Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writer's Workshop Wednesday ~ I have a secret, by Anonymous

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday! This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Today's piece is an anonymous submission from someone that I love and respect so very much. 

She asked that I keep her safe and protect her here by shielding who she is so that she may tell her story.

Until the ends of the Earth, I will do this for her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a secret.

If you look closely, the smile I hide behind doesn't quite reach my eyes. If you listen carefully, you could hear the facade in my trembling voice. If you looked for the signs, they're all here.

I am a liar.

I am an enabler. 

I did not fall down the stairs. I did not trip. I did not fall. I'm not a klutz or accident prone.

I do know where my bruises are from.

I'm a master of deception. I can look you in the eyes and tell you everything is fine. I can say that even as I die a little more inside.

You know me.

I'm your daughter, your sister, your friend, your neighbor, a fellow blogger. You know me, but you don't really know me, or everything I hide from you.

I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I am guilty. I am afraid.

I'm not even sure how I ended up here. It happened a little bit at a time. It started with the hurtful words, the loss of my self worth and self esteem. When he had me down, down, down as far as I could go, when I knew I was worth nothing, and no one else would want me, I was resigned. He was the only one who would put up with me, who would want me, and God knows, I could never make it on my own. I'm worthless. I'm useless. I need him to survive. I can't make it on my own. No one else wants me. I'm ugly. I'm fat. I'm stupid. When I knew my place . . .

The little things began. The shoving. The pinching. The slapping. Not too much, just enough. Just enough to put me in my place. I had to be good, to do what he says, and he wouldn't hurt me. If I do as he says, he'll treat me right.

And he's always sorry, right? He always apologizes. He really does love me. He doesn't mean to hurt me. make him do it.

And the shoves turn into slamming me against the wall, throwing me down the stairs. The hair pulling turns into dragging me through the house by my hair. The slaps turn into punches, his fist slamming my lessons into my face. 

If I don't listen, he'll choke me, slam me through a window, or worse, get out the gun. 

Until I'm left cowering in a corner, afraid that next time he'll kill me. That next time, he won't stop.

Then he started disappearing. Staying out all night, coming and going as he pleased. There were other women, the proof was on his FB, in his texts, on his phone. The way he smelled when he came home.

If I told him I knew, he'd hurt me. I have no right to go through his private things. Who do I think I am? Just who in the hell do I think I am to touch his phone, go through his messages?

No, better to live with the knowledge then to confront him. I'm not good enough for anyone, not even for him. Of course he has to turn to other women.

So I lie. I lie to him, to myself, to my friends, and to my family. I live in misery and fear and I lie.

He's a liar, too. He has everyone so fooled. He's such a great guy, we have such a great marriage, we're so much in love. We're so happy. You all believed it. For years, you believed it.

Besides, he told me if I ever told anyone, he would kill me. If I ever leave him, he'll find me. He will track me down and he will kill me.

So who can I tell? Who can help me?

I've had a loaded gun held to my head. I've been choked. I've been put in the hospital. I've had my face reconstructed. I've been used. I've been raped. I've been forced to have sex with other men. Hit, slapped, shoved, drugged, beaten to within an inch of my life, and I know I'm worthless.

Between two marriages, between two men, there's little abuse I haven't seen. 

I got away once. From the first one.

You'd think I'd learned my lessons.

I found my way into another man's arms and he only held me for so long before he started slamming me around, too.

It's all a blur. So many years. Sometimes, I can't remember who did what. Which one had the gun, which one used his fists? All of the abuse assimilates itself into one story and the faces blur into one, and I can't tell them apart. I just know I've been pushed down, so far down, and beaten into a ghost of myself. Seventeen years of abuse and I can't tell them apart anymore.

I'm a liar. Because I'll smile and tell you I'm okay.

I'm an enabler. Because I don't leave.

I have a secret.

I'm your daughter, your sister, your friend, your neighbor, a fellow blogger.

You know me.

But you don't really know me.

I hardly know myself anymore. 

I don't understand how I got here. Again. I got away once. This time, I will run so far, far away I'll never be found again.

34 comments:

  1. My heart breaks for you and I wish there was something I could do.

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    Replies
    1. Your support is enough. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. I know who you are. You are me. And so many others who live with the secret. I spent 16 years in what you described and in the moments it took to read your words I lived them again. I got out on the day he meant for me to die...but barely. Blessings to you - please get somewhere safe. There is nothing to be ashamed of -- it is NOT your fault.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your beautiful words. It helps to know we're not alone.

      I am safe. <3

      Delete
    2. I know you too. You are me. I could have written this. This is my story. I got out on what was my 10th anniversary. I found someone who wanted me damaged or not and we have been together for 25 years!! He treats me like a queen every day! I am so glad that you are safe. Nobody deserves to be treated the way we were.

      P.S. If you are reading this and still in the same situation. GET OUT NOW! Seek help at a shelter, church, hospital. Do whatever it takes to be safe!!

      Delete
  3. Straight to my heart.
    I know her.
    I was her.
    ~Love~

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  4. Look deep inside yourself. Somewhere deep inside there is a person who still understands they are worth the time and energy. Be damned what anyone else says or thinks.walk away. Go to a womens shelter. Go to a different part of the country. Sometimes it is easier to be alone. Been there.. Done that. Been where you're at, yes, twice. Its not you...its them. There is a breed of msn that can smell out someone who is vulnerable and home in on them. Get away before you are dead.

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    Replies
    1. I'm way ahead of you. Thank you so much for reading, for your support. Please know I am safe as I write these words.

