Seeing you and finding me (to my abuser).

 

In the beauty of my garden, with the sun warming my back, surrounded by pretty flowers and amazing trees and all I can think of is you.

All my thoughts are on you. I see you, I see the ugliness of your heart and the iciness of your soul. You have my attention now. You, the man (and I can barely bring myself to type that) who broke me. Broke my heart, crushed my spirit, made me want to die. It’s you that has my attention. Not the love, not the tenderness, nor the compliments or the gifts- no not the lie.

I see you. The monster abuser, the sadist. My rapist.

You never saw me, you didn’t know me, you don’t know me. I see you. I couldn’t then, I didn’t dare look, the truth was too much to comprehend, even the idea was unbearable, but I see you now.

I am no longer 14, I am grown and I am strong, I am so much bigger than you and you know what? Even at 14 I was stronger than you, I survived more than you ever could. And if I were standing before you now, it is you who would quiver, it is you who would break. I would look into your eyes and I’d stare you down.

You cannot hurt me now, you don’t scare me. I swear I’d force you to your knees in the way you so often forced me to mine.

 

This week I thought you had broken me again, I feared you were destroying me all over again. I could smell you, I could feel you, Oh God, you were so very close. I wanted to die. I admit it, a part of me was done, so very done.

But today, my T stood with me as I faced you again. And he saw my pain. He saw what you did. He saw me in a way you never ever did and in a way you never, ever could. He reminded me that you are weak, you were always weak and me, well, I am survivor, a true survivor.

So it is true, I cannot help but think of you right now and though I hate that, I need to see you, so I can find myself.

 

Don’t you dare get comfortable, don’t you dare think you are at home within my mind or settled in my heart. I am no longer your ghost, I will no longer be your shadow. This is for me, this is so I can let you go.

One day soon, you will be on your knees (and when I am done standing over you) I will turn and I will finally walk away.

 

 

 

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Freedom

Prisoner. 

That was a new word for me in therapy on Friday. My T seems to think it is fitting and I think he may be right.

There was no escaping the abuse, there was never another option for me. Even when everyone else could see an open door, there was no exit for me. I was a prisoner even without restraint. I was enslaved by fear, trapped by his grooming; I may as well have been in chains.

I had resided myself to my fate, even seemingly complicit in my despair. I was shackled to him and I’ve been fighting for release ever since. 

I have not known freedom for as long as I can remember. Freedom was just a word that other people used, it never had any meaning for me. My life was his, my actions a result of his own. Like dark shadows over my life, those imprints of his control still remain. So I work tirelessly to scrub away those marks in order to free myself from his grooming and control.

 

And you know what? It’s working! I am getting closer to the end. I have tasted that freedom in recent months and let me tell you, it is exhilarating.

You see, it is like he has remained with me all the years. It is as if his weight is still on my chest, crushing my lungs, just like back then. Every breath I have taken since, laboured; each inhalation, an effort and that effort is exhausting. It has been such a battle not to give in. That has been my fight everyday for over sixteen years. 

But as I reconnect with my past and work to over come the numbness that has sustained me for all this time, I am learning how to feel all that is buried within me. And with every single second of agony I allow, I find there are true moments (no matter how fleeting) where the enormous pressure is lifting and I can breathe at last.

With every uninhibited breath I am closer to my freedom. A Freedom to feel, a freedom to think, a freedom to choose and freedom to be. 

 

Freedom

 

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.
  2. the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

Two enemies

 

I taste the memory on my lips

that lasting touch upon my skin

But I don’t know to who it belongs

I cannot separate him from him

Entangled with them

trapped between two monsters

torturous reminders

are holding me captive.

The invisible scars

chain me to them

an escape, I can only wish.

 

 

And if the only way is through

to feel and to release,

does that mean I must let them in

to intrude on my day

and disturb my dreams?

Where there is frozen terror

and I cannot scream

as two of them are taking me.

And when will I know,

when the end is near,

where I can close my eyes

and feel at peace?

When they will no longer

haunt my dreams

where my bonds will be broken

and I will be free?

Battle

 

The monster in the shadows, is one I’ve known for years.

Lurking in my memories, he infiltrates my dreams.

And I cannot shake him, he still lives and he breathes

in the lasting darkness within me where my fears have not ceased.

I know of what he is capable, I don’t know how to rid myself of him

I am not sure that I am able, or that he will ever leave.

 

Now I am reuniting them both, together they will be one.

And already the darkness has company; my monster and my love.

Working together, they prepare for combat,

their reign of terror over me and I’m not ready for that attack.

Now I am facing both, surely, I do not have a chance?

 

Our lies (Letter to my abuser)

I lied for you, because you told me to, your web of lies has been hanging over me ever since and weaving through my life.

We were full of deception, together it seemed, in a cunning disguise. What you told me to, I said without question. Though the cost was high, I kept the truth locked away. I did it for you, because you taught me to.

And I’ve done it ever since, lied to keep your secret, lied to keep the truth hidden, even from myself. I let them think it was me and I let them think it was OK. I carried my identity, hidden behind that stereotype. It was easier to be what you made me, than to ever tell the truth.

