Chapter 3

Inhale courage, exhale fear

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

Chapter 1.5

Shark infested waters

Cloud cover has been forecast over my life for an indefinite period. The nights seem longer than ever because the sun simply refuses to shine. I question if the sun still exists, if it pity’s me as much as I pity myself. I choose to believe that I will find a flicker of light in these dark times, but it’s like looking for a rain drop in the ocean.

I had an endless amount of sun beaming over me each day that I chose you, it’s radiance made my skin feel warm and my heart feel wholesome, I felt as though I had purpose. But I grew to question, is this all there is? Greed is an insatiable feeling, it consumes you from the inside out until you have possibly everything you ever wanted, except the most important thing that you let slip away as you were on your journey to self fulfilment. 

I pray that I am the caterpillar entering the cocoon, not knowing where she is going, just hoping that one day things will be different. Then eventually she will break free, emerging from her dark confinement more beautiful and stronger than ever before. It is hope that drives us, hope that keeps us here for tomorrow, contrarily, tomorrow cannot come soon enough.

The day I decided to stop choosing you, was the day I started to choose me. Selfish it must sound, but I have never truly been alone, it is something I wanted to experience because I thought that in order to be whole with somebody else, I had to be a whole with myself. I am still struggling to come to terms with the decision I made, hasty it must appear, I cannot tell you if it was the right thing to do, but it is something I needed to do.

I keep revisiting days where I do not wish to invite myself in, the darkest aspects of my inner being. The hurt, the physicality, it all feels so real, even still. I feel so numb and broken, I want to feel something other than self hatred… I never initially chose pain as the alternate feeling, it was cast upon me unwillingly, then it became the only way I could escape from my harsh and cruel reality. I never asked to be hurt the way I was, I never asked to be tortured the way I was, but I still feel like I deserve every second of it. 

I kept clinging to the thought of a better tomorrow, then you appeared. You saved me. Like a beacon of light, shining over the stormy seas, reaching the eyes of a lost traveller, trying to swim her way out of shark infested waters. But I can’t expect you to save me every time I lose sight of the shore, I might drown, I might make it, I’m still swimming against the strong currents, but the hope that one day the light house can turn off its light and the traveller will still be safe is what drives my journey.

I want to believe that everything will be okay, but it’s not now and it probably won’t be for a very long time. It’s time I explore the emotions that are weighing me down, pulling me to the dark depths of the ocean floor. 

Still travelling, still swimming, still searching for a way out of the bitter cold sea. 

“Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.”

Joshua 1:9

Until next time x