The end. And still we will rise (saying goodbye).

I have been blogging considerably less lately.

There are a number reasons for this. Partly, it is simply that I longer need to share in the way I have done previously and more importantly because I am finding that I do not need validation from the world any more. If I cannot find it in myself, I look to my T, my minister or my husband instead.

The main reason for the lack of posting, is because I am finding sharing here has become more difficult. I am left with a bad taste each and every time lately. There has been so much fear, paranoia and resentment.

I am not sure when it changed, but lately I find myself wanting to keep my memories and my pain, close to me. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not about holding it inside, it’s not about keeping secrets. In fact it’s probably the exact opposite. I do not need to blog, to try to feel what is going on inside of me. Feeling, is becoming more natural. I am becoming more comfortable in feeling whatever it is that I am feeling.

Somewhere in there it is also about self preservation I guess. I do not want to be hurt. I do not want to be judged or rejected, and that is more important than ever before. I may be more robust than before, but I am no longer willing to allow others to hurt me.

Furthermore, I do not believe everyone needs to know what I went through. Not because this is something that should be kept private, or something to be ashamed of (though that’s a whole other issue), but it is more, I don’t think everyone deserves to share my pain. Not everyone deserves to know my memories and most importantly, my progress.

I had decided to move my blog, perhaps make it more private, but I find myself reconsidering. While there are still times, I crave sharing what is going on with me, I am not sure I want to do that here, any longer.

This is mine. My pain, my memories. Mine. I am the one who went through it, I am the one who is still living with it. I am the one who survived it and I am the one who is giving everything I have, in order to make a life beyond it.

Those individuals who have been bravely listening to the details of what I endured.. they are the ones who have earned the right to know my pain. The handful of people who have been there every step of the way, validating and supporting me, are the ones who have earned the privilege of watching me grow.

So, exactly two years to the day this blog began, is this now the end? I think so. I am done sharing my memories here and I am done sharing my pain.

It has been instrumental in my healing, but it is no longer. And so I must bring it to an end and say goodbye. So thank you.. for reading and supporting me. Thank you for sharing your own experiences – you know who you are.

 

 

In some very dark moments, finding fellow survivors here was life saving.  It is a club, no one ever wants to be part of, but I have found and continue to find comfort in knowing that as a survivor, I will never, ever be alone. There is a bond between us and though men may have created it, it is something they cannot take away. One day I hope it will end and we will finally be equal in this world..until then take comfort in knowing we are never alone.. Until then, we rise.

 

 

 

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

 

I’m alive.

Some big news, I just need to share……

I am a real, live, feeling person. Did you know?

I am not so sure I did before now.

All this time, there was someone real underneath all this show, pretense and trauma. Someone with thoughts, wants, needs and desires. And passion. So, much passion for life. Oh my word, I feel so alive.

I find myself wondering if other people see and feel what I do. Is this how everyone feels? If so, why aren’t you weeping all the time- whether with joy or pain? How on earth do you stay so calm and controlled? I feel like a toddler, discovering the world.

Everything is so much clearer. Beauty. And pain. All of it seems so much more vibrant than ever before.

Do you see it? The life? The peace? The freedom?

It’s so damn close, I can taste it and damn, is it so sweet… even the grief, even the pain. All of it.

* Trigger Warning*

 

In some ways, I’m in hell. The memories I am containing right now- hell. The body memories causing surging pain through my jaw right now- hell. I’m containing, suppressing. But it seems, even those things now make me feel alive.

My eyes are opening.. I see what is all around me as clearly as I am beginning to see what was back then. You see, I’m disclosing the worst bits to my T now. Yes the worst. The intimate details.. where I have to tell him the specific ways in which I was hurt, how it felt, what I smelt, how my body reacted, the things I had to do, the things I had to say.. things I have patchy memories of due to the level of trauma. In order to do this, I have to step back into the room in which I was hurt so many times. It began last week and so far, I’ve had to dissociate to disclose, but I’m getting closer, closer to feeling it too and God, that is where the freedom lies. The beginning at least. I’m sure of that.

Because that’s the key.. the very secrets I was certain I’d take to my grave…are my way out from under him, where if I’m honest, despite all my efforts, a part of me has remained.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking torture, yet I have to do it, because I know it is the only way to face who I used to be. And it is the only place I can face him. Only in that room, only by freeing myself from these secrets, can I truly see him for who he is and what  he did to me. This is beyond what he took from my body, instead it is what he tried to take from my heart and soul. It is where I find me.. and I know because it’s already happening. I am already doing it. This is where I take back control.

He told me no one would believe me, he told me my only worth was my body, he told me I was just a set of holes to be used. He told me it was all my fault. He told me I was dirty, over and over and over again.

He called me sexy, and he called me ugly. He called me slut. He called me slag and filthy whore. And worst of all, he called me his…which is why I’ve got to keep doing this, it is why I have to tell every sickening detail. I am not his, I will not be his, we will not share these secrets together. This is the only way I can be free. I am not those things and one day soon, I’m going to know that within my heart too. I’m going to win.. did you know? I am not sure I did.

