There is so much power and healing that takes place when we share our stories. When we boldly stand and say NO MORE we take our life back! I continue to be in awe from the letters I have received and the strength and courage of so many women. Thank you for sharing your story with Memoirs of a Broken Woman!
An Open Letter to My Abuser:
Within a few short months, I will be celebrating four years away from you. My journey since that cold winter morning on December 14, 2012 has been long, arduous, and at times so intolerable that I thought I would tumble over the edge into irreversible madness and become engulfed in it for eternity.
The abyss is still in my rear view mirror, and even though I still struggle with intermittent panic attacks and nightmares, the knot in my stomach grows less tense, and the lump in my throat slowly shrinks more each day. I had hoped the horrific memories I have of the terror you forced upon me would also fade, but they have not. As the movie plans on an incessant loop in my mind, you are somehow still there hovering menacingly in the background waiting to ambush me from the darkness in which you take cover.
You should know, however, that I’m not the same empty shell cowering into shadows in fear of you like I used to do day in and day out over the 1,551 days you abused me. When I first left, I lived in terror of running into you, I saw you appear in the shadows, and I would hear your voice echoing in the confines of the porous white vault of my skull. I constantly looked over my shoulder, desperate to number and chart ever exit should I need to make an escape from you. I refused to go anywhere without my phone in my hand, and I never went anywhere alone. I had good reason to fear you. You are a monster walking in the light undetected. Like the Devil himself, you shape-shift to beguile those who have not lived your terror into thinking you are human, that you are good. That you could not possibly be what I say you are.
For the first year after I escaped from the unrelenting torture of you, I wanted to shrink away into the shadows and fade away undetected. The memories, the fear, the sadness, self-loathing, and shame was so viscous and thick that I slowly suffocated under the weight of it all, and for a time believed that all those hateful, malicious things you said to me were true. Even in the bright light of the sun, my world was dark, and I spent most of my time feeling like I was trapped in an invisible cell – able to see the world around me but not able to bring myself to be a part of it.
But something happened over the past several years to change that, and it started when staying stuffed inside myself became too painful to bear. I broke free of the shackles and found my voice. When I started my blog a few months after escaping you, my blog was void of any personal information that would hint at who I was: no location, no name, no picture, and no personal details. Each post I published filled me with me fear, because the conditioning you had subjected me to was so brutal and complete, I felt you standing over my shoulder as I clicked the button to publish. I held my breath and waited for you to strike back at me for revealing those things you would kill to keep buried, but that day never came.