True Love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4

While I have known this verse for what seems like forever, I have not understood or really believed these words.

Instead I thought that different types of love existed and firmly believed that not all love is good.

Lately, I have been disclosing more of my abuse to my T and today following my therapy session, I found myself reminded of that Bible verse and what it can mean for me. More specifically what it can mean for the deep shame that I carry. 

I see now how the misuse of the word “love” was used to abuse me further. To tear a child down, to humiliate and degrade her in the most abhorrent ways cannot suddenly be made OK by covering her hurt with words of love. 

True love would not carry out these actions. True love would not cause such pain. True love would not blame and shame. 

Putting a label of love on top of wicked actions, does not make those actions good, nor does it suddenly make them forgivable. Love cannot dress evil. Love and evil cannot exist together in that way. 

I had no choice. It wasn’t done for love, on either my or his part. I had no choice, right?

That was not love. Love cannot be the reason or the cause. It cannot explain what was done.

Something to explore further I think?

Groomed love.

I did not want to go near it, too afraid I would re open that wound. I have been careful not to touch it, for fear of bleeding out here alone. 

So, I’ve been ignoring and distracting and at a times it has worked. But where my mind will not remember, my body does instead…

Today, I am close to it, closer than I’ve allowed since therapy last week. This time no T to rescue me. Can I do it alone? I fear it is bigger than me and my capacity to deal, but when you can’t distract any longer, when ignoring has you stuck and frozen to the spot, sometimes it’s worth the risk, is it not?

 

He  got me that day and I don’t mean rape and I don’t mean an assault. It was and is so much worse than that. That Christmas morning he held my hands and looked into my eyes. It was an intense moment where he looked at me, like no one else ever had.  It felt to me, like he was peering into my soul.

He had already stolen my innocence and in that morning he took my heart too. And all that followed after, led back to that moment…what I would take, what I would accept.

After that morning, the violence was no longer needed. Why didn’t he know that? Why didn’t he realise that I would have submitted to him? He should have known, it was why he groomed me after all. He didn’t need to use all that force. Because he had me with infatuation and he had me with his lies. He didn’t have to hit, he didn’t have to push, he didn’t have to threaten and he didn’t have to hold me down.  Love was always his most effective tactic, I couldn’t have left, even if I wanted to. I was from that Christmas day, shackled by my heart. 

 

Hate and Love.

I do what I can to avoid news as much as possible, I have enough going on.. yet unless I shut myself away and never leave the house, I am going to come across some of it sometimes.

Death, destruction, rape, war- so many people dying, famine, disease, persecution. Doesn’t it make you ache?

I have been so bitter the last few days, bitter and angry. Hating God and hating the world around me. I am somewhat upset with myself for that now.

I know I am entitled to feel what I feel, but what kind of person am I if I carry rage in my heart? I don’t want to add more hate to a world already consumed by it.

It’s not who I am or who I want to be. I love, I care, I put everyone in front of me, perhaps sometimes to my own detriment, nonetheless, it is who I prefer to be.

 

Those turning a blind eye to abuse, those continuing to victim blame- they fill me with rage. I find myself thinking thoughts that scare me, a type of hate that will eat away at you. If I hate, then surely I am no better than them?

We cannot solve things with hate and violence. I don’t believe that, I will never believe that.

There is enough hate, enough persecution, enough rape, enough war, enough murder. These are hate fueled actions that I want no part in.

 

 

Tonight, this week, the last month, all have been truly awful. There are moments where I wish for the end. Sometimes, I am so hurt, I can barely control the rage, I cannot see past the red fog that descends where I find myself wanting to push everyone away. Where I fear I will tell you all and everyone I know, to fuck off and leave me alone. In those moments I want them and you to see that hateful side of me, because so often, I fear it is the true me.

Then the storm blows over for a short time and I pull myself out of the debris. The rage subsides and I find my heart- expecting it to be shattered in pieces, but instead, while bruised it remains whole. Full of love and forgiveness, not hate, not rage.

So if you ever see that hating side, I ask in advance, please forgive me, it is not who I am or who I ever want to be.

 

Broken.

*Trigger warning- swearing*

 

Oh how real that is right now.. I didn’t know it was possible to be broken. Not really. I said the words, but I never understood. I had learned to protect myself. Protected by the pretense, by the lies, by the mask.

I didn’t know, I really didn’t know that I could be broken, not that way, not like that.

I see it now, I remember. I feel it. Broken. Alone. Fucking alone.

 

Where were you? Anyone at all? What is wrong with people? What is wrong with this world, that a child would choose abuse so they didn’t have to be alone?

Unconditional love, I know all about that. I have felt it for so many. Too many. For the wrong people, the wrong person. Admitting I needed him, loved him and relied on him has thrown me into turmoil. Shame, regret, and pain. Oh, so much pain.

I am back to pretending- trying to pretend to myself, too. Pretending it’s OK. Pretending that I am OK. The smile, the laugh, so you can’t see me, so you don’t know what I hide beneath.

I am not OK, I was broken. Broken by him, by them. By the abuse, the loneliness, the emptiness, the fear and the fucking awful rejection. That was not OK and I am not OK right now.

My throat is raw and I feel full. Full of what I know, full of what I have seen. Full of years of unspilled tears. Is this what it is to feel? If it is, I want none of it.

I am desperate. Desperate for comfort, desperate for peace, just desperate.

Hold me in your heart, love me, tell me it will be OK, tell me it won’t ever be that way again. Tell me I didn’t deserve it, that I was always worth more than that, even back then. Especially back then. A child, an innocent.

Needy. I hate being needy. It’s not me. I am tough, I am strong. I know better than to need, don’t I?!

