So take a look at me now,
Oh there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me,
Just the memory of your face
I wish I could just make you turn around,
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you,
So many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all
I can recall the moment I told The Ex that I was abused. I remember feeling intrepidation although I felt it was right to explain certain shortcomings within my sexuality, it was still frightening and embarrassing to put it ‘out there’. It was after a particularly hard day - I had seen The Stepbrother and I felt his eyes upon me again - could he never leave me alone?
I lay out on my bed, heart heavy with emotions on the explode. Just on midnight.
"What's wrong my precious?' He asked softly, his words so gentle, like my eyelashes that fluttered with the strain of holding back my true feelings. I felt my cheeks twitch; my lips trembled as if they were pulled by imaginary strings of sadness. Inside I was falling deep into my pain. I couldn't go through with our lovemaking tonight and I needed to tell him why. I needed to come down from the refuge of the ceiling to confide in his embrace yet I could not find my way back through the night, it was like I had snagged myself on the stars. This night was before the drugs - in the blossom of a new found romance and down the rabbit hole we dissappear.
I told him all of it and it felt so good to do so, I spoke so fast that my sentences were piling up on each other. I floated down from the ceiling and into the arms of love. “I love you so much for telling me”. His voice was smooth, reassuring. “We will get through this. Healing is possible. It started tonight.” I tell him how I can’t sleep and when I do, it’s all I dream about. Every small girl I see on the street reminds me of my own loss of innocence. I can’t make love, I can’t look at my body, I hurt myself when no one is looking, bruises forming on my body like dark purple stormclouds. My whole life is becoming a giant flashback, talking about it to my shrinks, not talking about it with people I want to. Half of the time, I can’t believe it happened to me, and the other half I blame myself.
“But it did happen. Why would you choose to live through this torture? You were just a little girl. You were a victim. It wasn’t your fault. I believe you. You’re going to make it. You’re going to be ok. It was never ever, your fault.” Over and over The Ex told me all of this as the night peeled into the early hours. How long I had waited for this absolution. I expressed every single doubt and every fear I could think of. I feared so much that I felt broken and ruined for him. He understood and loved me anyway. That never changed. I shook with anger and rage. I wanted answers and I wanted confrontation. He listened to me and took it all in. I felt much better, the best I had felt in many years.
I always knew I would fight with the healing process, I would take drugs to keep it managed – I felt and still do, disconnected from myself in the bedroom – but it was The Ex that showed me the first path through the pain. The first person I could tell everything - I laid it all down for him to see. I was naked with suffering now fresh and liberated, I could finally speak out and hold a mirror to the madness.
You can fight your past all you want, but once the door has been opened you are in the healing zone - like it or not. There is no way to hide from the abuse and the pain that it caused. You keep on running but in the end - you only fear yourself.
No, The only way out is through. But it hurts. It hurts so much.
“I love you. You have me in your palm – you could ruin me or make me you realize ?” I found his outline in the darkness by following the trail of his cigarette. His eyes glittered with the happiness this confession gave him.
“I know my darling. I know. I promise there is a way through your pain, and I know we are going to find it.”
I could never find it with him alone but I did find it with many other survivors and the support of my loved ones, not family, people just like you and me. I just started writing one day and never stopped. I finally understood that I did not have to keep the silence for the sake of everyone else. I tried to drown it out with Heroin. I tried to keep the anger inside me for a very long time. Through living straight and narrow I finally knew that I don’t have to forgive him and I don’t need to excuse him. Now, I want to break the silence. You may be reading this and suffered abuse, sexual or otherwise. It has been my experience that when the subject of abuse comes up in my life, outside this blog, people feel afraid and even if they wanted to say that it happened to them too – it just doesn’t seem right time or place. But know this, I hear you. When I went to write about the incest, I started to write in third person. Then I realised.
It happened to me. Not them.
It was not her.
It was me.
I could not associate myself with the terror that came from between the lines. I was scared. What if he reads this ? What if they all read it and wondered how I could admit what happened – it is so dirty and unpleasant. I am lucky that I can. It’s not how could I write about it – It is why would I not ? When I get overwhelmed when writing about my childhood , I try and remember that I have already lived through the hardest part – the abuse itself.
I had to go back and manually cross out every generalisation and replace it with first person. There was a tiny voice inside me that said "You're gonna make it through" And I took hope and courage from this constant whisper inside of me.
Somehow, I felt sure there was a process, a reason that would explain why the pain existed so great in my life, and that somehow I would make it through as a survivor. I believe that was my spirit , and she will never be silenced again.
Recovery. What does it mean to me - that word ? Listen with your heart and I will tell you.......
I am standing in the sunlight and my family and fears are all back in this dark cave. It is crowded and hard to breathe inside the cave. He is inside the cave along side the people that tried to hold me down - those who tell you you're not good enough. Yet they need me and they don't know why. But I don't need them.
Eventually, I found my way out of the cave with the amazing love of my friends and partner - so I am now singing to you in a symphony of sunshine, fresh air and hope it is swirling around me - close your eyes and you will feel it.
The people that never understood me, they still beckon me to return to the cave and believe that I never deserve to be happy. But I do. And I am.
I've made it to the sunshine and I am not turning back. I have people that love me and don't want to hurt me. I don't need the darkness of the cave to protect me and I don't need to get high to survive the sunshine.
I will live how I want, and I do everyday.
I don't even know if 'they' are going to come out to join me and play in the gorgeous sunshine that I share with you now.
But I began my true recovery the day I realised that I didn't have to make them come out and that I didn't have to save them.
Life is a miracle . So live it.
From the gutter to the stars.. One truth at a time...