When I am sick and trapped in the house, I get nervous, fidgety. I feel that same isolation I used to feel when I did not see the outside of one of the apartments I “shared” with my abuser for days on end. Today, to keep myself from thinking about this, to distract myself, I aimlessly searched through some old boxes my dad kept after my grandparents had both passed away. I found a letter from a distant relative in Denmark, typed neatly on now off-colored legal paper using a Danish typewriter. Genealogy from my grandfather’s side that I had never been able to find. I sat down at my notebook to log into my ancestry.com profile to enter in the data, but I fidgeted still. And, of course, quickly made my way to my blog.
When I have time to devote to serious reading, I usually stick to the reader first so I can get caught up on posts and commenting. Today was not a very busy day, and I made my way over to the DV tagged posts I also follow. It was not long before I came to a post for #MyScars Chat, a live panel discussion on domestic violence that will taking place in Las Vegas on October 19th. I am unfortunately in a position where I am unable to be there, but that didn’t stop me from wandering around her blog Rhachelle Nicol’. I came across a challenge post Challenge: I Show My Scars… where she invites her readers to tell others why we share our scars. And herein lies my response to her challenge.
I show my scars because I learned that the truth revealed to me as a child that there was no monster in the closet or under the bed was partially a lie. He was sleeping in my bed.
Because every nasty, cruel, spiteful, hateful, soul-crushing word he used to erase my value and self-worth as a woman and as a human being was a lie. Stabbing me through to my heart and robbing me of my dignity, confidence, and peace of mind was just a plan. It wasn’t accidental or brought on by stress as he claimed in the beginning. It was deliberate, insidious, well-thought out, and decisively delivered, verbal blow by blow. Quite effective.
Because he needed to render me incapable of resisting him when he took his abuse to the next level and threw me against the bathroom wall, calling me a whore for applying makeup, and choked me until I almost passed out.
Because I had no honeymoon period in the cycle of abuse. He unleashed his anger and violence upon me and didn’t stop, for the four longest years of my life. There were no apologies, no grandiose displays of false affection. No flowers. No period of calm. It was always chaos and pain.
Because I realized that he had not only the willingness to kill me but the capability and no guilt to care if he did. I was expendable. He could always find someone else to use, lie to, and abuse. So if he left me there that night in the woods, he would have been right. No one would have found me.
Because every day following that night, I lived my life in constant fear that I was going to die, and I had no one to protect me.
Because he cut me off from every single person I ever cared about and drove off anyone from getting too close. And unsuccessfully tried to move me out of state, away from my family.
Because if I didn’t leave when I did, I would not be here now.
I show my scars, because I want to warn others that it can happen to any of us, because I wasn’t warned that it could happen to me. You can find the strength to stare fear in the face and break the silence that has trapped you with your abuser. You can leave and find stability and security. You can get back the peace that was stolen from you, and you will smile, laugh, dance, and sing again. And there will be love.
I share my scars to give others hope that they can heal, too. And they won’t have to do it alone.
I show my scars out of love. Will you show someone *yours* ??