I didn’t mean for it to happen, I didn’t mean to be involved. I didn’t want what he did, what it caused. I didn’t want to be alone. I was left all alone.

Rape, rather than be alone. How fucked up is that? I didn’t want it, I swear, believe me?  I didn’t want to be alone anymore. I couldn’t be alone, not with that. What was I to do? What did I know?

How was that my life? How could I have been that person?

So I ask you, anyone out there reading, don’t hate me and please, Oh God, please, don’t fucking leave me. I was let down, I was broken, don’t you do it, don’t you dare, don’t you let me down too… ‘cos I deserve better than I had back then.

 

Hate and Love.

There’s so much contained inside right now that I feel as if I may burst, but I couldn’t express it today, I couldn’t let go. Every time I feel that pain I am filled with hate and I burn with rage.

I don’t want to do this, I don’t want this. How do I deal with this? I want Christmas back, that energy, those moments of peace. I want to feel alive again, not just exist.  I wrote this when I got home from T:

I won’t remember you this way, you are not a person, you are not the same as me, or anyone I know. You are the monster, you are not real, you were never real. I don’t want to see you, or to remember the way you looked, I don’t want to recall the attraction. You must remain the monster, a monster without a face, you must. You have to.

You ruined every moment of us that I held dear, every treasured memory has been tainted and for that I am grateful. I don’t want to remember you fondly, I don’t want to remember any good within you, only the bad.  It has to be that black and white, it just has to.

Your manipulation and your control is all I want to see in those many embraces and all the tender kisses I cannot scrub from my memory. I want to see your dominance and hold over me while I remember how you groomed me into loving you. And when I am hit by flashes of your scent, or I feel your touch upon me, nothing but fear and horror is acceptable. I will not miss you or find any comfort, I will not mourn for the loss, or grieve for what was. I cannot accept that conflict goes on within me because the you I loved did not exist, it was never true and it was never right.  I reject the feelings of loss, I reject the grief and I reject the heartbreak.

When I choose, I will cry over what you did and all that horrific abuse, I may cry for the loss and for the ideal, but I will not grieve for you. You will not have my tears, not over this, not for you. I will not let go, I will not cry over “our love”. You are not deserving of my tears or any more of my pain. You deserve hate, you deserve my rage, all of it, every bit of it focused on you, the real you, the monster.

 

Christmas Love?

Christmas and I was so in love.

Excitement, danger and you.

You held my hand, pulled me close

kissing me gently, I just couldn’t let go.

I adored you in those moments.

 

I know I was abused, I know he groomed me. I know the person I loved didn’t actually exist, but that love felt so real to me. I loved my abuser. I really did. I’m ashamed of that in a way, even though I am fully aware that he was at fault, not me.

This is the first Christmas that I have fully accepted that what he did was abuse, I have accepted that he groomed me. And now I feel like he has ripped away my only good memory of him and that time- us at Christmas. Because of those moments, the ones I treasured, for years, I believed he had to love me on some level at least. That and the harder it got for us to be “together” the more he held on. I saw that as love rather than his control and arrogance. Now I don’t see those tender moments as anything but ways to get to me and to keep me.

And it leaves me angry for sure, but I also feel a sense of loss and that confuses me. It’s the sort of thing I’d take to therapy and I know my T would reassure me that it’s normal, in the way he assures me that everything I feel is OK and valid. I know he’s probably right and it’s OK to feel what I feel, but I don’t like feeling it. Anger- while I’m not comfortable with, I know I’m valid in feeling it, the same with hurt/ pain and sadness. But loss? That is not something I’m used to with this.

I guess it’s understandable given the recent anniversary that I tried to ignore, that won’t make much sense here but I cannot explain here right now (or in my own journals). But I think It makes sense to me, I think I better understand some of my own actions around that anniversary now.

Oh I’m missing my T already and it’s not even been a full week yet.

Loved and supported.

Right in this moment I am feeling surrounded by love.

I am in the warmth and brightness of my home, on my sofa, leaning against soft cushions and throws, affectionately given to me by my loving husband. My boys have been especially cuddly this afternoon, it seems they missed me while I was out for a couple of hours. I have been hugged and kissed, fought over and then squished and cuddled and kissed some more.

I am trying to love myself, I am little by little learning to be kinder and more gentle with myself. I am beginning to change the way in which I speak to myself (yes I talk to myself and you know you do it too 😉 ), I am trying to fake it until I feel it I guess. I want to love myself, I want to forgive myself, I want to cut myself some slack and be a whole lot nicer to me.  I have been to hell and back, I am facing and and in the midst of such painful times and it was not my fault. I did not deserve it, then or now. Oh there’s a voice inside saying “but ” and “hang on a minute, what about..” but that will shut up eventually, believe me!

 

This week I face another trauma that I went through at 16. For many reasons, I am particularly worried at how I will deal with it. I don’t feel sorrow or empathy, or anything nice about myself at 16. Though it has shifted some, I am still dealing with feelings of responsibility and self blame. There’s a whole heap of “stuff” caught up with this and so self love is not easy to find right now.  Therefore, I am particularly grateful for the love surrounding me from my beautiful little family, that keeps me going right now.

I am afraid of not being able to say it, but most of all, I am afraid of containing the memories I know it has already brought to the surface. I struggled to contain on Thursday and it was horrendous. I am still triggered now, it’s horrible. What if I can’t contain? How will I handle it? My T has confidence in me, my husband has confidence in me and my minister has confidence in me. I am kinda buoyed by them right now because I cannot find much of my own confidence to see me through.

 

So right in this moment, I feel fear of what is to come and I’m bothered by intrusive memories, but I am also feeling a bit of an unexpected high.  I am high on the love and support around me and I am so thankful for that love and that unwavering support.