I’m going to win, I’m going to be in control and I’m going to be free!

 

 

 

Moving forward

It seems like forever, since I saw my T. I feel like a different person to the one who met with him just 3 weeks ago.

I think I have been different for some time, but too caught up in PTSD stuff, to notice the changes taking place, right under my nose.

It is now I feel I can breathe again, that I have been able to reflect on all the progress I have made.

I have written for hours on end. Recording, reflecting, expressing and healing. I have cried, more than I ever cried before. Crying, limited by PTSD triggers, but with many more tears than there have been previously. I have faced the hardest anniversary so far and I grieved like I have never been able, or allowed to do before. It was agony, but I am finding with agony there is a strange sense of peace.

And in my pain and honesty with myself, I have found new depths of healing. With every tear I have managed to shed, I found myself another step closer to freedom.

Over the last few weeks, I have made some decisions, one in particular is a pretty huge, life changing decision. Just by being able to make these decisions, I see the change in me. I have found that I want and can, at last, put myself first.  I have my own hopes and dreams and wants and needs that I have never really dared to have before.

 

I do not want to return to therapy tomorrow. I feel strong and alive and with such desire to move on. I want to be done talking about all those who hurt me. I do not want to give them a minute more of my life.

Yet, return I must. Because although the end is near (of therapy, at least), I am not quite done yet. So tomorrow I return to begin to tell him the remaining secrets left within me. I am resentful of that and afraid.

Wish me luck.

 

Healing through pain.

It has been almost a year since I wrote Easter hope.  A day where I felt such excitement and hope for the future. This Easter day is a little different. The close proximity to an Anniversary has me feeling raw. It has been the most painful anniversary I have ever faced.

The hope I felt last Easter is still there, though, I am finding I have to dig a little deeper within myself to find it right now. While my heart is heavy, I look out the window and see buds on the trees and new flowers opening. There is life all around me and where there is life, there is hope.

Friday was the anniversary of the most physically traumatic night of my life. Saturday morning was the anniversary of the lowest point of my life. It was the height of my trauma and this year I have felt it much more than any of the years before.

Today, it is over and I am safe. For those things, I am glad. For the life I see growing around me and for the changes within me, I am glad.

Yet, I am still hurting today. I cannot simply switch off all that I felt yesterday. I am still grieving, for the child I was and for what was done to her and all that we lost.

As my children hunted for eggs this morning, with joy and glee, I found I had to leave the room to hide my tears. Tears of joy, tears of relief and most of all, tears of pain.

I am in so, much pain. And because of him, the tears cannot spill for as long as I need. The black hole returns quickly and the emptiness threatens to swallow me. Today, like yesterday, has so far been about tears and then grounding. But unlike yesterday, today at least, there is relief too.

Relief that it is over now. It was seventeen years ago and my body has healed and now it seems my heart is too. He won’t do it again, it won’t happen again. It won’t. I have survived it already. I am safe now. I am safe from him. I am safe with me.

Thank God. Thank God, I am safe. Thank God, I am healing.

 

The Anniversary of my biggest loss

Today I woke into safety, I woke into warmth and  I woke into love.

What amazing feelings!

I am holding onto those feeling as I face an anniversary. I am keeping them with me as I struggle with the aftermath of a difficult afternoon and night yesterday and with the body memories that began this morning.

I have been moving around my home, rearranging my beautiful flowers, taking in the scent of the clean laundry hanging in the utility room. I have been looking out the windows at my lovely garden, the birds, the squirrels, the amazing trees that surround us. I have been moving between my rocking chairs and my window seat. Grounding, grounding. Reminding myself that I am safe. I am warm and I am loved.

 

But I cannot shake that night and I cannot shake that morning. I cannot get past that while he was celebrating yesterday he could have remembered me. It’s my memory, my pain, my trauma, yet he shares it too. And worse still, if he chose to remember yesterday, he would have done so differently to me. With pleasure perhaps, with power. With a smile on his face. Of course I do not know for sure, I am not in his head.. and that is where I am finding such distress. I do not know and even if I did, I cannot control his thoughts.

This week, my T suggested that while I cannot control his attachment to me, I can control my attachment, to his attachment. He is right,  I am still attached. Preoccupied, disturbed and distressed that he can choose to remember too. I do not want to share this with him.

I often think that he haunts me, but if I’m honest, sometimes I am sure it is me that is the ghost, still following him. That, at least, is something I can change.. in fact I am doing so already.

 

 

That night was hell and that morning after especially so. It was Friday 3rd, and he spent the night violating me. He broke me, yet it is the trauma of the following morning that is hurting me.

That morning, I think a part of me died, or perhaps more, a part of me got stuck there with him, trapped in time. I am certain, when I finally got away that morning, that something of myself was left behind. And he still has it. It’s still with him. And I don’t know that I can get it back.. and even if I did, how could I ever bring it back to life? Can your soul die? In part, at least? He destroyed something and though it may be in pieces, he still has it. It’s real, it’s gone and I know because I feel the loss – the gap, that I have never been able to fill.

