abuse · resilient

Some Deaths Have a Life of Their Own

“Shut the door”, “Don’t let her leave” Scurrying. Frantic. Sisters. Tall, dark, blond, petite, squatty, thin, round. All shapes and attitudes. These were my 5 besties. My clothes borrowing, fist fighting, room sharing, pinky swear – sisters. Through bad and worse still, we had a bond. A loose one with frayed strings and dry rotted fabric, but we had one. A bond of secrecy you form when your leader is a bat-shit crazy devouring control freak. In a humid August minute, the fabric unravelled just the way no-one could have predicted. In both a horrifying and glorious purge fest – our fragile lives would never be the same. I purposefully held all the cards, balls and dice. I walked into that house 5ft 3in and needed to watch my head on the way out. Literally, there was soon to be a bounty on it, specifically my mouth.

The power of truth colliding with audible gasps and frantic bickering. mmmmmm. The glorious sounds of human reaction. Just looking for a little validation, that’s all. Crickets. Crickets prob get more validation from their families of origin. Truth didn’t exist. Truth meant that someone might have notice reality. And reality, fully realized, would have you retreating into the safe corner of your psyche and summoning an alter persona to return to the front lines in your place. Our Mother had the corner on ‘Truth” we weren’t allowed to consider our own, or think for ourselves. Bathed in, Clothed in and Fed HER version of truth Fucking our little minds. Pretending to be content and satisfied, hiding our shaking bones. Smiling was always allowed. Perfect smiles, perfect little girl heads, what a great Momma we must have! Beautiful religious family. Beauty queens – couple of pageant winners. UGH

Truth could be held in the corners of a smile. My truth always took a considerable amount of tension to keep it contained in the corners. Today there was no smiling. In Miriam’s living room…I was pregnant with Truth. Water breaking all over, suddenly releasing long held accounts of trauma, in waves of relief. Our brothers sexually abused me. With this “news” (eye roll) each sister fired their own brand of pebbles, stones and boulders. Public stoning style. Yelling in disbelief, anger and terror. Mostly hurtful shit, meant to shut me down. Most protecting our brothers. “You can’t tell anyone”, “They’ll kill themselves”, “They’ll get a divorce”, “You can’t leave”. “Don’t tell Mom”. “You never were into family anyway”… Not one pinch of validation or comfort, support or empathy. Not even a hint of human compassion or solace. Why was I surprised? I felt compelled to add, “but you, and you, and you were abused also” was met with rage and shock. The FACT that each of them was involved was so highly guarded, classified and ultimately denied. (and still is) I probably wouldn’t have gone THERE had there been a speck of connection or a flash of warmth for my road-rash heart, on that August afternoon. I know what I saw, who went with whom. I witnessed and was made to be part of “things”. I’ve been successfully talked out of many things, but this? death seemed more likely.

It was a slow death. A death of a family unit. Scrounging, scraping and slipping their way around what I kept exposing. They wanted me to shut the fuck up. Why was I so angry? Why did I have to keep going? Why did I have to ruin everything? Why do I still have to think about it? If I was such a great healer then why have I not healed them? How long would I stay away from family? How did I know that I was handling my healing correctly and knew what I was doing? Why was I choosing to make such a big deal out of nothing if everyone else is moving on? Too many loaded questions to keep track of. Cheap shots, well placed digs, casting me as unfeeling, cold hearted bitch. Who would walk away from their loving, sweet family, who? Boinging back and forth between shock, self doubt, anguish, depression, grieving over what I don’t and never did have. Grieving. Hard core grieving. Over the years, softening just enough and trusting in some of them. Elated I was, maybe they finally get it. They understand. Yay! validation… just to be tricked and exposed, made a mockery of. All dead.

I’ve been the catalyst, the reaper. Beheading lies and crazy. My shield dented and dinged by assaults wrapped in decorative, unassuming boxes with pretty polka-dot ribbons. My years of battle/defense slaying the army of loyal soldiers, my siblings. Loyal to cover-ups, story telling, eyes closed, stoicism, blankness, bonded together in denial and defense. A solid Bond of Spiritual death. They’ve had to let me go because they couldn’t silence me. My presence, a reminder of a past they refuse to acknowledge. One they’d rather have dead and buried. Pretty disheartening when you fully get – that it’s easier for people to turn their back on you, for exposing the family secret – than it is to have love and compassion for everyone involved and move towards wellness and sanity together. They find me dangerous and unpredictable. They don’t know exactly what to make of me. Truth is, neither do I. One out of 9 fighting to be seen. Horrible odds.

Truth is, over the last 23 years I’ve lost my tribe in order to find myself. Turns out some deaths have a life of their own.

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