Chapter 3

Inhale courage, exhale fear

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You know who you are,

You took a searing hot needle and stitched my lips tightly shut, each time you pierced my skin, a tear trickled down my face. I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t cry out for help, I couldn’t let out even a whimper. I never told a soul about the things I experienced, I did not dare even think about it, I was scared God would hear and punish me more. Each time I would take a shovel and bury the hurt and pain into the darkest aspects of my inner being, pretending that what was on the surface was real. Overtime, I have slowly removed each stitch, with each slither of frayed thread I pluck away, the more confidence I gain to speak out. This is first and foremost, a letter to you, with all the things I left unsaid.

I was afraid. I cowered at the thought of being alone in the dark. Piece by piece you stripped me of my dignity, with each blow, part of me disappeared, fading further into the darkness. My desperation grew and my hope vanished as the light dimmed. Just like an onion, the layers kept peeling back until I was raw. Nothing but red, bloody, beaten flesh.

As you pounded my rib cage with your heavy fist, I closed my eyes and prayed that this was all a bad dream. I often wished that I would fall asleep and not wake up to the nightmare formerly known as my reality. I would feel frail and weak as I opened them only to realise that you were still there. I became numb, a passive medium, broken on the inside. If anyone seen the outside, underneath my clothes, they would have questioned why I stayed. The truth is, I felt like I had no where to go. The bruises were’t just skin deep, they tarnished my soul and diminished my self worth. I prayed endlessly and I questioned God’s existence.

On one occasion, I tried to run. You had me bent over the bed, my arms pinned over my head, I was stark naked. You called me fat, even though you knew I had not eaten in 2 days. Momentarily, you let go of my wrists and I saw my chance. I quickly snapped up and pushed you away, I ran down the hall, bare and vulnerable. You came after me, your thunderous footsteps smacking the tiled floor. I was panicking. My breaths were short and shallow. My heart sank as I came to a dead end… I spun around, you were behind me. You grabbed my wrist and flung me on to the floor, my left shoulder dislocated. I screamed out in agony. Clutching my shoulder, tears now freely flowing down my face and naked body. You looked at me and walked away shaking your head.

That night, after banging my shoulder against a wall to force it back into its place, I drove home. Emotionally shattered and physically broken. I turned off the radio so it was just me and the negative thoughts that flooded my mind. I could end everything here, the suffering, the pain… I caught a glimpse of a large tree up ahead, it was dark and the street was poorly lit. I sped up. I was going 110km/hr in a 60 zone. “This is it…” I thought, the tree was barely 50m away and suddenly happy thoughts and feelings engulfed me, memories played themselves in my mind, I swerved and slammed on the brakes. Not today, not today.

It was only last year that I stepped into a church for the first time in forever. The pastor was talking about how God has great plans for us, I remember sitting there and nearly scoffing out loud. But then as he continued, he said something and I felt as though he was speaking directly to me, as if this is what I had been needing to hear for a very long time, he said, “God isn’t finished yet.” I broke down in tears.

I am still haunted by every last hit. I have the same dream over and over again, where I hope that things will be different, that the next time you say sorry, you will mean it. As I sit here writing this, I am shaking. The pain that I buried for so long, has resurfaced. This time, I will be courageous. I will face my greatest fear. But please know, this will be the last time I ever write about you, you are worth nothing to me. This is your final chapter, in my ongoing story, and guess what, the best is yet to come.

Until next time x

beach1

2 thoughts on “Chapter 3”

  1. My heart is breaking for you. Stay brave and strong my darling girl as the best is yet to come. The world is your oyster, to conquer and enjoy, free to be you. You have achieved so much on your journey with so much more to look forward to. I love you Courtney you enhance my life and I am so very proud to call you my granddaughter love always Marie xxxxx

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  2. Wow, this is such a deep, emotional piece Courtney. I relate to everything you have written. The worst thing about domestic violence is that we suffer in silence and we are so scared of coming out and talking about it and we keep beating ourselves up and even blaming ourselves for what happened. I am so glad to have met you here, someone who actually understands and is ready to speak out. I assure you that better days are yet to come. I will always remember to say a prayer for you for God to fully heal you and see you through this. You’ve got a friend in me

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