Last week I opened up, really opened up. I used my voice and you all heard me talk. Right now I feel amazing, I feel incredibly strong. The reason for this is because as a writer you write in the hope that people hear you and are listening. Last week you all told me you were. With emails and comments still being posted from my secret I am feeling overwhelmed. I honestly thought I was going to receive comments that were negative. I am still scared.
When someone has been abused they go through many ways of dealing with their pain. I am going to share with you the way I have dealt with it and I am still dealing with it today. Yes even though I have gone through many processes to deal with my abuse; court, opening up and telling my mum, and finding my voice, I am still dealing with the pain today.
There is a skeleton that lives in my closet. A skeleton that you all know about. He is someone that I think will always be there. But because I have stood face to face with him, and I have found my voice, he is no longer scary to me. He is a skeleton that holds my clothes, folds them for me, and says hi whenever I open my closet! However, he used to hide under my bed. He was behind any closed door, in cupboards, even cupboards that a person could not physically fit in. If it was a dark space that I could not see directly into, then he was there. Hiding. Waiting. He was going to get his revenge. The only way I could face being alone, was to have every light on. You see, my skeleton was afraid of the light. He was also afraid as I had a big knife under my pillow. It was a knife that was waiting and ready for when he came out again.
When I could not deal with the skeleton, I ran. I ran like I was Forest Gump. I would run every morning before school and every afternoon when I had finished school. I would even run some lunch times if I was really scared and to frightened to face my skeleton. When I was not doing very well I would eat, and eat and eat. I would go into the cupboard and find anything sweet. I especially loved milo drinks. I would put so much milo in the cup and very little milk. I would eat this and feel ill. When I felt I had eaten enough I would go and throw it all up. It would all be sitting there in the toilet. I would flush away all of the pain. It was not food, it was my fear sitting in the toilet. I felt in control. I could control what went in my mouth and then I could control it to come out again.
I had two moments where the food was not enough. I had lost a lot of weight and my mum was noticing. I could no longer face my days. I decided to try and end my life. I attempted suicide. Although, I was scared to even follow through enough for it to work. I was crying for help.
I would draw. I drew my fears. I drew evil eyes and hands. I drew little girls, with fear in their eyes. I drew my abuse. My art teacher could hear my voice through my art. She helped me. I told mum.
Today, I still have the skeleton in my closet. I cannot watch films that involve abuse. I cannot watch the news when there is a story on child abuse. I feel sick to see the monsters. I want to reach out and help those children. So today I have decided I am going to use my voice, and continue to use it. They might not be able to use theirs, but I will speak for them. My skeleton will look after my clothes for me and when he scares me again I will be ok. I will find a way of dealing with my fears and my pain. It is what survivors do. We deal with it. You just have to deal with it a way that does not hurt you. Run, walk, read, write, draw; do anything that makes you happy and keeps you safe.
You are not dirty. You are not at fault. You are the victim. You are the survivor. You have a voice.
I sleep with the light off.