Monday, 18 April 2016

But you stole my life.

I somehow doubt that on those nights where I can't sleep because of what you did, that you also lay awake. I wouldn't imagine that you would recognise my face if you saw it or my name if it was said to you and you'll certainly never read this, yet I'm still plagued by what you did those days 22, 21, 20, 19 and 18 years ago.

I'm sure the reasons for your convenient forgetting are many and I'm sure there are all manner of ways for you to justify it all, even if you were to stumble across a memory of all that happened down that road. But I can only imagine that should the past ever trouble you, you can reassure yourself that it was all so long ago. Maybe it helps that the crimes you committed are unlikely to ever be committed against you. Far from being the young child I was, you're now fully grown men and infinitely safer than I was then.

It's unlikely that you, now, will go through frequent sexual abuse.

I was a 3 year old when it began and 8 when it ended. When you first touched me, when you last touched me. When I first hated myself. From the end of 1993, 22 years of hatred. I can't imagine that you can ever understand where I am now, because although I'm definitely more well than I was a few years back, I can never have those years back. The only way I can possibly explain it to you is to put it in in a way I think you might relate to. It irritates me greatly that I feel like the only way that you'll understand is if I do this, but I'm going to ignore my misgivings about how analogies shouldn't need to be made- people ought to understand the realities of abuse and assault through listening to experts, but I doubt that anyone who could touch a child will ever understand it unless it's made about them.

So imagine being robbed. Now imagine that every day you are robbed again. Sometimes routinely- waking up each morning to your car having been taken during the night, despite you having obtained a new one the day before. Sometimes out of the blue- you nip to the shop and when you come home, somebody has- surprise- broken into your house and changed the locks. Maybe there are things that you don't realise you have had stolen until somebody points out that they have something that you ought to have, but don't. Maybe it's something small, like a costume earring that you'd not even have realised you'd lost if not for its twin in the other ear, marking how you only have half of what you should. Maybe it's something big.

Maybe it's your life.

Because you stole my life.

It's not just that you stole my sex drive, my self-esteem, my education, members of my family and many of my friends. I can and do live without a lot of that. But you stole my life. You stole the life I could have had. I'm not bitter, not now that I've made something out of my life now, but I'm angry that it's been so much harder than it ever would have been without your actions all of those years ago.

I don't credit you with having made me stronger. I discredit you for constantly depleting my reserves- stealing what might have been and how much stronger security may have made me. I discredit you for everything and with everything that I am. I cringe when people speak about how hardships made them stronger because it makes me feel like a failure for constantly feeling lacking.

You didn't make me strong. I did all of that on my own. Despite the robbery. Despite the blog entries you'll never read and therapy sessions you'll never hear about. Despite it all.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca, it's true, you made yourself stronger by not letting that scum win... I know that challenges make us stronger how we deal with them.I too do not think you had to deal with a horrible trial that no child should ever have to deal with. I feel so foe you and especially the little girl you were... I don't think there is anology to rival the hell you dealt with xox ♡