 

Now I’m unpacking the boxes I filled high. I am uncovering the truth, I am revealing your deception and taking off that disguise. But the further forward I go, the more I waver. I hate to admit it, but I  am afraid of you still.

Fear of what you might say or do, if only you knew that I’m going against what you said. Fear that each time I tell what you did, I get closer to the truth. The  truth shines light on your deceit and it makes you transparent. I hate what I see, I hate you. A hate I did not believe I was capable of feeling. And that hate is all at you. Not at the monster, but you, the one I loved.

Because now I see who you are, I see you are just like him, the one that resides with you, the monster within. And I have to wonder if you are the one, the one responsible for all of this. I am starting to wonder if the pain is far worse than the traumas I have lived.

I am heartbroken over you, my 14 year old self is in bits, I feel that devastation and it’s killing me. How could you have lied to me, how could I have lied for you?

You did a number on me, didn’t you? In a few short months, those lies became my truth. And as the lies are leaving me now and I am uncovering the truth, I find that somewhere inside a deep grief is waiting to be released.

I feel lost, who was I really then and where has she gone? It’s as if my identity has been ripped away and my heart broken in two. The delusion of who you were is no longer there to protect me and I am starting to feel some of it now, what I should have done before.

But I know it will be worth it, every single ounce of pain. Because as I continue to allow the truth to be free, I feel you leaving my life. Your lies are the poison and my truth the antidote. Each time I let it out, I am purging you from me. And one day you will be gone and finally I will be free.

Grooming, Attachment, Anger.

 

My head may explode, this week was supposed to be calmer. Work was nuts, house purchase is all systems go, children are driving me nuts, to do list is getting longer. I just wanna sit on my couch and hide from it all.

Tomorrow is therapy day, I’m looking forward to it this week, I’m desperately trying to keep a lid on my feelings. I am hoping I can release them a little with my T.

 

I have been reading up on grooming again, I find it is a need right now. While this was something I started to face and come to terms with last year, I know I am not there yet and my most recent therapy session has thrown it up again for me.

I have been reading some of the NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood) website, have you been there? I never really thought I belonged there. I don’t consider myself as someone who was a victim of child abuse. I was a teen. I hear child, I think pre pubescent. Am I the victim of child abuse?

Either way, a lot of the stuff on the website really resonates with me. Particularly as I am dealing with mixed feelings towards my abuser. It seems to be common/ normal/ expected. The  feelings I have right now, aren’t about now, they are 14 year old feelings, but they leave me confused and conflicted. It helps to know I am not alone.

 

I have known all along, that I had feelings of love for my abuser. Even though that love was out of manipulation and grooming, the way I felt was real. But following my recent therapy session, I now realise how much deeper it went.

I  think I formed a bond/an attachment to my abuser. I needed him, I really, needed him.  And as I faced his betrayal with my T on Friday, I was devastated.

How the hell am I supposed to feel about that? Sick, for one. Guilty too. I read that the bond/ attachment is normal. Yet I feel anything but normal. How could I have needed him and loved him so very much, when he hurt me in ways I didn’t believe were possible? What does that make me?

 

I know, I know- he caused that, he groomed me into needing him. He worked hard to sever my bonds with anyone else, he was cunning in isolating me from anyone and everyone else. I was so young, I needed someone. He was the only someone left. I know I am looking at it with hindsight. But I don’t know how not to blame myself.  Perhaps, because it’s easier to deal with that way? Easier than the reality? Or perhaps it’s because he ground me down so much, I still struggle with finding self worth.

Either way, it adds to my anger. The anger that I ever felt that way, the anger that I feel this way now and the anger that exists to hold down the growing pain.

It was supposed to be easier and better this week. Where’s my break? When will it end? I swear, I’m not far from my knees here.

 

 

 

Let go (flashback).

 

An afternoon out with my beautiful family. A walk through the park,

the light departing, the wind rising, howling through the trees and it is all so similar,  far too familiar.

And just like that the sound has gone and I can’t rip my eyes from those trees looming, menacingly over me.

I can’t fight as I know what is coming, as I am drawn back to hell. Like a black hole, I can feel you pulling me through.

Beside me I feel your hand around mine, leading me away from safety. Always leading me away.

Your smell hits me hard and I am frozen in fear, somewhere inside I sink to my knees

because I remember this night and what is ahead for me.

And I am willing you to let go. Please, I beg you, let go of my hand, let me go back to them.

I can hear sobbing and I know it’s coming from within me, but it feels so far away,

it’s like being under water, desperately I am clawing my way to the surface.

And as quick as I left, I know I am back. The sound returns and the cold air hits.

I smile brightly at my children as I run my hands through my hair and stamp my feet to ground.

They are blissfully unaware of the sobs I am containing.They are oblivious to my haunting.

But not my husband, not him. He knows where I’ve been and he knows that you took me. He knows.

And as he takes my hand gently leading me away from you, I know he will never let go.