Where had she gone?

Beauty in the ashes 🌹

Married at 18, 2 kids by 19, divorced by 21, remarried by 26, 1 more kid by 29, fading into the darkness by 33 and by 41, she was dead. So what happened to this lady during those in between years? Her death, though shocking and painful, was not too mysterious, yet a heart wrenching loss to those 3 children. Could she have known the ramifications that leaving them would hover over them for the rest of their lives? Her first 2 born already suffered from abandonment from their father leaving when they were toddlers and now there was new fuel added to the fire. Her youngest child would never fully heal from the shock and all of them would be left with this poor excuse, version of a worthless father. Well, technically a step-monster to the older ones and short-changed, selective, convenient, when it worked for him, weak father to his one and only blood offspring.

As life would have it, the abuse happening to her would later manifest into PTSD. She was a newly 13 year old girl, trying to cope with life the best she could when her once devoted, doting, loving and proud mom that she had known was beginning to fade. Shortly after marrying this man and the birth of her baby brother, mom began drinking, heavily, and daily as anger was ranging inside her. She remembers every detail of what mattered to her as she was growing up, but then developed amnesia for the parts that created her traumatized soul. What the fuck was happening? She couldn’t stop her world from spiraling down and the more she tried the worse it became.

This broken framework of a family would move to a whole new town, several hours from the only place she had ever called home. She now had to live in a town so small they only had one stoplight. Her anger intensified, but it had been serving her. It’s what kept her safe and from falling apart inside. It fueled her so others would perceive her as confident. What they didn’t know was it kept them at a distance, far enough so they wouldn’t learn her secrets. No one else lived this way she couldn’t imagine. This dark place where her mom drank herself into oblivion every night so she wouldn’t have to feel, could hide from the truth of her torment and his cruel, viscous ways. Take her into the land where no one spoke of the dismissals and discarding she experienced so he could continue his sorted affairs, blaming her for his indiscretions. This once beautiful, vivacious, confident, fun loving woman, reduced to nothingness. Stripped of her self worth and told of her undervalued existence. This replacement father wasn’t just an asshole, he was a fucking asshole and I had wished for so long that he would die.

She started maturing into a young, pretty teen and by 15 she had her first boyfriend. Really he was the excuse that got her out of her crazy ass house on a Friday night. She had convinced herself she was in love with this boy, as much as 2 teenagers could be, but they bickered more than they got along. Could her hostility have been the cause for that? She wondered today. The asshole, as she so fondly referred to him as now, had started snooping around in her room when she wasn’t home. She found this out when her mom brought the contents of her diary up in a private conversation, asking about her losing her virginity. She was fuming, seeing red and wanted to kill him, but her mom was gracious and kind about it. Now and then that loving, adoring mom would surface, in a semi sober state. Terrified her only daughter might end up a teen mom too, but was satisfied to know the 2 of them were “safe”. Humiliated and pissed beyond measure, she broke up with the boy she “loved”, leaving him confused and hurt, but she didn’t care, much.

Soon after, the leering was becoming more intense and uncomfortable to the point that she loathed having to even go to the kitchen for a snack or even water for fear of him being in the living room where she would have to pass through. Usually no words were exchanged, only a slithering, slimy look that made her shiver with ice through her veins and blood in her eyes. Sickened by the very sight of him, she found opportunities to be gone more than she was home. One day she came home from school to find a woman in the kitchen, a stranger to her. Thinking nothing of her until mom came home and asked if she saw this person. A few months later, these parents would separate for what ended up being 1 1/2 years this time. Another discard, the fond, control game he played. By this point she had deemed them both crazy and she wanted no part of their insanity. She declared to them she had a job, a car, friends, school and a life, finally and would not be moving. She further informed them that she knew they would reconcile and the fuck if she would turn her life upside down for them ever again and she didn’t.

