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What’s on my mind?

Facebook asks me what’s on my mind. It’s kinda creepy, really. It also always thinks I’m at target or out getting waffle fries. Which neither are inaccurate if we are being totally truthful. 

But the problem is? I don’t know how to say what’s on my mind. 

But Nora!

You’re such an eloquent writer. But Nora! Just type or say the thing. 

That’s the problem. 

I can’t. 

You see, the word are trapped. The emotions are trapped. The feelings are trapped. 

It’s like alphabet soup and just a bunch of letters swirling around. Sometimes I can scoop out a random word but it isn’t very helpful or relevant. 

I have so many secrets. Oh, everyone has secrets

But this is stuff I’ve not told everyone. 

Stuff I’ve not even dared write out. Because I’m scared to be faced with it. 

It can’t be that bad. 

Well no, but it’s not that good either. 

It’s trapped. I want to speak the words. To type the words. To free myself from the words. But I don’t know how. I’m stuck. I’m trapped. And I’m scared. 

I don’t like feeling like this. The words. The thoughts. The feelings are terrifying. I want it out. I so badly want to be free of this hell I’ve been trapped in for decades. 

But yet. 

I smile. 

I laugh. 

I joke. 

I act like the good person I know I have to be. 

I have been told how smart and capable and resilient I am. 

And so I stay trapped in my head. 

Locked in my own body. 

And it’s terrifying. 

I mean. 

I’ve written out what happened before. My childhood. My past. Some of it. 

But there’s so much more.

A few eyes have seen it. 

But not many. 

And I’m scared. 

I’m terrified.

I have so many thoughts that are still trapped. So much stuff I haven’t dealt with. 

So many nightmares. So many flashbacks. 

And I want to move forward. 

I want things to change. 

But they can’t. 

Because the words are trapped and I can’t pull them out. 

I’m just not smart enough to fix this one.  

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I’d prefer the sticks and stones.

 

Image: Background with butterflies says "sticks and stones may break my  bones, but words will break my heart."

Image: Background with butterflies says “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart.”

 

 

How many times as a kid, did we chant “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” What bullshit. It’s 100% not true. Words hurt. Words sting. Words cause trauma. Words carry a stigma and words can cut into your soul like daggers.

I am a victim of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is very real. Emotional abuse  hurts and is just a real as physical, sexual, or any other form of abuse. For me, emotional abuse was the worst form. Why? People often don’t believe it’s real. They believe that my father sexually abused me. They believe that he physically hurt me. But so often, they don’t believe the words.

But it’s his voice I hear in my head at night.
It’s him telling me I’m stupid. I’m dumb. I’m never enough. I’ll never graduate college.

It’s the emotional abuse from my PCA that haunts me. Being told I’m lazy. That I just need to believe more. That if I just tried harder, I could do it.

This is emotional abuse.

I always had my basic needs met, but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t neglected. My father never told me he loved me. My father told me that if I didn’t stop crying, he’d give me something to cry about. My father told me all sorts of horrible things. Were they true? Fuck no. But when you hear those horrid words, day in and day out, you internalize them. They become a part of you. And you slowly start to believe it.

You know, logically, that it’s not true. That you’re not stupid. That you’re beautiful. That you are worthy of love and acceptance. But because it isn’t what you were told, you wrestle with it. Any type of compliment? You’re waiting for the “yet…” “but..” “we’ll see.”

This is the affect emotional abuse has.

It’s taking your voice. Literally.

You’re afraid to speak.

Because what if it happens again?

You’re afraid to breathe.

Because what if it happens again?

You learn things, you know.

You learn to stay silent.

You learn the right scripts. The right words. You learn what to say and you learn how to shut yourself inside yourself. You learn how to cope, but not how to live. You learn how to survive, but not how to thrive.

This is emotional abuse.

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Journey from the past

I have a really old LiveJournal. It’s from back when you still have to be referred to join. I also have (multiple) really old Xangas. And a few open diary/teenopendiary which thank GOD do not exist anymore. This is kind of a trigger warning for child abuse, so, please tread carefully. This is mostly me doing some dumping of various sorts – I don’t know that I even expect anyone to read it. If you actually do, hugs and good thoughts are welcome. This was hard. If you want the good stuff, go to the end where I gave the asshole a piece of my mind.

Some of the stuff made me cry. Like, I actually wrote that? It’s out there? Parts of my childhood abuse are that well chronicled? Me talking about getting yelled at for making a mistake that caused my father to reboot the computer. I found this entry and I was so heartbroken at junior year, overdramatic me. This is from when I was 17.

“Got it? I quit life. I’m sick of it. I asked Dad to call the doctor, so
I can get my meds, right? He throws a fit, becaue he doesn’t think I
have a problem and need them..then asks if I think I do. Now, the ones
they had me on worked like CRAP. But now I don’t have any…and I’ve
noticed in the few weeks since I’ve been off…I’ve been more down.”

