Many times when we are left broken by the actions of those we love, we seem to get lost in the pain of it all. There are days when we wake with a huge weight of memories that challenge our ability to smile and keep on going.
“After all, isn’t this what the general society expects of us all? So what, you were beaten, bullied, molested, raped, threatened, controlled; who cares, RIGHT? They say things like; ‘Get on with life’ or ‘So what it’s only sex, you do it all the time. What’s the problem?”
Let me share with you what the ‘PROBLEM’ might be. How about if you close your eyes for about 5 minutes and pretend you are a child; remember the light spirit of catching fireflies in a jar. Then I would like for you to imagine your father (just using the pseudonym as an example); your father’s hands are touching you and suddenly through a quick flash of memory he is on top of you and you feel a burning pain rip through you like a red fury of fire. You hold your breath and turn your head. He’s grunting and telling you what a good child you are and how this is something that is supposed to be done.
All you can think of is how much it hurts!!! You want it to be over, you want him to quit. You have tried to tell your mom, but she simply turns away and ignores your words. You show your dysfunction brought on by the violation of it all; sometimes it comes out in rocked emotions other times through our reactions and actions as we go through life. You’re not allowed to share this ugly secret and you try to figure out why it makes you feel so worthless and ugly. You know that others won’t understand and your friends at school talk about sex like it is just something you do.
“Are they having sex with their parent too? Do they get beat up when the dishes aren’t clean, the laundry’s mess, or just because (HE) is drunk and angry? Do they feel like they don’t matter to anyone at all?”
As you grow up you carry all of this baggage with you. There can be many ‘PROBLEMS’ that you start to see. You may be falling in love with everyone or no one. You may look in the mirror and think about how disgusting you are, or that no one wants you, or no one ever treats you like a decent human being. You stress out easily at work because you have to make sure everything is done with perfection. Sometimes, if you are using an addiction such as alcohol, marijuana, or even food to help get through those shattering moments; you may have problems with being sober at work or high. You may sit at home all by your lonesome and drink or eat until you just can’t drink or eat any longer. You may try to be active in other things, such as taking care of your kids, your family, keeping up with friends, and believe it or not you may even find yourself clinging to your parents, or even the one who violated you. You feel like you need these connections because you want to be loved; to be wanted, appreciated for the good in you, but no matter how hard you try sometimes you just can’t make it through the day without a break down.
Artwork via: Michal Madison Art
Each morning is a new challenge for you. When your eyes open you find yourself once again back in the circle of LIFE AFTER ABUSE!!! It’s ugly as hell and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone at all. It’s not nice to wake up without a smile for the one you love lying next to you. It’s not nice to be sad all the time and worried about how people will see you ‘Will they see past your veil of secrets?’
We all have some form of burden or trouble we carry sometimes, but the brutal acts and personally violating evils of these crimes is something so deep and so troublesome that even our therapists, support groups, family & friends have difficulty accepting our struggle, understanding the impacts of PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Doubt, Constant Fear of Rejection, the need for Perfection so intense that we don’t have time to enjoy those quiet times of sunshine and flowers or the belly laughter of our children.
We can only hope to help the survivors of these acts when we accept these abuses happened within our homes; the place where we should feel SAFE from the dangers of the world can often be the MOST DANGEROUS.
Remember there are many homes where one parent is not as dangerous as the other. Maybe that other parent doesn’t hear our silent screams for rescue, but maybe they don’t beat and hold you captive. Also there is the ugly truth that these processes of acceptance and silence move forward from one generation in our circle of life to another. Then these acts (CRIMINAL ACTS) are done by the person we marry, the person we choose to have as our lover, friend, companion; the person we share the intimacy with on a regular basis. We believe we can depend on this person to help us through, but instead (especially single moms who have been harmed as children) we continue to fall into the whirlwind romances and find ourselves living with what we have been taught is so ‘NORMAL’ to us. Something we know doesn’t happen in every household, but it definitely happens a lot and for some reason it seems to always happen to us. Those who live in misguided boundaries and beliefs all because of the daily, weekly, decades of brutality and degradation, personal violation and threat to our lives as our everyday perception of life.
You will find us then trying to cope with all of the horrific truths we carry.
How would you get through your day as a Survivor on the path to Freedom from Abuse?
© Patricia A. McKnight
Author/Advocate/Speaker/Talk Radio Prod & Host/Survivor
Founder; Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming
Author: ‘My Justice’