One of my earliest memories was of the “compass G”, all around the house. My dedication to my government and ‘religious’ loyalties was set in stone well into my adulthood. All that I defended, argued for, all that I knew and all that seemed to be “the last good and worthy things” on the ground of my small world..although it barely held safe or “happy” moments on the otherwise and the whole.
Never mind each and every sub-division of each naturally born “membership” that I carried , concerning my racial make-up, my gender and other things which involved no voluntary or involuntary planning from my part or required not a thing born of my doing…
All of it..revealed to have been controlled, perverted and fashioned by one faction of united and despotic abusers.
So, yes..as with millions of other human beings..it’s been hurting and will continue to for a little while longer.
But, no..it won’t remain that way.
I will share (within a fictionally creative frame) what it’s been like, for me.
The years of my “awakening” to the true nature of my only “home”-my country.
Maybe, it will find at least one other person along the way, to at least let him or her know that they are not alone..and that there is a good (better) end, after all.
It felt like waking up to finally see your abuser in the brightest light. On the bed, snoring through chapped and pitifully weak lips. Feeling nothing but disgust at even turning in the direction of the half-shadowed face, yet also experiencing a dropping away of wet and woolen burdens. When not too long ago, I’d have forgiven any and everything.
This sunken chested and stinking lump of whatever “he” was at that moment, in my eyes and on my heart. When, once upon a time I’d only known feelings that ranged from anxious delight from my youngest years (in the mornings) to the warmer and deeper felt cravings of mature womanhood (late evenings).
I say it felt like looking at an abuser, with confidence, because I’d already endured that sort of experience in my life. As a matter of fact, if I can be allowed to borrow from the younger wife analogy a bit more, “He” was the one whom I’d eagerly found myself in the company of, soon after leaving my parents’ home. “His” were the arms I sank gratefully into and allowed to wrap tight around me. My long wished for safe place. The much-needed mentor. A big strong Daddy to finally protect “his little girl”. Or so I spent my entire adulthood believing him to be for me.
Only because it’s what he kept telling me. Assuring me of. Pretending to be.
For there was no one else, nowhere else and nothing else..available for Me.
Until I stumbled upon a few old boxes that were kept hidden under the home we shared. Boxes full of ugly secrets. Evidence of secret affairs, gambled savings, a pair of trophied panties here (not my size and not mine. Ever) or a tucked away pair of earrings (not mine part two) there. Although these would be the least painful of any newfound revelations.
For as any abused spouse could probably attest to, there’s always this sort of premonition about worse things still waiting to be found. But one never invests the energy nor risks the pain to confirm any such business. Because the pains of already existing troubles prove too much to consider the piling on of additional ones.
Until the self-denial machine trundles to a stop. When it’s forced to stop. Usually at the suggestion of another swollen eye or in the aftermath of “one fight too many.”
When memories of warnings come back to visit. Memories of what people had to say about all of the other “girls” who came before you. How he beat them, took their money and left them broken with houses full of children, only to find more girls and more beds to squat down in; young and helpless maidens by the name of India, Australia, Africa, South America, China, Japan and the longest abused and most jaded girl, Britain.
Such a perfect word; it matching so well with how he looks to me. Now.
He, no longer a strong and long thighed and handsome dream draped lazily across our bed, but more of a triple gutted sort of bald hedgehog, that petered out before fully nesting itself into sweaty and stinking balled up sheets.
And also the perfect term of what he ended up providing us after the long while..
The burdens that end up being dropped , usually come after a traditional grieving process.
Where you imagine screaming and throwing fists into his chest but end up glaring out of the window, sniffling in tears and swallowing them. Not necessarily because he took anything away from you, but because of the time he wasted. Your youth that he swallowed whole and basically shat out in whatever dark little corners you never knew that he hung out in. The hours you wasted being polite by laughing at the stupid shows he put on for all. Or the years where he secretly mocked the improvements you struggled at doing, but you ended up doing them anyway. Because it’s what he expressed wide eyed support over or kept gently assuring you were worth it to make things better.