      Delete
  5. You is kind, you is smart, you is important.
    You are so very important. And so very strong.

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    Replies
    1. So much love for you, friend. <3

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  6. I know you.... I see you...everytime I look in the mirror...I see you....you are my sister in spirit and I hope...I hope with everything I have you can find you again

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    Replies
    1. I'm working on it. I can see her, who I used to be. That's a start, right?

      Delete
  7. I am so incredbly sorry and I wish there was more I could do. You are a person who is valuable and deserve to be treated with respect. He is a horrible person who doesn't deserve to have anyone in his life. Big big hugs to you.

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    Replies
    1. Your support and caring words are more than enough. The fact that you would offer these words and this support to "anonymous" speaks volumes of your character.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  8. I can't fathom being so far in that you know you need to get out but you're terrified for your life if you try. I hope desperately that you can get out. Because despite what he has done to you or made you think, you ARE worth it <3

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    Replies
    1. I am, Sara. I know that now. I am far, far away.

      Delete
  9. Even with the chills covering me right now, I'm sending you, my sister, a piece of my heart and soul. I'm sending you my strength. I'm sending you my terror. I lived with this as a child of 5 through 17. You are my mother. You'll go when you know that God and all of us love you as you were born to be loved. None of us can help you any further, until you are ready to accept it. My fb pg has my cell # if an annonymous heart has anything you need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am in tears at your overwhelming offer of love and friendship.

      You don't even know me (well, heh you probably do, but you don't know you know) and you offer me your phone number.

      Thank you so much.

      Delete
  10. You're more powerful than you know.
    You're beautiful.
    You're worthy.
    You're a survivor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so blessed to have a friend like you in my life.

      <3

      Delete
  11. You are a beautiful writer, and that can only come from living a life. And you are worth a whole life, a big life, a beautiful, joyful, loving, caring, sharing, spectacular life. Find it, take it, have it. Don't stop fighting for it until you are in it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Koa. It is nice to hear through all of this pain and all the sorrow, that there is a tomorrow, and one day I will live again.

      Nice also that I can be validated, even about something this sordid and ugly, to hear that I am a beautiful writer, it means so much to me. Often in life, my words were all I had left.

      Delete
  12. I've never been where you have been but I have known others who have. I'm glad to read in the your responses above that you are somewhere safe. And I hope that you are learning, little by little, that you are beautiful, loving, and worthy just the way you are. The problem was not and is not you. My wish for you is that you someday enjoy the blessings of an amazingly loving, wonderful, supportive, admiring husband who treats you the way all women should not be treated. You have lots of us rooting you on! Hugs to you....

    Michelle

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Michelle. Your words mean more to you than you could fathom.

      Delete
  13. I've been down some of the roads you have been. Your words left me cringing and flinching and remembering enough to post this anonymously. I got out. I escaped.

    I remarried. He's not always kind, but he's not a monster. So I stay, because it could be worse. But it could have been worse the first time too....

    I do have my self respect this time. Socializing is a battle. But it's not physical. I'm still ashamed. Finding the place in the middle is hard...

    I wonder if I even know what normal is.... thank you for writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am happy to hear that you escaped. I am sad to hear you have settled for middle of the road.

      We all deserve to be loved and cherished. Even me. Even you. I wish that you were happier and had found your Prince.

      Normal is what is right for you. What makes YOU happy.

      Delete
  14. I worked at a domestic violence shelter. I know your story all too well. I am here. I probably do know you as a blogger... it almost hurts me, because I love all the moms I follow. You guys make me laugh, care, and realize I'm not alone. But one of you is hurting... shouldn't I be able to recognize the signs? Idk. Email, fb, anything! I'll tell you your worth over and over again.

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  15. You are so brave. I am proud of you.

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  16. You very, very eloquently express what thousands of women experiencing Domestic Violence go through. Please keep writing. Please take care of yourself and please stay safe.

    I have been down a similar path, though not as violent and I know how hard it is to not just believe in yourself and mean it, but to really separate yourself from the victim and know who YOU are again.

    Anything you need, feel free to message me on my page. We've all got you wrapped in the biggest group hug you can imagine. Coast to coast, heart to heart. Mother, sister, friend, woman.

    XOXOXO

    Michelle
    BBOC

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  17. Thank you for sharing this with me. My heart is absolutely broken into pieces that you went through this. Twice.

    I read in the comments that you're safe now, and I'm so pleased.

    Your writing is incredibly powerful, and it speaks for all those who can't write it, who can't speak it, but who live it still, or live with the memories of it.

    I hope that you've found some healing, and HUGE kudos on being brave enough to have this published, to have your voice out there, to raise awareness.

    *MASSIVEHUGS*

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  18. This shatters my heart into a million pieces. It make me so angry to hear that one human being could be so evil to another person who did nothing wrong except love them unconditionally. I'm glad you shared this--there are so many vulnerable people out there right now living this nightmare. I have been in your shoes to a certain extent, and I thank God every day that those days are over and I am now free. I pray you are free now, too, from these monsters.

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  19. I am so scared for you. Please promise me you're really safe, and not just putting on a brave front. You deserve the world, my friend. My high school "sweetheart" started to become abusive in our last year of college. Like you described, it started off so slowly that it was easy to ignore. But then he held an unloaded BB gun to my head and shot it repeatedly while screaming at me, and I knew I had to leave. I can't even imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn't. Please get help. You are worth so much more than that. xoxoxoxoxo

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  20. I first read this 3 years ago, found it again today. I was you. In some ways, despite having been safe now for 5 years, I fear I will always be you. I hope you are well, I hope you are safe, I hope you are healthy.

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