I feel wrong, or bad, for speaking up. I don’t always do it right, often messy and overblown, but I do it. And that’s OK. Sometimes I regret it. I wish I hadn’t and probably should not have. Then it takes a few years to recover. Yes, years. And those times happen because I held something in too long, so I pop like a boiling kettle. Oh horrors. What did I do? Nothing all that horrible. Yet it feels so.
I have felt wrong and bad since age 8 and the first attack. All I think about is how wrong I am at every interaction, every look at me from my husband or anyone else, just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a feeling, or belief I combat constantly. And I think always of the other person, not me, their feelings, and what they think of me, (not good). So I keep asking Samuel, “You OK?” Wondering what he’s thinking, or feeling, and what he thinks of me.
What about what I think of me?
I don’t say … “good job Patricia. You finally spoke up.” That’s not my go to thought or feeling. My first reflex, is to blame myself. For whatever. I don’t understand why those who attack and abuse get to be honored, like that pastor, and like Tom. Other brothers interact with him more than with me. I have always felt left out. Even if I chose to leave myself out. They chose their loyalties long ago, and it wasn’t to me.
And I think that’s a part of keeping the girl down so she won’t tell. Even the little girl turned woman. Act like you care and love her, but only enough so it looks like it, but not enough so she’s strong enough to give away secrets.
With how confusing everything can get, one thing I know, I need moments of deep comfort and compassion for myself. I accept, or resign myself to the knowledge, that I also need to work and fight for it, even now, even still, and probably forever more, until my last breath.
It was stolen from me, my ability to self-love. Worse, it became ingrained into the bed-rock of my soul that I was bad. It will not go away. I have to work each day, sometimes moment to moment, to show myself love, compassion and tenderness.
I’m worth the fight. I’m a fighter. I’m tired of fighting, but there is some left. It is in a quieter, gentler form. But I’m in here!