If you had told me that I would I be living this free two years ago, I would not have believed you. Two years ago, events happened that triggered my healing. I have post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a result of surviving childhood sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect, and rape before the age of five. Five is the age of the first rape memory at the hands of my mothers’ boyfriend.
Writing saved my life. Words were my saviors. This is why I am compelled to tell my story. I do not tell it to gain pity or fame. I tell it because I was born to tell it. So I tell. Everywhere I go I tell.
I want to tell my story of PTSD because most of us do not know what that looks like on an African American girl or woman. The number is many but until…
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Before Therapy I would go into a severe depression when I felt that I had disappointed someone. Some selfish person would try and guilt trip me into seeing things their way for what ever reason. I would not speak up. I would dwell on the experience. I felt bad because they told me I should feel bad.
I would fill my mind with negative thoughts and spiral into a deep depression. The guilt tripper would not even know the amount of damage or the effect of my self inflicted abuse. I just could not cope with knowing someone was not pleased with me and go out of my way to either avoid that person or find a way to mend the energy between us.
After therapy I realize the best way to cope is to do what is right for me. I can deal with the disappointment of others about me not doing what they see as best. I can allow that to be their truth.
I am okay with me and I am enough. I am brave and courageous. My faith in God keeps me strong and resilient.
It is time to tell the truth. As a man, a father and a husband you failed all of us. As your wife you mistreated me, devalued me and abused me physically, financially and psychologically. As your wife I laid down my life and entire body for your pleasure and happiness. I literally gave you my soul trying to get you to give me what I rightfully deserved because I was your wife. the minute you realized that I was waking up to your mistreatment you went into over drive to destroy me.
You vowed to honor, cherish and protect me and you did none of these things.
During my time living with you I was made to feel dispensable. I gave you children by actually abusing my body with injections from hormones and going under the knife of three surgeries. I poured everything of me into you, the children, the home and the community. When I became aware of your abuse and started down the path to healing you refused to do what was needed to save our family.
But I get all the blame and you get all the glory.
When my children put you on a pedestal I am continually traumatized because I want to scream to the top of my voice that this man did everything within his power to destroy and cast me aside as if I was of no value.
Mr. man the father of my children your children should know what you have deliberately done to their mother.
On mother’s day I don’t get cards or presents declaring their love for me at least not until recently that one of our sons took me to lunch and the other promised dinner that I have yet to receive.
You did not teach them to honor me but I taught them to honor you. Those Father’s day cards they gave you growing up were bought with my money when I took them to the store and told them to buy.
It is time to finally tell my truth about you. During our marriage you were despicable in your behavior towards me. I did not deserve what you did to me. You called me a stupid bitch even before we were married and you treated me like a stupid bitch the entire marriage. You need to take ownership for the way you treated the woman that risked her live to give you children.
I was a great wife and mother and yes I said great. I was the reason your children were healthy, smart and protected. I kept your house clean, I cooked from scratch three hot meals everyday. All you had to do was go to work and come home.
I did all that I could to make you happy but you still mistreated me. On mothers day you would not even tell me happy mothers day and that still hurts to this day. My needs were never a priority. I gave you my blood and you threw it back in my face. My oldest child would say to me “Mama why do you bend over backwards to please him when he treats you like shit?” That is when I knew I had to leave you. I did not want her to think that this is how relationships should be. My youngest child stood in front of us both and asked you, “Daddy why do you talk to mama like you talk to us?” in other words a five year old child could see that your treatment of me was abusive. I was not treated as an equal partner with value. You treated me as if I was in the way. I asked you for a divorce and you told me no because you were waiting until the children were 18 and then you were going to divorce me.
I need the truth to be told about your character as a man. I begged you to go to counseling or to a minister so we could talk about saving our marriage, our family but you adamantly refused. I told you I was unhappy and you told me that was not your problem. You always had this tremendous animosity towards me as if I had somehow single-handedly destroyed your life. You did not own your shity ways. You set it up so that you got all the credit and I all the blame.
You plotted against me with your lawyer to destroy me “the mother of your children”. I deserved honor. I deserved respect. I needed protecting but you cast me away like old shoes that had become uncomfortable and unsightly.
During the marriage I admit that some of my behavior was confusing but I needed help not judgment and criticism. I remember lying in bed trying to explain to you that I was having flash backs and memories of my childhood sexual abuse. Your response was I don’t want to hear that I am not your therapist. I could fill a book with the disrespecting and demeaning comments you made to me.
I know now that because of the many traumas I suffered in my life I have PTSD and I was being constantly triggered by your abusive behavior and that resulted in my chronic suicidal depression. I needed help.
Even after all I sacrificed for you, all that I gave to you I was the enemy.
Because you could not control me for your purposes I became something you needed to get rid of as soon as you had used me for your agenda.
You promised to honor me, to cherish me and to protect me until death separated us. I did everything within my power to stay with you until I realized that you had no concern for my well being. You just wanted me gone and were not willing to compromise or work on the marriage.
YOU FAILED ALL OF US. If being the head is what you wanted you failed your family miserably. You took my children and then didn’t do right by them. You worked second shift everyday. They spent weekends with me. You would not answer your phone during the day. While the children were at school you were unavailable. I was the parent the school called. I was the parent that attended the open houses and Parent/Teacher meetings.
You may have provided a roof over their heads but you did not really put any time in raising them and teaching the values they needed to be better off than their parents.
You told them lies to manipulate them and trick them out of opportunities that I worked hard to provide for them. I moved into one of the top school districts in the country. They fall number 30 in the entire country. They were enrolled, had their classes and id’s and would not let them attend. I had deliberately worked hard to get a home big enough for them to live with me during the week and stay with you on the weekends. I told you I did not want any money. My husband and I at the time did not need your money. You lied on me to them so they would not go to school from my house. You essentially robbed them of a brighter future.
