It never goes away, ever. It’s there, like a malevolent presence sapping his life-essence; sapping his spirit and his will, undermining the essential him. It never goes away because it is him. It was made part of him from the very first time it happened and it became substantiated with each further meting-out of unjust helpings.
It creeps up unbidden at times; a look, a gesture, a phrase, a song, a movie, a word, it doesn’t matter about the what because the association is strong enough to leave him mentally and emotionally cowering, just as it did when the Pain was being doled out to him as a child.
The Pain. The memories are always just hovering on the edge of conscious thought:
Every raised hand.
Every slap, punch and kick.
Every foul word spat at him.
Every evil glare and glower.
Every slight, every exclusion, every humiliation.
Every belittling, every needling and dig.
Every plea for help
Every bruise and scratch
Every tear. Every single tear cried.
Every single time.
"Time heals all" that goddamn patronising saying goes. No it does not. That is just so much bullshit trotted out by pseudo-intellectuals who have not the faintest concept of what the Pain is. They do not have the slightest goddamn clue.
All that time does is put chronological distance beween Back Then and Today. What time can never erase is the terrified child that is still within.
On the outside he is an unremarkable middle-aged man making his way through life as best he is able. What you cannot see, what remains oh-so carefully concealed from public view, is the battered, abused, unloved, unwanted, cursed and confused child that emerges in the darkest depths of night when sleep will not give him the refuge he needs; when the unwanted and undesired memories emerge unbidden to taunt, tease and terrify him all over again. He can no more escape the Pain at those nightmarish times any more than he could when he was that defenceless child.
The Pain. It hurts. It hurt Back Then and it hurts Today. There is no analgesic to ease it or a salve or balm to make it better. All that there is is the recognition that it's there, will always be there and that it will always lay in wait, ready to pounce and assail him when he is least prepared to defend himself against its onslaught.
The Pain: the legacy of childhood abuse that keeps taking and hurting and repeating itself on an endless loop of mental torture, no matter what age he reaches. The physical pain is long gone... but, oh dear God, the emotional pain!
Damn to hell the Pain and those who caused it!