Yesterday, I did not turn around.
There was some comment
About how I'm a blonde now,
But, I'm not.
I let you pretend
That our house wasn't on fire.
"Do you like it?"
You ask this in a way that reminds me
you like to make my mouth your favorite fishing spot.
I've learned a lot about lying from you.
You only came over to look around.
But you've covered your eyes.
I look over and I see your child
Repeating the same mantra,
"I am not a dock, there are no fish here,"
We repeat this together until you leave.
And then you do.
Our life resumes.
Trigger Warning: Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Suicidal Ideation
Here I sit, watching in amazement as our community at Welcome Home Healing is evolving on its own, even after my advertising funds ran dry; Even though Pinterest only has a picture of our Logo, and a picture of a flower that I used when I wrote ‘Toothless Grace‘.
It has been pinned and saved by moms, veterans, (Thank you for your sacrifice. We salute you!) students, poets, and way more people than I ever expected it to reach.
For you, friend, (you reading this) I am so grateful. For seeing potential in me, for sticking around through the highs and the lows, for being peace in my life, when for the last sixteen or so years, peace has been the last thing I have felt.
This post is the most honest and important one you’ll read, so, please, stick around for it.
You’ll notice I talk about safety a lot around here, and it is with good reason.
Not so long ago, I sat in foster homes praying for death.
My mom passed away when I was ten years old, and it was not easy to reach me. It was not easy to get through to me. So, to keep a long story short, foster care was the road I headed down.
I was scared, hopeless, and forced to remain silent about what was happening around me.
If I told someone I was screamed at for getting the wrong mustard out of the refrigerator, I’d just be hurt worse.
When I tried to speak up about how I had to sleep with all of my clothes on, even my shoes because it was snowing outside and I was only permitted to sleep on a bare mattress, the mattress was taken away.
When the girl who slept next to me molested me and I didn’t fight back, I felt dirty and used because I didn’t say anything. I knew she had nowhere else to go either.
Then, when I did speak up about what happened, it was dismissed. I was the liar everyone said I was.
When I had a staph infection on my elbow that oozed yellow gunk and my foster parent covered it in cotton balls and wrapped my arm in duct tape, instead of taking me to the doctor, I wailed in the school’s office when a dean saw me scratching at it, and urged me to go home for treatment. There was nothing I could do but cry.
When I fell face-down on concrete strapped to my wheelchair and was then made to crawl on concrete to the car, while the foster parent revved the engine while half of me was still hanging out of the door, I remained silent.
When I was forced to stay in one corner of a house as punishment between an air-vent and a twin-sized mattress, not allowed to enter another part of the house, still I remained silent.
I would go to school, and it would go by so fast because I was scared to go ‘home’.
Abusers are marvelous oppressors.
Your silence – not theirs – is their greatest weapon.
Abusers isolate you,
they cut off all avenues of healthy communication between you and the people who actually do care about you.
This is easy to do to a foster child, they have no one to advocate for them to begin with.
I spent many nights hoping morning would elude me, but it never did.
Believe it or not, I am so grateful that death had not come for me. I would not be able to sit here in my apartment, that is filled with love, and my wonderful dogs, and hamsters, and my wife who is asleep in our bedroom.
If I had remained silent, if I had not trusted God, I do believe I would have died.
Since then I have been in contact with more bullies, abusers, and the like. Though I may not have wanted to, I have seen them for what they are and opened my mouth (when it was safe to do so). I have helped more people escape abuse, in hopes that they would remember to take their own power back.
I try earnestly to help them find their inner voice.
Abusers chip away at the core of the very person’s willpower – their self-esteem – and their job is done.
They know that communication, big mouths, effective communicators, light-seekers, and lovers, are a threat to their plan.
How do abusers keep a person trapped?
- Take away their courage to speak the truth.
- Break their spine, without even touching them.
- Make them forget who they are, slowly.
- Poison the water in which they, and everyone else swims.
- Normalize the behavior.
- Provide a necessity – money, food, shelter, and make the victim feel as though they’d be powerless without the abuser.
If you are being abused, if any of this sounds even the slightest bit familiar to you, I want you to know that you are beautiful and powerful, and if you are not safe in your home, in your body, mind or soul, you are welcome here at welcomehomehealing.com
When you are ready and in a safe place to do so, you can reach out to:
Domestic Abuse Hotline
https://www.thehotline.org/ (Do this in a place away from home. Be mindful of your internet usage!)
If you are suicidal or feel unable to cope –
text home to 741741, someone will be there to support you through your moment of crisis.
You are not alone. You are not a victim. There is a life waiting for you.
I love you.