I have found myself over the past several months initiating or being trapped in conversations that I never dreamt I would have. I have been put in the spotlight and asked questions no one has a right to make me answer. I have had to relive things that I would rather forget than replay, and I have coldly presented a laundry list of horrific things that were done to me against my will for others who always react incredulously to my lack of emotion. Several times, I have even made people I care about cry, and I end up comforting them instead of the other way around. On occasion, my words have even put emotionally charged images of me into the mind of the one person on this earth I care most about, and I wish I could take them back.
Certain conversations with a specific group of relatives have been avoided like the plague. I can never tell them what I endured, because the one commonality in the family on both sides is our temperament. I have already had to ask… vehemently demand… that it is best if they let things alone. They only know what little bit I have revealed to them, and I have to hope that they either do not come across this blog anytime soon or by the time they may, I hope enough time has passed that their tempers have cooled enough to keep the possible chaos that could erupt under wraps. And for my sanity, I don’t want the barrage of questions that will result.
I saw a photo documentary online of a man pushing his fiancee into the kitchen where he backed her up against the counter, and put his hands around her neck. There are images like this and worse permanently burned into people’s minds. What they don’t know is that I have minimized the details of everything I have told them. They are really far worse than I will ever let on. Looking at the pictures was probably not my best idea, because all my triggers are visual.. with one exception: his ringtone. I can read all day and not react unless it is overly graphic.
Maybe this is why I find myself partaking of a gluttony of DV videos. I need to be reminded that I am not alone. It’s hard to explain that to someone. Logically even I know that I am in crowded company with sufferers of abuse. However, that nagging feeling that I am singular persists. Compared to the number of videos I have watched to date, I have posted an insignificant number. Out of respect for other victims / survivors, I am careful to post ones that aren’t extreme. We are all at different places in our progress, and I do not want to set anyone back.
I found myself thinking about my grandparents a lot today. Once the last of them passed eight years ago, I felt alone in this world. Out of everyone in my family, I was closest to all of them, and I spent a lot of my time at their houses. I tried to imagine how I would break my confession to them, and I had the worst thought come to mind: “I am glad you’re all gone.” The truth is, I miss them terribly and wish they could be here for me now, but I could not bear to have to hurt them so deeply by having to tell them that I was with a monster. I cannot begin to fathom how I would tell them.
And I guess I am fortunate enough that this is one thing I will never have to do.