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  • 100percenthealing

A Body Can't Lie

*this post contains references to sexual assault and trauma

For most of my life I’ve told lies. Yep, I said it, I’m a liar. And that’s just the truth.

This comes as much as a shock to me as it might to you. Afterall, I am a person of integrity, right? People praise me for my authenticity. For my willingness to be vulnerable. For my habit of veracity even when it’s hard.

And, yes. Those parts of me are real. They exist. They come front-and-center in my career...with my my closest relationships.

But, then there’s this other side of me.

The liar me.

The part who hides, turns her eyes, and silences herself.

The part who says YES when she means NO.

The part who smiles at you crossing a boundary while she secretly seethes inside.

The part who is willing to make you comfortable at her own expense.

The part who lets you abuse me.

The part who makes it ok to neglect me.

The part who is afraid of your anger. Your disapproval. Your judgement.

But what chronic illness taught me is that

a lifetime of lies costs more than I have to give.

Like a slow drip brewing into insidious mold, the malicious muck


and grew

and grew over the years.

Toxic tendrils spread with every swallowed opinion, emotion, and righteous bout of anger.

Don’t make waves. Don’t make them mad. Stay small. Nod your head. Smile.

The damages: Catastrophic.

I’ve rummaged through piles of theories on patriarchy, trauma, capitalism, sexism grasping for a someone or a something to blame.

And, oppression is real, and systems and people do cause harm. But, here I found that none of those theories or entities were going to come clean up this mess for me.

This toxic swamp living inside of me.

Corrosive and parasitic anger, rage, fear festering in my belly in the dark for no one to see.

In response, layers of toxic shame formed, oozing all over the lies, bound up by years of self-betrayal and abandonment.

Lies, Lies, Lies.

This part of me remembers how this all started. The traumas. The family secrets. The patriarchal south. The not-really-godly-religious school. The popularity games. The social media. The reinforcement from all directions to pretend, pretend, pretend.

But my body doesn’t care. Doesn’t feel relieved when I point a finger this way or that way.

That toxic swamp doesn’t budge with condemnation.

It’s only cleaned up with reconciliation: With myself.

After all, isn’t it me who I betrayed? Isn’t it me who abandoned myself?

Yes. Yes, it was.

But when I hit my mid 30’s, my truth-telling body told me “You can keep this up, but I won’t lie.

So, like a good messenger, she said her truth loud and clear when she showed me that waste bucket of swallowed opinions, rebuttals, emotions covered up with accolades and

fake smiles.

The despair of a broken home (gulp)

The terror of an abused child (gulp)

The horror of being raped and silenced (gulp)

The disbelief of being raped and silenced again (gulp)

The rage of being told I have limitations because of my gender (gulp)

The humiliation of living in poverty (gulp)

The 10,000 times a year I shook my head YES when I wanted to say NO (gulp, gulp, gulp)

The resentment of a million little boundaries I wouldn’t consistently enforce (gulp, gulp)

The endless times I held my tongue and smiled to make sure you don’t get too uncomfortable (gulp)

The white little lies I agreed to so you’ll like me (gulp)

And, when she showed me that swamp, she showed me with a vengeance.

With all that righteous anger I had not let her express.That I had stored up inside her tissues and cells. And, when that dam broke, it was a disaster.

A physical mess no doctor could fix.

No therapist could quell.

No woo could wizard away.

This mess demanded one thing and one thing only: TRUTH

I’m sure she tried to whisper, and I’m sure she asked nicely. But, I didn’t hear her until I was nearly living fulltime in-between a bed and a bathroom, emaciated, gray, losing my career, relationships, and my pride.

But, it was there she told me, “A Body Can’t Lie.”


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