The Letters.

Today will begin a series of letters I wish I could have written in the past, letters that I wish I could send even now, words I have hidden and emotions I have protected. Only through personal strength and the ability and hope to move forward are these words being written finally after so many years. There are many people I would like to write to. Many who have emotionally bruised me over the years and many who have played a significant part in my healing. It’s not all bad of course.

The people I will write to are:

  • Mum
  • My high school teachers
  • Sister
  • Father (abuser)
  • The ‘friends’ who deserted me
  • My brother in-law
  • My father’s family
  • David (husband)

All had some effect in my state of mind during the abuse. Some were very positive but unfortunately hope and faith was rarely on my side. I hope these letters aid to my closure.

Dear Mum follows later.

Let the journey begin.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

When Will It Stop?

When Will It Stop?

With the tag line that “two women die from domestic violence a week” ringing in your ears, see a powerful PSA advertisement highlighting the very frightening subject of domestic abuse.

Keira Knightley fronted this campaign.

More needs to be done for women and men subjected to this horror.

http://youtu.be/rt7JZSrDJA8

What survivors and sufferers should say.

Whether you are a survivor or a sufferer, it does not matter. Equally you have been though the mill and equally you deserve to see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Yesterday I blogged a list of what you may often hear from your abuser. Well today let’s be more hopeful and write a list of what we should stand up and say. Many of us will never be heard. Many of us still have to find the courage to even say it out loud. It is a start. We need to acknowledge that it was never “our fault”.

  • I believe in me
  • I am worth something
  • My future is important
  • Do not overstep my boundaries
  • I do not deserve this
  • I am allowed to be selfish
  • He/She does not have control over my life
  • I cannot be restrained by fear
  • There are reasons to live
  • One day I will be truly happy
  • I am allowed to feel anger
  • Life will be good
  • One day I will get that power back
  • I have rights
  • NO
  • What he/she is doing is wrong
  • I value my life
  • It is the past now
  • If I need to call the police – I should
  • I feel sorry for him/her
  • I am free
  • Inspire yourself
  • Be the bigger person
  • I can walk away
  • It is not my fault
  • I will not argue with you
  • I am human
  • You have no claim over me
  • I will save myself
  • Only I know me
  • It is not your life
  • Saying what I feel is a God given right
  • I have nothing to say to you
  • I do not expect nor want anything from you
  • I am strong
  • I have a voice
  • I am not afraid of you
  • I make my own choices
  • You have no more control
  • I am capable of love
  • I deserve love
  • I do not “owe” you anything
  • STOP
  • We are over
  • My dreams and ambitions are of worth
  • I am a good person
  • You did not succeed
  • ENOUGH
  • I am not broken
  • There are many paths ahead of me
  • I am supported
  • You lost
  • Goodbye

Again. There are thousands more.

As Emeli Sande puts it:

You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue

You’ve spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong

If no one ever hears it, how we gonna learn your song?

So come on come on, come on come on.

I wanna sing

I wanna shout

I wanna scream till the words dry out

So put it in all of the papers I’m not ashamed

They can read all about it, read all about it.

With nowhere to run – Photo 5.

Image

Train tracks ran behind my father’s house, often a tube train would stop and linger by our back garden. This is the view from the back of my old house. It looks onto nothing. Only an endless train line. There was never an escape. Certainly not from the back of the house. I often contemplating running into my neighbour’s garden as he chased me down the stairs. I imagined myself climbing over the rickety fence and trespassing for those few seconds before reaching freedom. He probably would have caught me anyway. He would have followed me down the street. I had run before. In the dark, late at night. He came after me in the car. He always tracked me down. I was too frightened to fight further. I never got very far. He would coax me into his car with a sorry voice only to condemn me as soon as I had sat down.

The garden was not a sanctuary for me. Instead a place where I went to breathe. I felt so trapped with him. I always needed air. After our heated arguments, it seemed like the best place to go. He rarely followed me out. He worried that a neighbour might appear and see him for his true nature. However, he often lingered at the back door muttering obscenities at me. A tube slowly came to a halt one day as I paced across the grass after one of our heated arguments. My father had lost it. He was waving and shouting and gritting his teeth at me from the safety of the kitchen door. He was ordering me to come back inside. I wasn’t about to. That would not be safe for me. I would be walking into his trap. I knew that I needed to get to my bedroom somehow; I felt safe there. Eventually, he would give up and I could escape but until then the garden was the wisest place to be.

As the train waited for a signal to change, I caught the eye of a few passengers. It would have been clear to them that we were fighting. They were so close to us. A woman seemed to move seats to get a closer look. I was surprised that this was gaining so much interest, that my hell had turned into a drama for these passengers to study and watch with anticipation. Another man turned to his friend and pointed directly at me. I stared at them as tears poured from my eyes. Could they see my tears? What were they thinking? I did not want to feel violated any longer.

I circled round, ready to make my move but found my abuser blocking my way, standing firmly in my path. I went to walk past him but he would not budge. He stared at me. He stared at me with so much hate. He told me I was not welcome inside. That I “needed to calm down” and that he would be shutting the door. I answered back. At twenty four I felt I had the right to do so. Of course, he felt differently and as the train pulled away, my father launched into another verbal attack.

In his tirade, he moved just slightly away from the back door. I saw my chance and sprinted to my bedroom.

“BABITAGO!!!” he yelled from below.

I could hear the clamour of his heavy footsteps and the doors being flung against the wall as he ran after me. I made it, with time to spare. The door was locked and the bed was pushed against it. He banged his hands upon my door making it vibrate on impact. I, like a little child, pulled the covers so far over me as I lay in my bed. I took out my headphones and turned on my music to drown out the insults he began firing at me from outside. His voice could still be heard as the music played but I just focussed on what I was listening to and slowly felt myself relax.

He was not going to break me.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Khalil Gibran

I had to be strong.

Dear David.

Dear David,

sorry I couldn’t get you a card. I was in Madrid all week and it totally slipped my mind. Does that make me a bad wife? I just wanted you to know something. You said to me that marrying me was the “best thing” you ever did. Well meeting you has changed my life. We aren’t the soppiest of people but I know how much I love you. I may not be overly affectionate in public but I will never hide my feelings for you. You are the kindest, most genuine man I have ever known. You are my best friend.

Thank you for your support over the years. I know it must be hard for you, stepping into my traumatic life and discovering new, shameful truths in my family. You have not judged me or questioned me. You have been so understanding especially during this last year. Our first year of marriage should have been amazing and romantic. Instead, we have had to deal with so much. Life has been hard, it has been a struggle and you have held my hand so tightly through it all.

I am sorry I can be standoffish, hurtful sometimes. I often think I don’t deserve you. I promise not to close up and keep things concealed. I will be open with you always. I never want to worry you as I know you often do. I want you to be able to feel calm and that our life together will be filled with happiness, that I will be strong with whatever faces me and that you will continue to be the wonderful husband that you are.

Life will be good darling.

Happy 1 year wedding anniversary.

I love you with all my heart.

R xx