Tuesday, December 31, 2013

RE: “I am abused.” Those words are so hard to say

On the blog A Cry for Justice.  Barbra Roberts recently wrote a post titled “I am abused.” Those words are so hard to say.  In this post she says "Like the surface tension on the skin of water, or the surface tension on a soap bubble, there is a tension at that membrane. Will the victim pass through it and acknowledge “Yes, I am abused.”? Or will she shy away to avoid going through into that unknown world where everything will (at first) seem upside down, inside out and back to front?"  

She then goes on to challenge her readers to think/ write about the moment they spoke out by saying.  "Dear reader, whether you’re approaching that membrane, newly transitioned, or have been across for years, or whether you just know someone on that journey, I’d love you to share what it’s been like for you.

And if you’ve gone through the membrane, what was the thing that precipitated you going through it? What was the thing that overcame the surface tension?"

This was my reply.

For me I had to cross the membrane many times. The official story was I was the lucky one that got away. My dad was tempted once, he stopped himself just before anything happened. Just out of the goodness of his heart. Then he fully repented to the church.

Once I was a feisty young teen fighting for freedom and a way to voice my witness against my dad. I told him I would tell, and he felt forced to tell my mother under threat that I would tell. I believed he would tell the truth.

When I was accused by the church my spirit broke. My dad was held on a pedestal for being so repentant. Everyone believed the above lie. And he had been grooming all around me to distrust me for years. I saw no way out except for one. Though it was not a conscious decision. Believe the lie. I was broken like a horse, and went from fighting to praising the “repentant” man like all around me.

I was left with the strange bonds of abuse. My dad was my hero. The best man I knew. And of course always, he was repentant. I leaned on him for everything. Asking him for step by step guides on how to live my life correctly, and following the suggestions to the letter. Always hoping I would get some approval or praise from him. He was the only one who understood me. Everyone else distrusted me for some reason.

Fast forward 16 years and trauma memories resurface because I am in a moment of trauma at the time. I had two miscarriages, then a house fire, and one more miscarriage. That is what it took to rock loose hints of real abuse.

I had to break through a tough membrane to go to counseling the first time. I had to break through the membrane to keep going over and over…. I saw my counselor for two years, telling him memory after memory around the abuse. But the story of abuse always stayed the same. I was the one who got away, thank goodness.

Then a young girl was abducted in my neighborhood, and after three days her killer was caught. It was at this moment that I finally relived the abuse I endured around 12-13. I did not have words as a young preteen to say what happened to me. Only as I relived the sensations as an adult did I know what happened to me. I crossed the membrane to tell my husband I was molested. I crossed the membrane to tell my counselor I was molested. I crossed it again to tell my younger sister.

But even still, two years in I had just scratched the surface. Over the next year I came to terms with the fact I was raped just before I turned eight. I now have reason to suspect the abuse went back to when I was an infant. But I don’t want to remember more.

Finally, one day, by many miracles, I crossed the membrane to report my father. Now I am waiting to see what comes of that.

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