Friday, June 20, 2014

Stories From the Past: A Beginning

I'm linking up with Marvia Davidson's Real Talk Tuesday talking about truth. This is my truth. 

I couldn't settle to sleep, so I stayed up all night reading Every Shattered Thing by Elora Ramirez. If you haven't read this book, you need to. It wrecked me. Because while I've never been a victim of human trafficking, I have a good friend who is. This shit is real. It happens. And the lucky ones escape.

My words are tumbling around in my brain, as I fight tears. Because this story, it reminded me of something I'd forgotten. It reminded me of how bad the abuse was. About how it really is a big deal. I forget that. I forget now that it isn't happening every day. Now that I don't live my life in terror. Now that I don't have to worry about my room being searched or being caught doing something that would dishonour the family.

I've buried my stories. The fear and terror. The shattering of my soul. I've told them, detached, clinical. Listing the details as though they were nothing. Because they were normal. But Stephanie's story, it reminds me that it's not normal. Her desperation, her tenuous grasp on hope, it reminds me of my own. I forget how far I've come. I minimize the healing that still needs to happen. It's easier that way. It's easier to shrug it off. It's easier to live my life half-connected, but that's no life at all. It's this washed out watercolour existence, that has more colour than my life ever contained so I think this is living.

I'm still surviving. In too many places and too many ways. I'm surviving. I'm still hiding. Hiding my words here, hiding my face, my passions, my dreams. I'm hiding the nightmares and sleepless nights. I'm hiding the daily pain, the constant reminders of medical treatment and care that I was denied.

I don't tell. I still don't tell. I feel like I've written this post a million times here already, and somehow I need to keep writing it. I need to keep telling myself the truth, because really that's what this is about. It's about truth. My truth. I forgot what it was like to find stolen moments of time. Time to myself, hidden away from the parents. The lies upon lies that I told praying that he wouldn't catch me in it, that he wouldn't take away the tiny pieces of freedom that I had earned.

I understand what it is to be property. My value was in the work I could do around the house, the free babysitting, the way that I bolstered his image as a good father - and when I didn't bolster his image then came the rages. The screaming words hurled at my soul - the ones that I don't have to hear ringing in my ears any more because I wear them, carry them in my bones. They weigh me down and keep me trapped.

fat, lazy, rebellious, witch, liar, bitch, slut, disappointment, demon-possessed, why can't you be better, why can't you be like so and so...on and on, his words defining me, shaping me. Demanding respect, demanding love, demanding affection, demanding unquestioning, unthinking obedience. Demanding, pushing, pulling, tearing at my skin.

And I feel the numb set back in, the fog settling back down, sinking deep into my bones. I feel myself start to float away from these memories, back into myself, back into the present because what's back there is too much, too hard, too painful.

It isn't enough though that I survived it, that I was given a place, a home to escape to. I owe it to myself to heal, to come alive, to be the person that he was desperate to destroy. I don't know how. I don't know how to unlock these stories. I still don't know how to tell. Yet I'm convinced and reminded yet again that I have to tell them, in halting words and imperfect details. I have to tell them so that maybe my soul will stop shattering with every anniversary, phone call, visit, sleepless night, flashback, memory, and trigger. I don't know how to heal from this. There isn't a manual. But I'm determined to try.


10 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your words and your story. I love what Elora says, shame is broken when the story is spoken. Grace to you friend. I'm glad you are here. You belong. You are loved. You are a treasure. You matter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for seeing me. For speaking truth and belonging. And for providing this link-up where I can practice being brave and choosing myself.

      Delete
  2. ((hugs)) Manuals. How nice that would be, right? But I think we each have our own paths to take in order to heal our hearts and souls. This is a blessing and a curse. It's harder, because you can't follow another's path, therefore you could see it as a curse. But it's a blessing, because you only have to listen to your heart and trust yourself to be free. Praying for your sweet soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *hugs* Yeah a manual would be lovely - at least then I'd have something to mock and throw across the room while screaming how it doesn't fit or work for me. :-P

      In all seriousness though, thank you. I love your reframe on it. It tastes like fresh air and sunshine.

      Delete
  3. Your honesty is healing to others and breaking the silence allows others to not feel alone. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh Monica, I'm sorry that you've experienced these types of things - and yes you are right - there is healing in knowing we are not alone. <3

      Delete
  4. I just read this today. I'm glad you are able to write to help process through things, and thanks for sharing here. As Monica said, your words can help to be healing to others, too. And as Stacey said we all have a path that is own. Sometimes we don't know what to do or just how and when to tell our stories, but I think God will let us know when, where, and how to tell the stories to bring healing. You are brave for sharing and for you determination to keep trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gayl, thanks for coming by. I don't feel brave, more desperate, but I accept that you see it clearer than I do.:-) I'm still unlocking my own stories for myself, writing out the pieces that I do have before they disappear back into my internal fog.

      Delete
  5. I'm proud of you for still writing it, for walking foward every day. I've know you for almost a year (how has it been that long!?!) and the growth i have seen in you is incredible. I love you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh friend, thank you. And yeah seriously how has it already been a year? I love how you see me, how you remind me that this journey is not in vain. I love you.

      Delete