One of the skills I mastered as a child was silence. It’s a great skill sometimes. I can sit in a room feeling completely shattered inside and no one would have a clue.

I can act normal. 

When I was a child, I used to think that if I told anyone, my parents would go to jail and I would end up lost. That’s what my parents said anyway. They’d tell me that if I ever went to care, that my brother and I would be split up, and maybe he’d be sent to somewhere not very nice and I couldn’t help him because we’d not be together. They also told me that once you go to care, you never see your family again. 

My parents never actually told me not to tell. They never threatened me. They never told me I’d go to care if I told. But making me aware of what happened to others who spoke out kept me silent. 

I kept silent for 33 years.

Do you know that a child who is abused from the age of five to the age of 15 … that’s 11 years. Everyday for 11 years is 4015 days. A child who is abused (I originally put the word rape here, but deleted it. It’s seems wrong.)  every day between 5 and 16 will be ‘abused’  over 4000 times. 
Do you know how hard that is to hold in?

Although, technicallly, I didn’t hold it in. I spent more nights than I can count crying myself to sleep. Asking why didn’t my dad love me? Talking to my bear. Asking God if he would please just not let me wake up tomorrow. I poured my words out to an empty room because I had no one to tell. 

At 33 I told someone. I sat one night and told someone. I was shaking and crying and falling apart and thinking, God, what did I just do? I’d said it. I’d said that bad thing. I’d let the shadow out to show someone else. 

I sometime get mad with myself. Mad because all of that … those years of stuff stick in my head. Like on repeat. 

Maybe my body was taken 4000 times, but in my head it’s more than that. The worst thing about abuse isn’t the abuse. You only get that rape once, physically, but in your head you relive it hundreds of times. Suddenly 4000 incidents because an unimaginable number and then someone says 

… stop thinking about it. Move on. Grow up. 

It’s like a punch to my gut and the hand across my mouth again trying to silence my screams. I can’t breathe. Is that it? Just stop thinking about it? Stop talking about it?

I guess if someone stepped on our foot on purpose in school and the hurt our feelings, we’d have forgotten about it, right? 

Suddenly I feel crazy. Like I don’t know who I meant to be or how I am meant to ask. I didn’t ask for that life. For this life. For these memories. 

Two nights ago, I was asleep. I was dreaming. I dreamt of that man. Not my dad. The other man. He had hold of my legs. I couldn’t see him, but I could feel him. I could hear him. My body reacted before I woke up and I leapt from my bed, fighting, screaming for him to stop. I was by my window ready to jump out because falling to the gravel below is less painful than what he could do to me. Then I’m down on my knees, shaking, I can’t breathe and my other half is there. Asking what’s wrong, but suddenly I am five again. And, I’m so afraid. 

Telling me to shut up makes me feel crazy. It makes me feel that when I have moments like that night that I am wrong. I makes me hate he face in he mirror. 

You want me to battle my brain with my brain. 

I’m so tired inside. 

Sometimes I cut my skin like aversion therapy. If you could just be normal, I say. If you could just act like everyone else …

I stare in the mirror and I hate the face that stares back. I hate the man there. The one with the memories. The one with the mental health issues. If I could punch the glass and hit his face, I would. 

Shut up. 

Move on

Try to get better 

These aren’t lessons  you’re teaching me. They’re just another blade to cut myself because you make me feel like my dad did.

That me, who I am, is not good enough. 

I wish I could blink and wake up. 

11 thoughts on “Silence 

  1. I wish with everything in me that I could heal your pain. I know I can’t, but I want you to know that I care about you, even that part of you that you hate. You are such a strong person. You may not feel like you are, but you are because you are still here and being a wonderful father and grandfather and husband and a good friend!! You are loved!!

  2. Jamie, you’re live by so many people and so many have your back trying to give you strength. It seems me that you started cutting again. Such a beautiful man inside and out. Please reach out to someone for help. The mind is a wonderful thing but is also the downfall for so many evil thoughts. You have so much going for you now. A woman who loves you and wants to spend the rest of her life with you. Your children and grandchildren. Your siblings who also love you. You have to grow old with us and hold on to this crazy ride called life. What happened to you was wrong on so many levels but you were string and overcame all that. Don’t throw all that struggle away. We all love you and want nothing but the best for you. I even went to fb jail so many times for you and I’m sure I’ll be there again. Now put in your big boy pants and have a go at 5his craziness called life.