Why do I always have to suffer? And the other day, I just wanted my
daddy to notice me. I showed him my new pretty bracelet, but he was too
busy playing fucking neopets. Yes, I just cussed. Live with it. I was
so hurt, that a DAMN WEBSITE was more important then his own daughter.
It’s all he does! He literally RUNS down the isle at church as soon as
it’s done, and I have to struggle to keep up with him. Why does he go
so fast? Because he wants to come home and screw around on the computer
before work. We hurry to leave after Wednesdays. And I hate it. I wish
i’d NEVER told him about neopets, I’m sick of hearing him whine when I
get good stuff, and he doesn’t. I’m sick of him bragging when he does
good. I’m sick of it being the only thing we hvae in common to talk
about. I’M SICK OF IT. I made the biggest mistake of my LIFE when I
told him about that site. I just want to slap him and tell him it’s NOT
REAL, and that hey, I’m real. And all I wanted was some attention..for
him to notice the bracelet I’d spent time making, and I just wanted him
to acknowledge me. I just wanted him to see me. What the hell is he
going to do? I’m going to be GONE in a year and a half. And I can’t say
I’m upset about it. I’m looking foreward to it. I’m to the point where
the further away I get from home, the better.”

And yet, I was gone before that. Oh, I got emails. The blackmail emails. Cruel, cruel posts.

“This was the year that you were to get something (for Chirstmas) of your grandmother’s that she would have wanted you to have, but no. Jim and I will sell it. Also, my will said you were to get the imported china that dad brought back from Japan at then end of WW!!-but that is now changed. Jim and I will sell sell it.”

“Just to let you know-You and and your mother had many choices as to what to do. You both chose to take the road that would cost the most problems for me. Giving you the comuter finalizes my agreement with the police department. I am now forced to pay for slightly over year for something that I do not have, and all because of the phone call your mother made-instead of any other choices available. This whole thing was cost me dearly, $$ and more. But tell your mother that it is not it is not over until the fat lady sings, and she has not yet sung.” (What did I do? I turned him into the police for possessing child pornography. And by the way, my mother did not make the phone call. I. FUCKING. DID. And like 18 year old me was going to confront him!? I did do other things, douchebag. I went to my youth pastor and the senior pastor of the church, who tried to convince me not to turn his sorry ass in and instead ‘confront’ him. HELL NO).

I am sorry, but I am done. I have done everthing in my power to contine to communicate with you, but it is you, not me, who has shut off everything. Again, if you cannot communicate with me, I feel I have no other choice than to discontinue your insurance coverage.” Why did I shut off everything, oh yeah, you’re a fucking child abuser.

Oh, and then there is the time at age 20 I finally epically lost my shit at him and gave the asshat a piece of my mind. This is the email, and this is my response. The check was some insurance bullshit.

I cannot send a check out until next week, and WILL do so then.

Just to let you know, I do NOT remember any check for this amount, but to avoid problems, will send it anyway. I have asked, repeatedly, to see you, but get denied every time. You do not, and cannot possiblly have a Dr appointment every day. And, almost every mail I receive from you seems to be a request for money.

I don’t know what happened–it cannot be just what happened over the computer. You were my very best friend, and I felt, before you left here, I could confide in you just about anything. There are still things I wish I could talk to you about. But e-mails are not the place.

I love you very much, but things just can’t go on the way they are now.

I am asking you one more time–can I PLEASE just have a time when we can meet one on one–just for lunch? Any day–any time–up to your to set the time. I am still off on both Tues and Wen.

Dad”

“Thank you for sending the checks.

No, I do not have an appointment every day. However, since Mom is off on Tuesdays, I normally have them on Tuesdays. Wednesdays I’m in class all day. So neither day works for me, sorry. I barely have the strength lately to hang out with my friends, I’ve only seen one of my friends this entire summer. Between school, doctors, and homework (and getting ready to transfer next year) I doubt if I’ll even have time to hang out with them at that. I’m sorry. I also cannot make plans very far in advance, as I never know when I AM going to have an appointment. I am lucky enough to be able to attend class each week, nonetheless make outside plans.

“Best friend”, eh? You sure have funny ways of showing it.

You said in an earlier email I was not the daughter you knew. You are correct. I am not the daughter you knew. I am no longer your victim – I am no longer your punching bag to push around. I am no longer the person you forced me to be. I am stronger, I am wiser. You put your earthly possessions over me. Therefore, you lost me. It’s not my fault. YOU made the choices. YOU have to suffer the consequences.

While I lived with you, you never cared about how I was doing. You would throw fits when Mom asked you to take me to my doctor’s appointments. You didn’t care about my eighteenth or nineteenth birthdays. You’d whine and throw fits whenever I asked you to do anything for me. Why the change? Why do you care about my health now? You never gave a rat’s behind before. So why now? Why the sudden burst of compassion?

No. Things cannot go on the way they are now. I am sick of you pushing me around, trying to force me and guilt me into meeting with you. I’m sorry. I cannot. Besides, what would we talk about if we met for lunch? You only care about one person – you and what makes YOU look good. You’re not interested in my life. You never cared in the past. Why should you care now? Have you realized what you’ve lost? Have you realized what you’ve done?

