My life was peaceful before I became entangled with my abuser, and after it was over, I felt like I had been erased. It took a month after I left to stop locking every door and turning on every light at night like a neurotic fool. It took another month before I stopped having frequent nightmares about him.
But those words he hissed out still pass through my mind like a slowly winding fog drifting in and out at will. they swirl and churn about, agitating memories I had buried until they stumble me. Their very presence disgusts me, and some days I struggle to get free of them. Every time they appear is when I have made another step forward. Promptly they show up to remind me some parts of him are still lurking there in the dark, and only time to going to take that away, albeit it will never be completely.
Saturday, I went out in service for the first time! I was so excited I could not sleep. Sure I was nervous, but once I got out of the house and out with the group, I was completely at ease. While we traveled to get to the territory, I laughed and joked with the motley crew I was a part of. But words I knew he would speak to me if he could were there kicking around violently, and I wanted to scream. He wasn’t there to ruin this for me, but he was there none-the-less.
I know four years of his insults and malicious, cruel words delivered in a perfectly damaging way are going to take a while to clear, but I was abhorred at the thought that he was able to bore so far down into the recesses of my brain and deposit his hateful garbage there. He managed to invalidate every positive thing I had ever done. There was nothing off-limits from his rants and scarring diatribes: my language ability, the instruments I play, my college major, my grades, Japan… Few things were repeatedly verbally attacked than my ability to get good grades and to speak Japanese. Or anything related to the time I spent in Japan, for that matter. Perhaps he knew that those years were instrumental in influencing who I was and wanted to be. Anything he perceived that I could hold in higher regard than him became a target, including things or people I didn’t even talk about.
My working toward baptism would be under relentless attack if he was here today. Like I said before, once he learned he was losing control, it became an issue of contention. I have had to remind myself several times of the past few weeks that he is not in my way anymore, but still those words come back.
If anyone has any idea of how to get rid of them, I would love to know. They are completely unwelcome.