Your only concern has been how much money would come out of your pocket not your children’s well being. You made it appear that I left you and the kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. You and your lawyer plotted and manipulated me out of the house. You threatened to quit your job, leave town and burn the house down before you would give me your house or your children. You were calling my phone and playing the funeral march to scare me out of the house.
The judge ordered you to pay all the bills in the house where your children and I lived so that I could save my money to move out. You stopped paying and things started to get cut off. He told you to co-sign for me to get an apartment because of being a stay at home mom and not having any rental history. You refused to obey and that resulted in me living next door to a crack house. You did not protect the mother of your children.
You made sure I felt like a stupid bitch.
So yeah, should you be honored? Were you really a good father? Hell NO.
I am done with protecting the children from the truth of who their father is. I have talked positively about you always but you did not deserve it. The truth is you abused their mother. You did not protect their mother. You never honored what their mother did so that you or them could be happy.
You victimized their mother, forced her out to fend for herself. You vilified their mother to them. To the world you wanted it to appear that I was the problem, when the whole time behind closed doors you were a complete and utter asshole.
You frequently told me that if I did not like the ways things were that I should leave and you could do it by yourself. Stupid man that you are you thought you were gaining the upper hand when all along you were just still continuing the abuse of their mother.
I don’t ever remember you taking the children to store or getting a box of crayons to make a card for their mother on mother’s day but I still made sure they honored you. Not because you deserved it but because I wanted to teach them how to treat people.
You are the stupid one for throwing their mother away. You are the stupid one for not being grateful to a woman that gave you children and grandchildren.
Yes I had mental illness. But that makes you look even worse. You refused to refinance the car so I could afford it and when it got repossessed you went after me.
How did I become the enemy? I gave you everything you wanted at the risk of my own life but you could see me out in the street? You did not give a fuck about a woman that gave you everything. Those grandchildren you dote over are because I gave you children.
I tried and I begged you to try to keep our family together.
I will not be saying positive things about your anymore. I am not being malicious. I am just telling the truth about who you are.
You are an ungrateful, misogynistic, abusive human being. You are selfish. You are and was arrogant to think you could do it all by yourself. But I have one question. Who is the mother of your children? Did you do right by her? Did you value her contribution to the family? Did you show your children in word and deed how to treat their mother?
One therapy-tool that I use frequently is asking myself a simple question. “What is the evidence to support the thought?”
If I am dwelling on an imaged wrong it can be put to rest with a simple, “what is the evidence of that?”
In the past my abusers had a way of turning things around to make it appear that I was the one with the problem. Not anymore. I see right through the BS much quicker now.
it is, has been and always will be the words that save us,
all of us,
any of us can be affected
by words we speak and the ones spoken to us
I love them so much
with out the words we would not be able to create new realities for ourselves
all of us are essentially the sum total of words we have thought, spoken, written or heard and seen
I heard some words on Sunday that changed my whole perspective
it had a ripple affect
I called my mother and our words helped us heal and reconnect,
but that phone call was the result of many words
along this journey to healing
words have taught me about myself and the world around me
words have shown me where the pathology is rooted
words have given me solutions and testimonies of others
words have inspired courage to continue working on healing
even when the words were to traumatizing to be spoken
except in the heart and mind
words have been gleaned from my sisters
the ones that have chosen to share this part of our journey together
we have spoken the words that have healed and supported
our words have been used to say “I feel you sister”
sometimes those words were spoken with a nod of the head
or a look in the eyes with tears as the only evidence of words
that say, I understand
I will miss my sisters, we have changed together right here in this room
thank you for using your words to help me grow, heal and know I am never alone
there are women who really understand my pain and that heals us all on a lot of levels
let us please continue to use our word to heal
I have been in group therapy since January for childhood sexual abuse. We have only a couple of weeks left. It has been nothing less than grueling WORK. I am blessed to be a part of a group of women sincerely dedicated to healing and moving on to inspire others to heal.
I will miss us and the place we shared the deepest parts of ourselves that had been buried. I am grateful for the safe place at the YWCA Women’s Resource Center. I cant find the words to express my appreciation for the support and guidance received at the center not just from my individual therapist but also for my group therapy facilitator. The biggest contribution to my personal healing though, are the women who were brave and courageous enough to share their words with me through telling their painful stories and their deliberate commitment to healing.
It has been worth it, we are better. We did it and it is one of the most loving things we have done for ourselves and those that are watching and cheering us on so they can believe in the trans-formative power of Understanding self.
I have taken the time to be still. In the silence I commune with God. My love for self-motivates me to take my healing to the next level. I am not afraid. I have lived all these years in a prison of fear and now that I have an opportunity to be free, I am going to choose Love. I am reminded of the words from that old gospel song “I have come to far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy, but I don’t believe “She” brought me this far to leave me.”
I have worked hard and it really is showing. I hear it from those that know and love me that they see a definite change for the better in how I show up in the world now. I feel better. My therapist has helped me navigate through things I thought I would never be able to do, but I did. I will make it through to the other side.
my soul may be a little weary
my eyes are tired of crying
i still know i have what it takes to keep on fighting
when i look to the left
or even on my right
it appears it is just me
but i feel the presence of my ancestors
weep in the night
but don’t give up
the law says
you will have a season of reaping
what has been sown
now it is the season for healing
you have grown
“whatever it takes to make it, I am going all the way, I may be down sometimes, but I won’t be down always” ~~~sounds of blackness
mozayik “the souls’ poet”