I’m sorry if every email seems like a request for money. However, when you were married to my mother, all you cared about was HER money. All you care about is money, and making sure you have the money to buy your beer and your potato chips. You never cared if I had the money to buy my medications, the money to buy things I needed for school, the money to pay for gas to take me to my doctor’s appointments. You couldn’t be arsed to care. So why care now?

Yes. It is more than the computer. I’m glad you finally realized that. I have finally seen your true colours. It’s the way you treated my brothers. It’s the way you treated my mother while you were married to her. It’s the way you treated me. I am not your toy to play with. It’s your utter hypocrisy – acting one way in public, and another behind closed doors.

You truly don’t care about me. Case in point. When you were in a car accident, and unhurt, you got pissed at me because I didn’t say anything. I’m sorry if I hurt you in that, but you have hurt me in the same ways. I’ve told you I’ve been transferred by lifesquad from the doctor’s office to the hospital – nothing. I’ve told you of my multiple sprains – nothing.

You pay no attention to my emails. I told you in an email I’d sprained my ankle. Your reply? You wanted to take me to play mini golf, out to a movie, and a Chinese buffet. All of which is awfully hard to do with a sprained ankle.

You say I am not the daughter you knew. You are not the father I knew. The father I knew would never disrespect his mother. You know, my Christmas present in 2005? Where you told me you were going to sell something that Dixie would of wanted me to have? I thought you truly cared – but I guess I was wrong. Sometimes we are blinded by the people we care about the most, and the same is true of you. I realized that the “love” you claimed you had for me was just an act. You’d throw fits when I’d ask you to do simple things like take me into town to get my glasses. To get my TB test read. The father I thought I knew would never do that – and that is when I started seeing your true colours.

Whenever something goes wrong in your life, you expect me to show pity, compassion. Fine. I can understand that. However, when something goes wrong in my life – I get nothing. I’m not saying I want your sympathy, I’m not saying I want your pity. However, you can’t expect me to care if you don’t.

You have hurt me in more ways then you will ever realize. Not just by the computer, but by a combination of things. Your choices led us to where we are now. I’m sorry.”

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My Jesus, the children, He holds in His eyes

The ones you loved, they let you down,
And I want you to know that I’m sorry
The choices that they made were wrong, you were caught in the middle
And I’m sorry

So when the anger and the pain get the best of you
I know it feels like you’re all alone, but I am feeling it too

‘Cause you’re my little girl, you’re the one that I created
No one in this world  could ever be like you
When you’re crying in the night, all you need to do is call me
And I’ll be there, ’cause you’re my little girl

When you’re looking in the mirror,
I hope you’re liking what you see
Because no matter what you’re feeling,
You’re perfect to me

Cause I’ve seen you as a child, blameless in my sight
Just spend some time with me, and I’ll make everything all right 

‘Cause you’re my little girl, you’re the one that I created
No one in this world  could ever be like you
When you’re crying in the night, all you need to do is call me
And I’ll be there, ’cause you’re my little girl

I know you don’t deserve what you have been through
I know it doesn’t seem fair,
I know there are times when you think you’re alone,
But you’ve got to know that I will be there

Cause you’re my little girl, you’re the one that I created
No one in this world could ever be like you
When you’re crying in the night, all you need to do is call me
And I’ll be there for you, ’cause you’re my little girl

– Go Fish, You’re My Little Girl

With all the news of the Duggars lately, it’s been an abuse survivor’s nightmare. Constant reminders of faith gone wrong. Constant reminders of protectors turned perpetrator. It’s difficult.

But there is a God who still loves the broken. The hurt. The weary. There’s a God is still patient, and a God who is still love. There’s a God who is still there to heal hurts.

There’s still hope. Hope never ran dry. There’s still love, even for the ones who feel unlovable. It’s still there.

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Sometimes I Hear My Voice

At times I wonder how long it will be until I can tell my story. There are aspects that no one knows – that I wonder if anyone will ever know. There are aspects that maybe one person know. And it’s scary – it’s scary how easily I put walls up, how easily I retreat inside myself, how easily I hide. It’s scary watching my health fall apart, watching my life fall apart.

It’s scary having diagnosis after another pile up and just feel so freaking HELPLESS as everything falls to pieces. It’s terrifying to watch my mental health shatter and so badly want to do something, but I can’t. It sucks wanting a dad again, wanting someone who’s not an epic asshat to protect me, but knowing that’s not possible.

I think that’s what’s killing me the most lately. I want a Dad I can call and tell him how poorly my health is, a dad I can update on the antidepressant situation. I want a Dad I can tell that I made homemade pizza for supper and then had a glass a milk. I want a Dad I can tell I’m being referred to yet another specialist. But I haven’t had that since 2005 and I’ll never get that back. AND IT’S NOT FUCKING FAIR.   

Why can’t I have a Dad, too?