Sunday, 30 January 2011


I've been struggling to find words the past few days.  It's hard to 'get stuff out' if you can't verbalise them... okay, so I know there are other ways to find release, but I guess sometimes I just wish I could get the words out.  I've never been good at keeping a journal.  My usual excuse is "I don't know how to find the words to explain or describe what's going on in my head and heart" so I just don't write.

I have been struggling a lot with various knotted messes in my head this past week, and I don't know how to start unwravelling the tangled mess of spaghetti.  Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the emotions or the memories or the confused thoughts.  Sometimes there are words but I'm too afraid to speak/write them. Sometimes no words are good enough.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Need more layers... or something.

Do you ever feel like no matter how many layers of clothes you put on, you're still naked? Like that shame won't go away? I am safe now and have been for a while, but right now I just keep feeling stuck in that place where everything is stripped from me and I'm not a person - I'm an object that is bartered and used. I can't seem to get my head to stop playing those 'movies'... the flashes of having everything stripped away, literally and metaphorically. And what's left? standing, sitting, lying, crouching... exposed, frightened and ashamed... waiting.

Right now I feel afraid again.  I feel once again like a ball in a game, being thrown around and passed to different 'players'.  Who cares about the ball right? You just do whatever you want to it because it's part of the game and as long as you get your kick, who cares what state the ball is left in?

I want to feel safe again. I want to feel like that shame isn't consuming me. Putting on more layers of clothes isn't working (funnily lol). I just want to be a person. Someone who isn't naked or ashamed.  But right now, I feel broken, and I don't know how to find the pieces to put back together again.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


There's a quote I love: 
"Friends are the family you choose for yourself" ~ Author unknown
I think for survivors of abuse - where the abuse was perpetrated by family members, or for whom 'family' has never had safe connotations, it can be a way to learn what family is supposed to be like.  I guess my understanding of 'family' is still a work in progress, but one thing I know is this: my 'real family' are made up of my closest friends.  I really appreciate the survivor friends I have too - there's something really special about that.  I hate that those friends have had to go through so much, just as I'm sure they hate the same for me... but I know that they understand and we can help each other though the tough times.  Sometimes there just aren't words to explain what's going on, but we understand each other without needing to use words because we get it.

I treasure my friends and even though I struggle to understand the concept of being cared about, I'm grateful that we don't have to go on this journey alone and we can be there for each other. My 'true family' are those friends. :)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

10 Things That Are Good For The Soul

In a world where our stress seems to have stress of its own, there's nothing like taking that bit of time to refresh your soul. It's easy to get bogged down by the negative stuff in our lives, but balance is good. Neglect your soul and what's left? You might as well give up now.

Here are ten things that I think are good for the soul.  What about you? What would go on your list?

1.     A close friend (or a few!) - someone who knows you inside out and who loves you anyway.
2.     A loyal dog - who doesn't like to be greeted so enthusiastically by a tail wagging, nose-nibbling, ball of fluff?!

3.     A special place - somewhere you feel safe and blessed. A place to just breathe and be.

4.     Duvet days! Sometimes everyone just needs to take a day when you stay in your pyjamas, curl up on the sofa with a warm duvet and lots of comfort food. Bliss!

5.     That good old British tradition is one close to my heart - a steaming mug of tea will make any problem feel better for a while. :)
6.     A proper belly-laugh! Laughter is definitely good for the soul.  It is, after all, the best medicine!

7.     A 'freedom activity' - everyone has one... it's that something you do where you can just let go and, well.. go! Something that makes you feel alive and free.  For me, it's flying off into the countryside on the back of a horse.

8.     Sobbing.  Okay, so that one sounds a little depressing, but you know what? We're all human, and we have feelings.  Sometimes just letting yourself feel the release that tears bring, can just make things feel that little bit better.  Everyone needs to let the tears flow sometimes.

9.     Beautiful things.  A glorious sunset... a picturesque painting, a perfect flower... a star-filled sky. Take your pick!

10.     A helping hand.  No matter how bad things get, there will always be someone struggling just as much, if not more than you. Helping make things easier for a fellow human being, whether it's just a listening ear or helping with something more practical, you can make a huge difference to someone's life, and there's nothing like the feeling you get from doing that!

Upside Down

It was only recently that I began to realise that the things I thought I understood as a child were really upside-down.  When you grow up in an abusive environment like mine was, abuse becomes normality.  The concept of 'normal' in terms of how non-abused people experience life, has always been counter-intuitive to me and I find it so difficult to wrap my head around it.  Okay so there's no such thing as 'normal'... but some of us have experienced less 'normal' lives than others. I guess it's subjective really, but I think most people would agree that a child living in terror is not normal compared to most.

One thing that's been bugging me greatly recently is how topsy-turvy my family dynamics were. I was conditioned to believe everything my father told me. My mother had mental health problems and yeah, she was abusive... but I find it easier to understand her abuse.  My dad on the other hand, seemed to plan every detail and control and manipulate so much.

I grew up believing that he was the victim.  I believed his crocodile tears and his sob-stories.  Truth is, he was manipulating and sabotaging any chance my relationship with my mother could have had. I heard her screams. I heard things being thrown around... bumps and scuffles from the fights.  I heard her cries while he held her down. Yet I believed him, even knowing what he was capable of.  I guess I repressed a lot even then. I was scared of him and I swallowed his lies hook, line and sinker. I grew up believing she was abusing him. I grew up believing he was the victim. I believed the lines he spun.

He was sadistic and controlling.  A master manipulator.  He abused me in every way. I was terrified of my mum, but I was terrified of him even more. I guess that's why I believed him - it was too dangerous not to. I guess more than that, it was that he had already conditioned me through abuse and I was under his control. Like a puppet on strings.  I was his.  His to control.  His to abuse. His to give. His to use.

It's probably no wonder that I believed every thing he said. Now though, looking back I feel so stupid and manipulated. It couldn't have been further from the truth. It wasn't him who was the victim in my parents' relationship, it was my mum. It wasn't her who was the abuser, it was him.  And me? well I was abused by both of them and then some...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Who Am I?

I figured that since you, the reader, probably don't know who I am, I should introduce myself.  It's important to me to remain anonymous and so I won't tell you specifics about me - my real name, where I live etc. but I don't think those things are particularly important. I hope that as you read my blog and read a bit about where I've come from and where I'm going, you'll get to know me.

So, who am I?

Sometimes I ask myself that question and struggle to answer it.  I suppose we're all on a journey, learning about ourselves and the world we live in.  For me, the world I now live in can be a very confusing place.  It's very different from the world I grew up in.  I won't get into all that right now, other than to say my world was a frightening and lonely place.  But, I'm a fighter and I survived.  I am strong and I want to live!

Sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty - broken into so many pieces that "All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty together again!". One thing I've learnt though, is that without hope there is nothing.  Without hope, there is no survival, no fight to live.  I choose to live. I choose to love. I choose to fight and I am a survivor. Even though I feel broken, and even though I am broken in what feels like every way, the one thing they cannot break or take from me is my spirit. 

So this is me.  A girl on a journey to healing.  A girl finding hope and freedom.  Putting the pieces back together again.

It's Not My Fault

"Fragile" by Ten Shekel Shirt - I saw this today for the first time. Wow. All I know how to say is... thank you Ten Shekel Shirt, for taking a stand against the things that most of society would rather not think about. Thank you from me and thank you from every other survivor out there, for saying the one thing we need so much to hear: "It's not your fault".

It's not my fault. I'll say it and I'll write it until it becomes a truth for me.

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