the courage to ask
I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this or not. However, I have always said, “this blog is about healing, and it’s about truth; It’s about my journey going forward”.
Every entry I post is one step closer to my true self. Everyday I try and remind myself that every truth spoken, is another foothold to the next. So with that being said –
I faced a difficult question that has been pressing me for a very very long time. A question that I have been utterly afraid to ask and talk about; and know the answer to.
Saturday night my sister and I had a long talk on the phone (like I mentioned in my last blog entry yesterday). She called me at 12:30am, and just wanted to talk. I don’t know if that was Gods work, or if it was meant to be or not, but for some reason it landed in place as being the right moment.
My walls are down, I am not protecting anymore, I have shed the shame, and I am more and more open for truth. I know and feel that things are so different for me in my healing.
Me knowing that and feeling like I am at a new level – I felt I was ready to ask my sister the question I have been wondering about for a long long time.
The question I asked her was – “Danielle, Were you ever sexually abused or physically abused like I was?, did they hurt you too?”
I sat there with my heart in my throat, my face was flushed, and my heart was pounding through my chest! She said “NO, I was never abused like you were, I was never sexually abused either”.
I had this big sigh of relief and a big breath and tears came to my eyes, but at the same time this anger came over me inside. I wasn’t angry with her, I was just angry and confused, and anger is not something I honor at all, so its confusing for me when I feel anger! So I will swallow it, no matter how I feel.
I have always said that my sister was never abused, and I always had this notion in the back of my mind that somewhere, somehow she was beaten like me; it couldn’t have just been me?! I think I tried to convince myself of that, but there was a part of me that had a feeling that she wasn’t. I just needed to hear the truth after all these years.
We talked more, and she started to open up about the things she saw happen to me. She witnessed a lot of the abuse done to me. The belts across the legs, the head being smashed into the counter 3 times, the nights where my father would drag me out of bed by my feet and getting the belt over and over and over. Danielle had seen a lot of things happen to me in that house, and I can’t imagine what that was like for her to hold.
I feel as if my sister and I broke the silence we had with each other about what happened in this family. I think the both of us were afraid to talk to each other about what we knew and what we were afraid to know. She was afraid to talk about what she saw, and I was afraid to ask her the question; I was afraid of the answer.
On my way to church Sunday morning, I was trying to keep in mind the text that my therapist sent me Sunday morning – “rest in the weakness”, “gathering strength to move forward”.
No matter how supported and connected I felt – out of nowhere I started SOBBING on my way to church. It hit me out of no where and the words that came out in the car – “Why? Why was I the only one?” I dont understand why I was the only one!
I was crying so hard I couldn’t even see the road in front of me. My heart was broken, I was so sad that a little girl was beaten and sexually abused, but my sister was cared for.
You can imagine what was going through my head. I felt my heart was broken. I have never felt sadness like that before. It was a TRUE TRUE sadness of reality. 4 people in the house abused me, but my sister was unscathed?!!
During Mass I felt so horrible that I almost walked out. I couldn’t sit there and honor this – but I did, I sat with it and honred it and finished the mass, because if I had left, that would be like “them winning” all over again.
Everything that my sister and I talked about Saturday night was all hitting me at once. It was almost as if the Novocain wore off, and I was feeling everything! “The big question was finally asked”. “The truth is finally known”.
After church, I emailed my therapist and checked in like we do. I explained to him how I asked my sister that very hard question, and I was open about my feelings, told him how much it hurt!
I was told that this took a TON of courage to ask her. The fact that I asked her showed that I was ready to hear the answer. The fact that I asked the question showed that I am stronger, and that I was finally ready to hear the truth. I was ready to honor the feelings about that unknown truth. The best part? I stayed connected through this.
I sit here this morning and I realize it did take a lot of courage. It hurts like hell. But I know that it’s healing, and I know it’s growth, and I know that by asking her, I was opening up another wound to heal.
I don’t understand the question – why me?. I don’t understand why my sister was unscathed, and I was tormented and abused. I don’t understand why I have 42 scars on my body, and she has none. I don’t have the answers, but the only answer that I do have is – IT WAS NOT MY FAULT! The power that I do have is knowing that it was 4 people against one, and it was never my fault.
I love my sister so much, I love her so so much! I am so glad that she never had to endure what I did. I am so glad that she doesn’t suffer today in healing like I have to. I am so happy inside that her answer was “no”.
I cried a lot yesterday. I had tears through the day. I have tears right now writing this – and I will probably have tears about it until the sting goes away, but I am glad after all these years that I was finally ready to hear the truth.
I am ready to face the feelings I have inside about this; so this too can be another wound healed.
I may have been the only one in the house who was abused then, but today, I am the only one in the house who is healing and who is healthy!
(THE PHOTO ABOVE ON THE LEFT IS A PHOTO OF ME AND MY SISTER DANIELLE)
I was 9 and she was 4
February 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Karen, you are such a strong person.. I admire you and your story 🙂
February 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Karen – Me being a therapist, we have learned that a lot of victims of abuse in a home with more siblings, it rarely happens to more than one person.
Perpetrators and abusers choose one target in the house. It’s unknown exactly why, but it’s a true fact and didn’t surprise me that she wasn’t abused.
I am so sorry for what you have endured.. you are strong, and you are a beautiful person. You will get through this.
February 27, 2012 at 6:02 PM
You’re one STRONG woman. God Bless You!!!