I am stuck between telling my story and forgiving and forgetting. Mainly the forgetting part. Some things you just never forget, and no matter how hard you try, your haunted constantly. A ghost of what happened that stays throughout time. I guess you can be fine for years, and it comes back to haunt you.
I was talking to my sister about this post, I told her that I felt like I was betraying a man who had already betrayed me. Broken my trust, and gave my haunted memories and times I just wish I could forget. Haunted most by the feelings of my past.
I don’t want to live in the past. But I do want to be able to share my story so that it may help someone who finds themselves in a similar position. Our experiences, for better or worse, are there so we may share them, to help others and ourselves. The experiences we go through are a way to connect to people. My sister told me that I should at least write it down, then afterwards I could decide to share it.
I was molested from a very young age, not sure how old, just able to remember some things. Able to remember the feelings better than the actual deeds, with a few exceptions. Recalling the feelings of scared and unsure. Afterwards, I pretended like nothing happened, I wanted to have never happened. I felt so dirty.
I recall when I was older, that I was afraid someone would find out and then it would be my fault it happened. That I was somehow the reason and cause of it all. I remember when I had finally told someone about it. So scared, I tried asking a random off handed question, hoping that it would appear as a question, and not something I was going through. Terrified of what telling would mean to my family.
The question I guess was just enough of a hint, they stopped what they were doing and focused on me. They asked very pointedly, if someone was doing it to me. I wanted to hide, to back off and not say anything. But I spoke the word, told them who it was. They believed me, I went to my room and my sister looked at me, I can’t remember if she knew I told by the expression on my face, or if I just came out and told her. I want to say the former, but I could be wrong.
That night everything changed, our family was broken, and therapy soon followed. Thinking I was happier pretending that it did happen, that I was just like everyone else, I didn’t want to talk about it much. I wanted to be normal. Part of me believes that everyone else was happier not talking about it as well.
I feared that I would be looked at as a freak. Damaged goods. Made harder by the fact that I was so willing to forgive him for what he did. I loved him, still do. Craving his love, but not like that. I desired him to be proud of me, and I wanted to know that he would be happy for me, no matter what I did.
I have always felt, however, that I was a giant mistake. That, despite what he says, I couldn’t be good enough. That I would never be good enough. Not for him, or anyone.
It has taken me a very long time, to find a little bit of my worth back. There are a lot of days when I still doubt that I am worth much. Then there are days when I know that I am good enough and worth someone’s time and love.
I often feel like the sexual abuse was nothing compared to how it made me feel. The act meant nothing to him but instant and self-gratification. I was nothing but a tool for him to use to satisfy his desires. I meant nothing to him. He told me by his actions that he didn’t love me enough to curb his appetite. I meant so little to him that he saw no reason to not hurt me, to not take advantage of someone so vulnerable.
Confused and terrified of the world around me, I wanted to die, to hide from everything and everyone. I didn’t want to remember, and for a long time I pretended that nothing was wrong. But I didn’t know how to cope with it at all. I tucked it deep inside and in the weakest moments of my life, it crept out. A sudden appearance, like a ghost, a shadow of what had once been. Everything that I thought I so carefully became, all the confidence and peace, gone to dust. Haunted by things that are long gone, and should have no right in my current life.
I have been taught that I am a Daughter of God and that I am of infinite worth. It has taken me years to actually believe this. Some days questioning that I truly believe. Often, I felt like those words could never apply to me, that I was damaged good. Nothing. Never could be anything to anyone.
I never quite fit in with those around me. Never trusted them enough to fit in. I felt like an outcast. I once read something that said, “If you want to know what an artist (photographer) most fears losing, look at what they take pictures of.” Most of my pictures are of flowers, abstract pieces of nature, landscapes, things that are pretty and peaceful. Art work that has no humans in it, or very few humans in it.
I do not fear losing people, it hurts when they walk away, but I expect them to. My father taught me that, the bullies taught me that. People will come into your life only to leave. What I am afraid of losing is the peace and beauty of pure love and nature. It is a reason I love to read. Those characters will always be there, every time I pick up their book, just like nature.
I love those things that I know will never leave me. It is those things that have helped me heal. I have gone to therapists and never got much out of them. The therapists said I didn’t connect to my emotions. Laughable. I wouldn’t cry as much if I didn’t connect to them. Another told me there wasn’t much they could do, because I wasn’t in a relationship at that time. I have trust issues, I can’t be in a relationship if I don’t trust them enough to be in relationship with them!
Obviously, I have stopped going to people for help. I turned to nature, and books, dancing and other wholesome activities. Discovering that I can become more then just my past, that I can be me. Finding out that I am normal just the way I am. Just not their normal. Good enough for love and acceptance.
The memories that haunt me don’t have to be some monster in the mirror looking back at me. They can be my past, but they won’t be my future. My father had power over me as a child, he has nothing over me as an adult. I can love him, I can talk to him, but I will also understand that there will always be a chasm between us, something that only a long time can fix, or a complete understanding that he has become a different man then he is.
Haunted memories are the worst to deal with, I don’t think they ever go away completely. At least not in this life. The best thing we can do to overcome the hauntings, the ghosts that pursue us, is to understand that though they are there, we don’t have to feed them, give into them. We can see them and then choose to do something else. It’s okay to binge read a series for days as long as you keep doing the things you need to do to live. Like work, and eat, and pay bills that will never go away. The joys of adulthood!
I have held this past to me so closely, tried so hard to forget it, that I hurt myself more by keeping it hidden. I am telling my story to hopefully find further healing, and to help others along the way.