“For both of us.”
The burden of continual seeking of approval that never quite arrives.. except in generously spent and reassuring (if not slightly greasy) smiles.
The burden of hauling around massive volumes of “wisdom” and promises, handed out from polished and well-trained celebrities and politicians. Decades of their lectures on the “proper things to do” and protestations over what they were insulted over “being accused of”.
When, if one had the energy and agility to stand on their toes to peek over the stack, one would have seen that neither proper things nor protestations were affairs which any of them paid more than smirk faced indifference to. Each of them, equally convinced that they were “in on” esoteric agendas and all too ready to sacrifice hundreds of millions of “the lowly others”. As if they forgot where they came from or too ignorant to understand the histories of greater men than their comparatively nothing selves.
Leaders and intellects who did the same, only to end up hung or dragged through the streets in the bitter and misled ends.
The dropping of burdens, although wildly painful at first, will be of greatest comfort when the peace finally arrives and he is left feeling selfish and haunting regrets.
Because he will, one day, no doubt about it.
When he comes across a random rainy day and , per the old reflexes of a thousand other times, reach out to grab your hand and crack a goofy joke about “getting wet together”. Or when he finds himself sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to knead the ache out from the back of his knees, like you did countless mornings before. Like hundreds of other easy going intermissions, between his unknown acts of cruelty, he’ll look to grab one ..and won’t be able to. Those taken for granted luxuries which can only ever be found through the dedication of those who truly know you and expect nothing for it.
“He” will need you and more importantly will need the affection and assistance of the children you bore together.
He will raise his haughty head to look for approval and crane his neck to hear the applause of admirers.
But instead, will be received by nothing but the dull and lunatic gazes of those influenced and ruined into those conditions by his own insistence.
He will no longer feel the shelter of sound support but be frustrated out into a muddy field of eternal sinkholes. His tongue will futilely sweep the confines of his own mouth for the sweet and salty taste of variety.
The beams that once supplied the confirmation he needed, to expand and grow stronger, will collapse into splintered ruin; his former free times spent to pursue selfish pleasures, sucked dry under the maddening obligation to not only keep himself afloat but also hold up the mass of helpless dependents whom he enjoyed kicking into submission a bit too much and a for too long of a time.
Your older children will remember what happened to you and will come to recall how much they too suffered, through the evidence of their own bruises. While the younger ones, despite each time he comes to visit, arms heavy with gifts, will be stronger and better trained to keep their own arms down in polite refusal. Taught to know his history.
Groomed to scoff at his cheap and clumsy tricks.
And they will be at the ready to answer probing questions
(as he searches for them and tests them, so that they may join him to continue as the protégés he will need to continue his legacy)
like “what’s two plus two?” with delicately sarcastic replies of “grilled cheese sandwich”.
He is no longer what he was. Not by any long shot-pretended or otherwise. Not by any degrees or on any levels.
As Heaven knows, which he never was in the first places.
For now, as he boasts over the history of his executions and grins through the missing spaces of a once proud smile, he’ll be prevented from realizing a few things.
First, just how much his successes have depended on those he now hops and hoots in “victory” over.
And more importantly, how the noises of his braying and reputations of behaviors will have made it impossible, from amongst the most beautiful and up and coming subjects of his ongoing and salacious desires, to ignore.
Those who will only know the truth of his irresistible charms and “achievements “as long-passed myths, with nothing left to indicate that his influence left anything but broken debris strewn over every yard of every step he ever took and the ugliest of scars on every pound of flesh he ever forced into submission-as beautiful and promising as they too once had been.
Those who will no longer be enticed nor see any reasons whatsoever to have anything to do with him..except to keep walking in the other directions. Towards healthiest harvests, fulfilled promises and never before experienced satisfaction…with you by their side. Finally, and forever free.