Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Story

I want to tell you story. It's a story about a little girl who survived so very much. But it's also a story about a little girl who is still learning to acknowledge her own survival.

I want to tell the story neatly. In chronological order, with explanations for why each horrible episode occurred. I want to package it in a way that will make you understand her pain and silence and fear. I want you to know that it wasn't her fault. That it is true, and that I am telling it because I have to tell.

But I can't do most of that. 

I can't tell the story neatly, because it's a messy story. It's full of anger and fear and confusion. It's full of really bad people doing really terrible things.

I can't tell it in chronological order because memory doesn't work that way, especially traumatic memory. I think that if I could organize it and get it in order, then I would be able to understand it. But that's a fallacy. Just like I'll never be able to explain why it started, or what triggered each episode of abuse, or what would make anyone do such terrible things to another person, especially to a child.

I can try and explain the pain, silence, and fear, but it's likely you won't fully understand it unless you've been there yourself. And I really hope you haven't.

Another flashback a few weeks ago in the middle of what was supposed to be a relaxing massage. A place on my body touched by the masseuse sent me reeling back to an episode of pain and terror. So much pain and terror that in trying to talk about it later, I found myself recoiling from hands extended to help. I was convinced again that I would die, and so I curled myself in and tried to get away. But it was only the memory of the pain and fear. And yet it was so palpable, so visceral. 

How do I tell that story? Who wants to read that story? Why do I want to tell that story? These are all questions that race through my mind, along with thoughts of worthlessness, and the words of abusers telling me that no one will believe me -- of a family member accusing me of "upping the ante". 

A little girl stands in a barn with one end of a wire wrapped around her wrist. The wire pulls her arm up behind her back, and the other end of the wire is wrapped around her neck. Which is worse -- to have the arm pulled from its socket, or to be strangled? Which is worse -- to endure that torment, or to withstand the sadistic, sexual assault while held in that trap? 

I know I survived it, because I'm sitting here typing these words. I'm glad I survived it. I just don't know how to feel (trust) that anyone out there believes me.






linking up with Write at the Merge and imperfect prose on thursday

14 comments:

  1. I think there can be healing in that type of telling, no matter the chronology, no matter the response. I wish you luck as you find the words to share the pain you've held inside for so long.
    ~Angela

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  2. I'm sorry this happened to you, but you are a survivor. You had the strength to write this post, and that's a lot.

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  3. I think it's all the more powerful for the fact that it can't be neatly organized and boxed; that's life, after all. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  4. I can't imagine the weight that goes with the story that you carry. I hope that in sharing it, it helps to lighten what is unimaginable. I am keeping you in my prayers tonight, hoping you'll feel His love wrap around you and hold you close.

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    1. Thank you. Sharing does help lighten the load, especially when it is received with such grace.

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  5. I am sorry so sorry for your hurts, your very REAL hurts. I could not read the tortures. Not because your story isn't valuable or true, but because they are both and I could not stop them for you and they would cut me to the core and there is nothing I could do to make it not happen or lesson it. I would compare them to my own and think that I have no reason to hurt and ache, because mine are not so bad.

    Your words are important, your healing is important, you are important. I understand the wanting to tell it all packaged nicely wrapped up with a neat little bow, because that is what we want. The happy ending, the neatly packaged deal, but the truth is we live in the midst...everyday in the midst....and the reality is it isnt neat or packaged with a bow..it is messy and sometimes incoherent..and that is okay. and my saying this is as much for me as it is for you. hugs.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am sorry that you understand. Telling it (sometimes over and over) does seem to be the best for healing. Thank you for being a compassionate witness.

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  6. I believe you. Write it out. Write it for yourself first and then ask God to show you how to share it. I'm so very sorry you've endured this kind of pain. Praying Jer. 29:11 over you. His plans for you . . .to give you hope and a future.

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  7. So, so ugly and hard. I'm so sorry, which is such a pitifully inadequate word, for that little girl's horrendous pain and for the grown woman now, reliving it. Praying for you.

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    1. My husband and I were just discussing the inadequacy of words in the aftermath. The words may seem inadequate, but the willingness to listen and respond is so incredibly beneficial. Thank you for listening.

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  8. You write because it is true. You write because you survived. You write because someone else has suffered. You write because the story isn't finished yet. You write because God is at work and he is greater.

    Pausing to pray you will know his peace and presence in greater measure with each piece of your story you release.

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    1. Thank you so much for this! For understanding and validating my need to write and talk and tell. Thank you for not shutting me down. I covet your prayers. Thank you!

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