  3. Sounds like you had a bit of a stumble. But I know you’ll get up. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. You always do. Because that’s who you are. That’s WHAT, you are. Strong. Resilient. Sensitive. Wise.
    Most of all, brave.
    I believe that these traits (in part) have arisen from what you have been through. And that they have helped you (and will continue to help you) through the horrors that still live in your thoughts. We both know, that no matter how many joyous, wonderful, even euphoric times we enjoy, the difficult/unpleasant ones never truly disappear… including times spent in a crumpled mess.
    But again I say, you have come so far, and have helped so many, (myself included) I know the best is still yet to come. You have more than paid the price for success, happiness, and peace. I am proud of you.
    And grow up? Seriously? I think you’ve done more growing up before the age of 15 (10 even) than most people do in their entire life. As far as moving on, that’s up to you, on YOUR terms, at your own pace. Anyone who can’t except that, doesn’t deserve to be in your life. And try to get better? I don’t think you’re alone in that aspect. Just my opinion. No one has the right to judge you. Period.
    As always, not trying to diminish your pain in any way.
    Lastly, I will be forever grateful for our conversation on that fateful night,
    as your story was meant to be told. More importantly, it was time for you to begin to heal.

    I love you. Always will. NMW, right?
    Tight hug. ღ

  4. Hey Jamie. . I think we had this discussion before . You don’t have to be strong all the time. Nobody is. Not all the time. But I do want you to be strong enough to keep surviving. Please, find someone to help you take that weight off your shoulders. No one should carry that burden as long as you have. I know it’s hard for you to talk but, keep looking until you find someone who will ask you the right questions. I”m pretty sure there is someone out there and if I were rich, I would get you the best help money could buy. (Whether you liked it or not) 😉 You’re smart enough to know this might too big for you to fix on your own. . Please don’t take this as preaching. Take it as someone who truly cares to what happens to you and wants noting but happiness for your future. Love ya dude.

  5. When a certain person said for you to “get over it” I had a strong feeling it might trigger something in you cause it did in me. I was sexually abused from an infant to 14 years old, physically and mentally till 17. I am still not right today but I refuse to let anyone silence me anymore. I still have urges to self harm, I will be on meds the rest of my life and that is ok. I know everyone is telling you, you are strong and you can do this and in many ways I know you are but there are times when those things that happened plague us. I’m glad you have a significant other by your side. Just keep talking. Seek more therapy if you must and keep writing. The rational you will realize it’s not your fault but it’s that self loathing side that can sometimes rear its ugly head. I know it’s a fight everyday but it’s a fight worth fighting. You have lots of people here who really care about you, including myself. I would be happy to talk with you anytime if you need. And I hope I can be your friend for a long time to come. Please feel better.

  6. James, I want to tell you over & over how special you are. You have a purpose, a reason for being here and that’s so all of us can love you. I for one am so proud of you. You have such a good soul inside of you. I wish I could protect you from all the dumbasses out there that say they do but they really don’t have a clue. You are an inspiration and a voice for those who either can’t or won’t tell their story. Don’t you ever forget that. And don’t forget just how much you are truly loved by me and so many others.

  7. I can really relate to what you’ve said here. I stayed silent for a long time too. As a result, I became extremely withdrawn. No one has the right to demand that you move on. Moving on is often a very gradual experience. And I want to say again, J.D, that I really appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, that you wrote those books.

  8. You may choose to be silent In certain situations, but when you do tell you speak for many. You are strong and brave, and you are loved by so many people. You can hate the memories but don’t hate the man who has them because he’s not to blame. Remember to give yourself credit for all that you’ve accomplished and for how admired you are. You are a treasure to everyone who loves you!

  9. YOU are so good enough. You’re so much more. YOU have so many people that truly care and love YOU. Do you realise how much you have accomplished in your life? Do you actually sit down and list all of the things you’ve done? I guarantee you’ve done more than I have. That my friend is how strong you truly are. YOU ARE STRONG!! You will have many days where you will not feel strong, but that’s ok. You are allowed to have many bad days, but you have a huge support system to fall back on. Love You!!

  10. That guy , Chris W. Seemed like he’s used anger to deal. Seems he’s still so angry and him lashing out, using the ,” get over it,”!! To me, I think something triggered a bad memory and deflected by saying, get over it,! BUT,, he was telling himself that. He just really came off as such bully, but I believe it’s cover he”s hiding behind, because he thinks he so much stronger.

  11. James, my heart breaks when I read this. I don’t know your pain personally, but I can be an empath and make my heart feel it. I hope you have shared this all with your other half. Dividing the pain will make it easier to bear. You are a beautiful soul and are loved by so many you will never get to meet. Know that you are worthy of a good life. Those horrible experiences shaped you into the loving, caring man you are today. You have worked and still work so hard to protect your children and grandchildren from a fate like you experienced. That makes you awesome. You have broken the cycle, and that is not easy to do. Many hugs and much love. Just know we have your back and I am always here to chat with.

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