Someone almost walked off with all my stuff…because I was raised to believe that what I had and what I was worth wasn’t much.
Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because I had no idea who I was and what my presence actually meant in the world.
Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because after years of abuse I had no voice to speak up and tell them not to steal what belonged to me.
Someone almost walked off with all my stuff and each time I stood there dumbstruck by how close they came to walking off with everything I tried so hard to protect.
Someone almost walked off with all my stuff because there I was…putting it on display like it was nothing but hoping and wishing that someone would recognize me for who and what I was.
Recovering from abuse is hard.
Trying to reclaim your life, your voice, your body, your mind, your soul.
Trying to rebuild everything that was torn apart and silenced and stuffed into a dark closet, never to be seen again.
Second guessing yourself around every corner. Second guessing the intentions of everyone around you.
Sometimes I sit here in shock and think ‘how did I allow this to happen?’ ‘How did I almost end up robbed of my entire being?’ ‘ How did I sit quietly while tiny pieces of my soul were ripped apart?’
Abuse doesn’t happen over night.
It happens quietly and slowly. Like a thief in the night, an abuser will tread softly and slowly while you sleep. While you’re dreaming peacefully, a plan is set in motion to slowly but surely crush you into tiny unrecognizable pieces. Pieces so small, you won’t even recognize them yourself.
Gerard* Almost walked off with all my stuff, because instead of speaking up for myself I continued to stay in that toxic relationship because I felt like I could get any better at the time.
Liam* almost walked off with all my stuff, because instead of asking him to cherish me, I sat there thinking I wasn’t worth being cherished. I never told him the truth. I just silently slipped away. Regrets…there are many.
Zachary* almost walked off with all my stuff, because I was so consumed by the ways that he cared that I didn’t notice all the ways he didn’t care.
It’s a miracle I even had any pieces left to rebuild.
But ultimately, I was sent out into the world with broken pieces of myself. Broken down year after year by my parents who felt like I was such a disappointment.
‘You’re not pretty enough’
‘You need to lose weight to get a husband’
‘You will never amount to anything’
‘You don’t have the right colour skin’
‘You don’t have the right hair’
‘You don’t belong’
When an evil person takes their time to abuse you, it is all too easy for someone else to come along and take their place because you’re down in the trenches, unaware that the war is over. And so you invite the evil in. Because that’s all you know.
But before I had a chance to submit to a life I thought I ‘deserved’…
I met an angel.
And he showed me that all my broken pieces were worth loving. He showed me that there is beauty in the wreckage that I am. But more than that he showed me that I don’t always have to be this wreck. I can be something beautiful.
I don’t see what he sees. Not yet.
But I can admire what I am from a far and think ‘hey, that’s okay’
They might’ve walked off with SOME of my stuff, but they didn’t get all of it, and what they took I didn’t need anyway.