A response from Gwennie

Dear Shadow,

Do you remember how hard I tried to fit in?  To just be like everyone else? Even before then I wore that blanket of shame and guilt that he poured onto me like melted plastic.  I know I was unlovable but no one noticed my pain. Even you threw me in a box and tried to bury me alive. You would beat me up on a routine basis.  You screamed at me, disfiguring me with razors, and poisoned me. Are you that afraid of me? I wanted someone to listen to me but you thought you knew better.  Did I deserve this injustice? Am I that evil that someone had to teach me a lesson?

You speak of forgiveness?  I was abandoned and left to rot in all that fear, anger and confusion that drowned me like a flood.  I had a one way ticket to hell. I was helpless and afraid. I couldn’t even speak or stand up for myself.  I know it was my fault that he continued to abuse me for years. I looked up to him and even though I trembled with fear that he would touched me, still I wanted to be around him.  All the while, wanting to stay away but couldn’t.

Do you remember that time when he cared for me?  I was sick…vomiting. He got a cold wash cloth and wiped my forehead.  In that moment I thought he liked me. As soon as I recovered, I realized that believing he really cared was only so he could take care of his own selfish needs.  I knew I was not safe with anyone no matter how much they pretended to like me. All of them are just like him.

So you want forgiveness?  Tell me Shadow, do you think I trust you?

Gwennie

It takes courage

TRIGGER WARNING: The contents of this post may contain triggers for those who have suffered childhood traumas.  Proceed with caution.

In each of us, there is a young, suffering child. -Thich Nhat Hanh

Letter to inner child part 2

 

Dear Gwennie,

I remember the first time he abused you. Well, it is the first memory I have of the abuse. You were standing in your grandmother’s bathroom with your pants down around your ankles and he whispered in your ear “If you tell anyone, I will tell them it was your fault”. I saw everything from outside of you. I saw the terror on your face but I felt the fear inside of me that had frozen you. I watched you as you walked into the living room where you saw your grandmother rocking your baby sister…she was an infant. Terror still on your face, but no one noticed. You couldn’t of been older than six since you were that age when your sister was born.

It was not your fault Gwennie. You were just a kid. And it does no good for me to keep blaming him. Blaming him will not erase this pain. You just need to know it was not your fault. You didn’t do anything to provoke him.

It wasn’t your fault that you didn’t tell anyone. You were afraid and you believed him when he said he would tell everyone it was your fault. Because you believed it was your fault and some part of you still believes it.

You suffered in silence for a long time, but as you got older, you found the courage to change everything.

Like one time when you were 12 and he was invited on a family camping trip. You had returned to the camper earlier to sleep while everyone else talked and laughed around the campfire. He awoke you from sleep by fondling you. You had on those red and white striped pajamas you loved so much that unzipped from the back. It was very convenient for him since you had your back turned to him. When you realized what he was doing, you turned to face him and then punched him with all the strength within you. Your brother was there too but he could not see because everything was dark. Again, he touched you and you attacked him, punching him over and over in a fit of rage. He said to your brother, “she keeps hitting me”, to which you yelled, “Tell him why I am hitting you!” He fell silent and that was the last time he ever abused you.

It took courage for you to stand up to him after all those years. I am proud of you. He can’t hurt you anymore and you are safe now.

Shadow

How do I forgive myself

TRIGGER WARNING:  Those who have suffered childhood traumas may be triggered by the contents of this post.  Please proceed with caution.

A letter to my inner child

Dear Gwennie,

With tears in my eyes I write this to you. I write because I must. I write because, otherwise I do not know how to reach you.

Gwennie, I saw when he had you lying on your back in the woods. I saw his hands when he took leaves to wipe away sperm from your vagina. You were frozen as if dead, but I saw you because I was floating above you. I am sorry I did not help you. I saw when you gagged as he forced you to perform oral sex on him. You could not see me because I was floating above you. I am sorry I did not tell someone what he made you do. I was there in that dark room with you every time he thought he was hiding his deeds under the bedding. I know you thought you were alone, but I was there floating above you. I am sorry I did not speak up or tell anyone he was hurting you.

As time passed, I ignored your tears, your screams, your hurt, and your sadness. It was too painful for me to face. I felt shame and guilt for not helping you because I was frozen too.

You still sit down below somewhere in the darkness. What was once a fearful place for you has now become your only comfort and I can no longer see you. But I know you are there because your memories, your tears, your pain, your sadness, and your screams still torment me.

Gwennie, please don’t be mad at me. I wanted to help you but I was so afraid. Can you ever forgive me? And if so, how do I forgive myself?

Shadow

Memories

Holding the faded photograph

Of a moment I cannot recall

From a time long ago

Of when I was small.

 

As you clutched her in your arms

My face is turned from view

We all posed for a picture

But everyone looks blue.

 

What was it all about?

And why do we all look so sad?

Were you unhappy about,

The family you could of had?

 

We all had our secrets

Hidden behind our frowned face

But now, for the last time

I must leave this place.

 

It’s funny how

Bad memories are erased by years

And sometimes the mind creates good ones

From a time there were once tears.

 

©Shadow

Brother

Where were you, brother,

When he chained me to fear?

You were there the whole time,

Your loyalties made clear.

 

What was the purpose, brother,

Of stripping me bare?

Exposing my naked body,

To those who gloat and stare.

 

Did you enjoy it, brother,

Forcing us all to have sex?

As you stood by and watched,

Yelling “You are up next!”

 

Was it funny, brother,

Grabbing me by my feet?

Flinging me to the ground,

And dragging me across the street.

 

Does it make you feel better, brother,

To tell people how you care for me?

When you both kept me in fetters,

Without a way to ever flee.

 

© Shadow