Where to begin?
Start at the beginning, and when you come to the end: stop.
I haven’t been blogging lately, or online much for that matter. To be really honest, I haven’t even been out of the house much, I haven’t seen any of my friends or neighbours in the last few weeks. People are starting to worry.
Fair enough; I’ve been sick. Not my usual upper-respiratory-infection kind of sick, but processing some deep, unpleasant personal stuff. Everyone has *stuff*. Some more than others, and it’s not something I generally like to talk about. In fact, *stuff* is something most people don’t generally like to talk about.
And that, my friends, is the problem. DENIAL.
This is me, the gorgeous green goddess, Majikfaerie herself, saying: “THE DENIAL ENDS HERE”.
I will no longer perpetuate the cycle of abuse nor the denial that aids and abets it. I will speak my truth, and be in my truth. I will not tolerate lies or sugar-coating. I will not abide by denial of abuse or of truth.
I went to my sister, Chicky’s wedding at the end of last month.
Just the decision to go there in the first place was hard for me. Initially, it seemed obvious that we won’t go – while I love my sister, and we’re pretty close, and I’m okay with my brother, I don’t have any contact with anyone else in my family; I haven’t spoken with any of them in several years at least.
I am a survivor of abuse.
My parents, their parents and all our associated siblings are all a part of that, both as victims and as perpetrators, as is generally the case. While I am deeply scarred; I’m hurt; I suffer and I’ve gone through hell to get to the point I’m at now, which is generally healed and happy, I do forgive the past. I do recognise that my abusers were merely acting out of their own abusive patterns, and for the most part, trying to overcome that.
What I don’t accept and will not tolerate, is the denial that goes with it all – the denial that left me exposed to abuse in the first place, and the denial that continues to this day.
There is a very strong ethos amongst my blood relations that we all pretend nothing ever happened, ever, and we never, ever talk about it. Everything is business as usual. This I stand against and this I protect my child from. Because it DID happen, and the denial is what perpetuates it.
So I thought we wouldn’t go to Chicky and River’s wedding. Obviously. I don’t want to see all those people who continue to cause me so much pain, people who lie to my face and call me a liar when I blew the whistle on the whole sick story.
But then I thought: hey, it’s just not fair! I don’t want to miss my baby sister’s wedding; I’ve suffered enough and missed out on enough! I’m strong, I’m empowered. I can rise above all of this, and be in my truth, and be there for my sister.
I could see three options:
1. Don’t go. Like I said, this would mean missing my beloved sister’s wedding. Lose
2. Go, and speak out, and accuse my abusers and call them all out on their lies and insist on the truth. Essentially, making a scene, which would ruin my sister’s wedding and not really help my cause. Lose.
3. Go, and rise above, be strong, calm, and beautiful; a shining example of wholeness and healing.
Seemed like a no-brainer. So we went.
It was a fly-in-fly-out deal, not stopping long enough to see anyone, because Purple has work, and really because I didn’t want to see anyone.
And I was strong, and I didn’t make a scene. It was a pretty wedding, Littletree was a flowergirl. My grandfather who molested me and my parents kept a respectful distance. I made small talk with some cousins and family friends I’ve not seen in more than a decade.
Only in hindsight did I realise, somewhere around the time the wedding photographer called all the immediate family in to pose for family photos, that I’d not seen all the implications of option #3: that by going there, and posing in the photos, and making chit-chat with relatives and vague non-answers about why we don’t visit more often, I was participating in the denial; perpetuating the cycle of abuse.
I wish when all my cousins and uncles and aunts came up to say hi, and they all said they wished we were staying longer and asked me when we’re coming for a visit next, I wish, I wish, instead of smiling vaguely and mumbling something about maybe, probably not, I don’t know, I wish I’d said:
“WHY ON EARTH WOULD I WANT TO COME HERE AND SEE ANY OF YOU EVER AGAIN? HONESTLY, YOU ALL STAND AROUND HERE, ACTING LIKE NOTHING EVER HAPPENED, AND HERE I AM, DAMAGED, ABUSED. THAT MAN WHO MOLESTED ME IS RIGHT OVER THERE AND YOU ALL CALL ME A LIAR! NO CHANCE IN HELL I WANT TO COME BACK HERE AND BE A PART OF THIS!”
But I didn’t say that. I didn’t make a scene. We had a “nice” time, then we went home.
Somehow, I thought I’d be able to do that and not be affected, and I’d be fine. I didn’t understand till it was too late that by taking option #3 I was collaborating in the denial, and I’d hate myself for it.
Since then, I’ve been badly depressed. I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been seeing my friends, I don’t eat much, I don’t sleep much, I’m just managing to keep up with basic household tasks. I feel broken.