Noun: A shot or hit that rebounds one or more times off a surface. (The action or movement of a bullet, shell, or other projectile when rebounding off a surface.)
Verb: Rebound one or more times off a surface. (A bullet ricocheted off a nearby wall.)
Crazy thing about all that abuse when I was a kid so many years ago. The gun was loaded. The bullet fired. Head shot. And one point blank to the heart for good measure. But the damage didn’t stop there. Those bullets ricocheted around inside of me for decades, causing more and more damage. Until the abuse that happened years before took an irreversible toll, leaving me brain dead. And my heart, what remains of it, lifeless and numb. Destroyed.
Did a number on me, as they say. Ricocheting all over the place the way bullets do. The shots fired by my parent’s abuse changed me. Forever.
As such, the bullets that ricocheted off the wall of my head and heart during my childhood were massively destructive. They bounced from one thought to another, laying waste to any particle of a healthy ability to see myself through eyes of acceptance. Or to have the ability to find any worth within me, if there was any to be found. They tore through me, shredding my heart and leaving me in unbearable pain. Pain I could not process. The backlash was ugly. Healing was limited. Diagnosis: impairment permanent. The numbness felt like relief when it finally enveloped me. Until it became my normal state of being.
I didn’t know at the time what was taking place inside of me. I didn’t realize I was forever being altered by the shots that reverberated through every piece of me, slicing me to bits as I fought to hold myself together. Fought to keep walking. To keep going, in spite of my deadly, mortal wounds.
When you’re a child, the walls of your heart and mind are pretty weak. Ricocheting bullets created bloody holes, weakening any protective layers I’d managed to devise before they bounced again, ripping through tissue, personality, thought processes and emotions.
In spite of the mortal wounds, no one could tell from the outside how damaged I was within. The blood I bled was not visible to the naked eye. No one knew the secrets I kept and how much those secrets were hurting me. No one could see the impact of the ricocheting bullets that tore through my soul again and again.
Now, things other people can do…they’re really hard for me. Things like taking showers. I have to close my eyes and curl up my toes just to step in a bathtub. Because the feel of that wet porcelain takes me right back to when I was a kid. My dad soaping me all up before he slipped his penis in me. Or rubbed it all over me. Made me dirty, in spite of all that soap. The kind of dirty you can’t wash off.
Even eating is hard. More damage from the ricochet. I’ve struggled with eating disorders and food almost my entire life. And I’ve had them all. Binge eating disorder. Anorexia. Anorexia bulimia. Food and I, we’re all mixed up. A total mess. Don’t know why, but the simple act of properly nourishing myself is not permitted.
A simple thing, like talking to people, is fraught with danger. Especially people with power. Seems the fear of people and authority figures in particular makes it really difficult for me to feel comfortable enough to simply be. To quietly exist. I always have to prove myself. Work harder. Longer. Do more. Provide more return on investment. And even then, I can never let my guard down. Because those people, the normal ones who rule the world, quickly discover I’m worthless. An object to be used. Abused.
That’s what my parents taught me. When they fired the kill shots.
Those steel bullets that pierced my heart and sliced my brain all to bits just keep bouncing around inside of me. Tearing more flesh. Ripping fresh holes. Keeping the old ones open and bleeding. Time hasn’t taken the bounce out of them. If anything, their dance has become more frenzied with time.
I feel the bullets still bouncing around inside of me. I try to catch them in my hand. To stop them.
They ricochet off my fingers as I vainly attempt to grasp them, slicing through my soul yet again. Undeterred. Doing what bullets do. Still ripping me to shreds.