She had chosen the worse of the 2 evils to remain in this God forsaken town that had grown on her. Convincing herself this was temporary and short term. He works a swing shift so she would rarely have to experience the abuse and inappropriateness of his behaviors. She could handle this. She had toughened up more than ever. Her life depended upon it. Less than a year went by and they proved her right when they bought their next home on the other side of town, big enough for us all to have our own rooms. It was 2 months before her graduation and she’d had enough. She was done. Dramatic exit scene. Her first experience with her newly developed dissociative behavior. A screaming match with her mom, explosive words of I hate you! Followed up with shaming accusations of you’re weak, why can’t you just quit drinking?! A quick packing of her things and she was gone. There may have been more expletives, but she was tapped out, checked out, already gone. She left behind an older brother whom she loved and wondered why he stayed after graduating the year before and her baby brother whom she adored and worried so over, but she feared to stay even though she was terrified to leave, but what choice did she have? This would start her pattern for the rest of her life.

The next 5 years would deliver her into the early makings of her first real, adult relationship with the man she eventually would marry and have 3 sons with. She never went back to their home, not to live, but now and then to see her growing up little brother and even her mom. She avoided interactions with her first abuser as much as possible. She often wondered if her mom ever knew, had any inclinations or concern for her only daughter’s well being, but then how could she as she was drowning deeper and deeper in her alcoholism. That was a word she had learned and identified with, qualifying her mom as one. Anger was still very much alive within her, seething at the core of her being. It was just showing up as less of a frequent visitor. As those years rolled on, her mom sank further into depression and into her bottles, hiding them more and better, so she thought. She came around less and less trying to normalize her own life, whatever that meant. It mortified her to remember this once shining light of a lady who was reduced to her darkness of hell. She blamed him for all of it. Mom’s shame, her pain and our abuse and neglect.

It was nearly the weekend and her mom called, wanting to visit her now grown, young, adult children and their significant partners. We lived close by one another and just short of flipping a coin, she surrendered and said mom could stay with us for the weekend. We all got together for a family dinner, just the 4 of us and mom. By Monday morning everyone had work to get to including mom. She needed to “get going” she told her. Reluctantly, they said goodbye, unbeknownst to any of them it would be the final time they would see her sad, sweet face. It had been a surprisingly pleasant weekend. She chalked that up to his absence. We parted ways, as we all went off in our separate directions to live our own lives now.

A week went by and it was 5 am on a Saturday. She was at work when she got the call. His voice on the other end, so blunt and cold, your mother was in an accident, she didn’t make it. She sank to the ground, the corded phone still in her hand as the tears sprung to her eyes and ran down her cheeks. All she could repeatedly ask him was, “was she drinking?” His answer never came, but in her heart, she knew. She sat there, numb, not knowing what to do, needing to do something, but what? Last week she had a mom. A mom she had forgiven after all those years of despising what she considered her weakness. A mom who loved her with all she had, but had none to give herself. A mom who she accused of neglecting her for some man who abused her, them, all of us. A mom who deserved to live because she had so much to live for, but she never knew any of it. A mom that was loved even though she couldn’t love herself. She will forever wonder…
Where had she gone?

🧖🏼‍♀️✍🏻

The only way to get through it is to go through it

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The daylight woke her and she jolted straight up in the strange bed. For a second she wondered where she was. She began recalling the night before, replaying the script in her scattered mind, the silent argument, an uprooting of the life she knew and a what seemed like an endless night of collecting her belongings. She needed coffee. She needed explanations, but most of all, she needed him. Why?

Anger began washing over her, wanting to make friends with her now. It was more like a pact really. How else can we assure one another to never go through this ever again. We couldn’t. She knew the game. Hell, she was one of the star players and she was an expert in it. She couldn’t comprehend the situation, but had to do something to distract herself. Her resolution, get her ass to the gym. There she can pick up some heavy shit and drop it back down, just to keep her sanity. Kind of an irony now. This would become her routine, working out alongside her friend. Her friend whom became her trainer, then became her therapist while her therapist became obsolete.

Days passed and for two straight weeks, he showed up there in her personal space. Coincidentally, knowing she would be there, lifting, clearing her mind, she didn’t think so. He said not a word to her, only taunting her, desperately trying to rattle her with his presence as if to remind her of their sacred, cyclical dance. It took all her strength to maintain control of her power. She fought back the internal force. He’d hurt her for the last time. Fuck him.

