I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t cause it. I am not to blame.
But I’m the one who’s carried the guilt and shame on my shoulders for decades.
If only I’d spoken up sooner…
If only I’d said something…
If only I’d done something…
It’s easy to make that the narrative, it’s easy to say this is what I should have done. It’s easy to beat myself up over it.
But I was a child.
Somehow the responsibility for those acts falls on my shoulders. The responsibility for not doing something at the time has all become my responsibility.
But I was a child.
What of the responsibility of all the adults in my life? What of the responsibility of the guardian who didn’t guard? That trust was broken, not once… But many times.
I have been lied to, fooled, and blackmailed with love into silence. I have been told it doesn’t matter, that no one needs to know, that it’s private business. They tried to control how I felt, feel and deal. They told me he was dead, but that too was a lie. It was all about keeping me silent.
How am I supposed to trust again?
Who am I supposed to trust?
It’s being lost and not having a clue where you should go, or how to get there.
I was destroyed.
I was hollowed out and left as nothing.
And when I thought I’d found a way back, it was a trap. I fell for another monster and it took a long time to admit.
Because I wasn’t worth anything better.
I wasn’t worth enough to have happiness, only shit and sadness.
How easy, how easy it would be to just die. To end. To slip free from and to never breathe again. For the longest time it was the only way I could see out. The only freedom I could truly ever have.
And then there was a moment, a moment when I ran – not to anything, but away from all the people causing the pain. I ran, not knowing where I would end up, only knowing I needed to get away.
I found something and made it my own, and then someone found me and made me theirs.
It’s taken a long time to build something out of what was left. It’s taken a long time to trust again.
It will always hurt; the pain will never go away. I get that now.
I understand that hurt will always be.
The past cannot be changed.
I will never get back what I lost – I will never get back the childhood that was taken, stolen and ripped away.
I don’t want patronising sympathy, I don’t want a it’s one of those things – I want… Something, something that I haven’t been able to define until recently. It’s taken me a long time, a very long time to understand what I want.