough period of letting people wear me down and accepting it as what i deserved. because i wanted to keep people around. it was very naive of me, and i think we all have that streak in us. i assume that a symptom of childhood trauma is naivety – you experience traumatic events and normalise them, so you become blissfully ignorant to other potentially awful situations because you’re scared of the abandonment and being alone.

in one of my therapy sessions i realised that a lot of the sadness i felt from childhood trauma was because i was confusing my pain with the pain of someone else’s. i’m finally understanding, after 17 years, i was witnessing domestic abuse. no one protected me and took me away from that, i was forced to see it all unravel, or hear it happen from the closed door of my bedroom. i didn’t have a choice to get away from it as a child, although i did try to run away a few times, or beg someone to adopt me, like putting a poster on my bedroom window, hoping my neighbour across the road could see (sounds funny but it’s so sad). but the reason why i cry so much especially when i think about some of the abuse i saw, is because i didn’t just feel vulnerable for myself, but for the person it was happening to. and now i even feel sorry for the abuser. as a 4 year old, seeing my first glimpse of domestic abuse, i felt powerless, helpless. the worst part wasn’t seeing it. the worst part, which upset and traumatised me for so many years after it, was the fact that i saw it and couldn’t do anything to help, i didn’t know how to at that age, or even when i got older, by the age of 18, i still had no clue what to do, and even when i thouht i did, no one listened to me anyway. i feel guilty for it though, and that’s what i’m trying to work on. it was never my fault, yet i blame myself. for so long i’d been experiencing the feelings of other people, which has been hard to understand. but they are adults, they were adults then and shouldn’t have let me see that regardless.

for so long i have been scared, and still am, of having the same relationship with someone: scared of emotional and physical abuse. i’m scared of not being right, normal, stable, or good enough for someone, which in turn, makes me feel weak and vulenrable. but i’m most scared i’ll never have a loving relationship with someone, one that i never saw in my parents.

i’m nearly 21, and i have a choice whether i want to be happy and let go of the past or be angry, bitter and let what i went through affect my future relationships, which it has formerly done. so i’m learning to say goodbye to all that, it may take a while, months or years, but i feel like i’m going to get there.


Author: Sahar Ghadirian

i like to take pictures, and write

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