God had been showing up in her life a lot more, revealing Himself to her, giving her clarity with every passing day. He promised her salvation and protection like she never felt before. As days turned into weeks and eventually months, she began talking, revealing the secrets she had kept hidden. She was speaking out loud for the first time in 8 1/2 years to her friend, the trainer and the therapist. At first she was ashamed and timid, but she was feeling safe with her. The more she shared, the lighter her heart was becoming. To her surprise, what was coming back to her was a similar story as her friend also spoke about her private life she’d been leading too. Their bond strengthened and they were inseparable for the months that followed.

For all those years she was crumbling while he whittled away at her sweet, once light hearted spirit, she couldn’t leave. There had been glimmers of hope, small doses. Signs that maybe he did love her, enough to keep her there. She had to stay with her broken pieces, no matter how depleted, confused, abandoned and abused she was.

Just admitting the truth was a huge first step. With the support of her dear old friend, she had a new found hope. Now was her chance. She had to begin collecting her scattered, broken parts she had left along the way, but how? She began to pray, everyday and for the second time in her life, she didn’t feel so all alone.

There’s a reason we sink before we rise up.
An anchor only works when it hits the bottom…

🧖🏼‍♀️✍🏻 photo/art credit 📸 👇🏼

God’s mercy is the only explanation

He silenced her with his anger. Afraid to speak another word as a quick slap struck across her face. She sat there in disbelief, what was happening? Then, as he drew his hand back, he followed it with a stern, “get the fuck out”. Without hesitation, she swiftly rose to her feet and speaking not a word. In her mind she asked God, “is this it Lord?” and in that instant, she knew, she would never return to him again.

Her mind was racing after the appalling scene that occurred only moments before. It took her over two hours to mindlessly gather her belongings in the dark of the night. She was replaying the events of the day that led up to his finale of the evening. What had gone so wrong so fast? She kept hitting the rewind button yet nothing was explaining to her why she was packing up 8 1/2 years of her life in a whirlwind like a death sentence she just received. “Get the fuck out” kept flashing over head and made her move more swiftly.

Probably to his dismay and surprise, she wasn’t becoming enraged as her typical, dissociative behavior had surfaced in the past. This was much different then all the times before, more surreal. She had a calmness about her as she loaded bag after bag in her car. The moon was shining brightly on that warm summer’s night, but there was an icy energy exhuming all around, causing her brief moments of panic.

She saw him sitting quietly on the back deck where they spent so many days and nights together, but also to her, alone. Silently, she walked out to join him, grabbing her chair to sit beside him in hopes he had changed his mind, would apologize for his rash behavior and say he loves her. Instead he arose, saying not a word and went back inside. She sat there a little longer gazing out into the darkness without any words, saying goodbye to it all.

She was a little numb now and feeling hopeless. She herself entered the back door, her heart pleaded silently within her own pounding chest. “Tell me to stay. Make this all go away.” His words never came. Sitting down at the dining table expecting him to join her there now to…who knows what? Explain himself, have a conversation, anything, something, but he never did. Instead he approached her with only one question, “got everything?” She nodded and quickly stood to her feet, walking slowly to the door where he was already 3 steps ahead, waiting and she asked her final question fearing the answer, “this is what you want?” Forever in her heart she will always remember the last thing he ever said to her, “I can’t get what I want”. And with that, she didn’t act on the rage that was boiling inside of her. In fact, she used that energy to channel her ability to walk away and know this was everything he would ever give to her and that was nothing at all.

There was a kind of numbness and peacefulness washing over her when she got behind the wheel to drive a mile down the road to the cottage she never could understand why he insisted on her maintaining as a part time residence, until now.

They’ve done this dance too many times to remember now, but he kept count and blamed her for every infraction and incident. Each time just like the time before, he knew, or rather expected her to come back, pleading, crying, begging even groveling to take her in his arms and love her once again. The ties that bound them were unbreakable. She had convinced herself of this and that being alone without him was unbearable, but for a split second, she inhaled what she thought may have tasted a bit like… freedom? And, for the very first time that night, there in the darkness, she began to exhale and she smiled.