I knew it that morning, I knew it was wrong and I’d never be the same. I knew it as I woke beside my monster, I knew it as I lay frozen in a terror. I knew it as I wondered if it were possible to be fucked to death. I knew as I wondered, if I was already dead. And I knew it when the door was wide open, and I still could not leave. My will broken, my choices gone, my identity – my very self, obliterated.

You cannot go through something like that and not lose something of yourself.  You just can’t.

 

That part is gone, I am sure of that. It is no longer mine and perhaps, I will always have this gaping hole..but I am safe now and I am warm and I am loved. And it is within those things, that I am healing and it is within those things, I am finding new life.

 

 

Choosing to heal.

 

* Trigger warning for SI*

I really want to share this with someone, it’s kinda scary to do so, but I’m going to be brave, because I think it’s important that I be honest about this.

 

I did something today. Something completely unexpected and out of the blue.

I think doing this “something” will prove to be incredibly healing for me.. the pain and the anger that vibrated through my body as I did this “something” has to be a good. It has to be healing. Because I didn’t push it back down, not this time. I let it out. I let it breathe. At least until the tears came and I was forced to ground.

This “something” isn’t altogether why I am writing, or what I want to share- mostly because I cannot share the details. Instead, it’s more about another thing that happened during this “something” this afternoon.

In the midst of what I did today,  a disturbing thought more than crossed my mind. One from back then. One that came from her- the person I used to be. This thought was about self destruction, self hate and self mutilation. And it was close, far too close.

After the “something” I did today, I knelt among the debris, breathing, shaking. Recovering. It felt like the debris was sort of calling to me – as crazy as that may sound. Even crazier, it felt like someone inside was listening. I don’t even remember doing it, but I must have reached out and taken a piece, because suddenly it was in my hand. I was dissociating somewhat, I guess. I remember being preoccupied by the way this shard caught the light. Any danger seemed so far away.  There was such temptation and there was familiarity and a great deal of need. Complex, chaotic, need. Need that can exist, no matter how empty and numb you may feel. It is a feeling, we have touched on in therapy lately…and it’s horrible. And it’s scary. It would seem that in the wrong setting, it can be dangerous also, as today has taught me.

This is where it gets hard to admit.. but I came as close as I have been in years to letting her take control. I am ashamed to admit, but I got as far as running it across my hand, more than once.

Too close. But I stepped in and I saved myself. I chose not to apply pressure. I chose instead, to feel the anger. I chose instead, to feel the pain. And most importantly, I let them both breathe. For as long as I could stand it.

Today, I think I made a huge step in healing, by this “something” I did, but more crucially, when my old self wanted to self destruct. I chose recovery,  I chose self care. I chose me.

Strength?

I’m tough. I am the strongest person I know. Is that conceited? Either way, it is true. I have endured much and have lived to to talk about it.

I escaped my abuser and I found a good man to fall for.

I am strong.

I’m not sure I always was.

Where did that come from and why does it bother me so?

In therapy we somehow got on to talking about a friend who helped me. Someone, who was his victim too. Someone who saved me more than once and someone I relied on to help me cope with the pain, the panic and the fear. We talked about her for some time. It proved to be very painful and incredibly upsetting. I wasn’t altogether successful at holding back the tears.

I have been writing about her since I got home. I ache. Not for her, I don’t miss her. I don’t want her. She belongs back then. In my memories. But in talking about her, once again I was touching on who I used to be.

It’s a very strange place to be. Not quite grounded, but not “in it” either. It’s scary, but also a powerful, intense place to sit.

I remembered how I used to feel and I do not remember strength then. I relied on her. And most of all, I relied on my abuser.

When it got too much and I couldn’t calm down, I relied on her gentle touch, to bring my breathing under control. It was her closeness that stopped the shaking. I couldn’t do it for myself. Not then.

And then there was him-who could shut down my pain with just a look. It worked. I was grateful for that at least.

Did I grow strong over time?

Is my strength a direct result of what was done to me? That disturbs me. I do not want to be strong because he made me so. I do not want to be able to shut down my pain because of years of his control and fear enables me to do so.

I need this to be mine. Not another result of grooming.

My strength. Not his.

 

Why after all we’ve talked about today, is this my focus? My T suggested that I may need to talk about her again, however it may be more like how we dealt with disclosure, sometimes once was enough. Perhaps he is right? I get the feeling that we stumbled upon her because she blocks where I need to be (which I am guessing my T suspected too). After talking and writing about her, she is moving out the way and what lies behind her is mountains and mountains of pain.

 

Pain that includes the reality of his control. And somewhere in all that I am caught up in a desperate need to find something of myself now (or before) in myself back then. By that I mean, something of me, the real me, perhaps that was there before, or would have been whether I was abused or not. Instead of the completely broken child that I am beginning to see in some of these memories now.

I lost so much. He took my body and he took my heart. Did he take my soul too? Was there anything left? Was I strong before? Did that remain and then grow?

I need for there to be something. A spark, a flicker. I badly need to find something he didn’t create. I need to find something he didn’t take from me. I cannot be a result of his abuse. I cannot.

 

Am I making any sense? I’m not so sure.