She pulled into the not so familiar driveway, got what she needed from her car for the night, unlocked the door and walked into the dark and seemingly lonely place. It felt empty and strange, or maybe that was just her projecting. She began to come down from the adrenaline rush that kept her going for the last 4 hours. She found the bed, right where she left it. The girl, who just earlier that day, had a life that was tortuously familiar with a man she had loved and respected for so very long and now, she felt very displaced climbing into her empty bed. She was ready to drop by this point as a tear streamed down her face she thought, what the fuck just happened?

🧖🏼‍♀️✍🏻

The tormented mind of an abused woman

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She sits alone with her thoughts, trying to figure out how she got here, to this dark and lonely place inside her haunted soul. Often wondering if she somehow deserved to be isolated, belittled, humiliated, beaten down and destroyed.

She has found herself unable to sleep again even though it has been 13 months since he pushed her out the door, no explanation or hesitation, yet he still manages to inflict the pain and torment just a little bit and then a little bit more.

As she stood between the door, where her confusing life had been for so long, and the empty darkness of the night, she asked him, “is this really what you want?” And with just 6 little words from his mouth, “I can’t get what I want”, she was banished once again, but this time for eternity. Now for the remainder of her days, she will consider all the possibilities of her wrongness, because after all, she’s spent her life believing the lies she’s been told of her value and worth. So easily discarded like a worn out little toy that no longer would serve any purpose, to him. She laid there with crushing thoughts, could they all be wrong about her, even him?

Little do they know of her true capabilities. She secretly dares them to underestimate her. She is always up for a good round of torture me and see. After all, they were her best teachers of that plot twist game and now she knows how to win. Watch the little men squirm this time as they now have to figure out the rules to this unsolvable mystery, the one he started, but the one she will finally win and end.

When did she become so secretive and clever? Why had she and how did she? By being their rag doll for all of those years. She paid close attention, took notes and now it would be their, his turn to stand and watch in awe of them, her braveness as they, she fiercely regains their, her control and power, the mighty gift they, she so frequently and freely gave away.

I do get to be dramatic today. It soothes and even comforts us, me to express and perhaps embellish a tad, but definitely to expose the truth of the matters. The affects of his, yours and their provocative ways upon my heart, stealing my essence as they desolated our, my soul without our, my permission.

Being devoted to an abuser is seemingly backwards, convoluted and plain sick to the average onlooker and we, I never cared much what you thought, only what he did. Your caring, concerned, compassionate expressions and even the occasional pleas for our, my safety were always going to be dismissed because our, my trauma bond was stronger than your love for us, me. Even the innumerable discarding of us, me throughout the years would all eventually lead us, me right back to his familiarity of destruction. It’s what we, I knew and kept us, me feeling safe, in those ravaging arms. Denial is a powerful mechanism all on its own. Don’t try to convince us, me otherwise. You just don’t understand loyalty, perverse as it may seem. It is what we, I know.

Fearful to leave, terrified to stay, his position of power lures us, me in as the continuance of this mind fuck game he plays engulfs us, me. Who’s the insane one? Really, we’d, I’d love to know.

Eventually we, I caught on to the insidiousness of this lifestyle he claimed as Master of the castle. It’s a ploy architected by the deceitful hands molding his sought after clay of prey. Once captured, he begins to create an image in his depraved mind. All the dimensions of which his new toy will begin to transform into started there.

First, he begins with our, my mind before moving onto our, my form. Rejecting little things at first, pretending to care just a bit, to make us, me trust him and then ashamed enough to get to work on these now, serious flaws that this hideous mind and body have become, in his opinion. In order to obtain the position of his queen in said castle, you, I must know your, my place. Then and only then can you earn it, but have no illusions little pet, you will never be fully kept in his elusive place of honor. You see love, there is no room for merely one queen next to this lord’s thrown. In fact, there’s no room for any solitary girl in his world, only the king of his own mind.

And so the story goes on, ashes to ashes he buries them, me alive. Alone might be better, one day, some day, not today…

🧖🏼‍♀️✍🏻 photo/art credit 📸 👆🏼