I wish that I could say that this is easy.
Because it is not. I work hard at this every single day of my life to the point that it is exhausting. But, I truly want to be on the other side of this story and learning to love after abuse is one of the hardest things I think that I have ever done.
This comes in all realms of relationships, not just romantic relationships.
I had the trust of family taken away from me starting at the age of 4 and going on through my entire course of life. 21 out of 25 years I spent trying to figure out who to trust again, how to trust again, how to get passed it all. But, I will admit that it is difficult to do when you started life, at the youngest phase that you begin to remember, that you can’t trust anyone.
That is how I started life, during my time of not only being physically and sexually abused by siblings, I was mentally, verbally, and psychologically abused by a parental figure. Every single place that I looked there was no place, no person, nothing that made me feel safe or that I could trust.
These are the things that I remember. Being a four year old little girl… and the only thing that I remember is that I was unable to trust anyone.
I wrote this poem a few years ago…. and it is called… 4 Year Old Memories…
Flash backs and memories
Mistakes consuming me
Wasting so much energy
On a past and what I used to be
The innocence taken from me
Before I even knew me the real me
I don’t get it
You used it as an excuse
To take something from me
Because it was taken from you
To subject me to the horror you consumed
Doesn’t make it right
It only takes something from another who stood a chance at a normal life
Now sits in a whirlwind of what’s wrong and what’s right
I would never subject someone’s body to the pain I’ve felt
Or plant images in someone’s head of the things I’ve seen
Because it was my pain
My tears wasted on a cold pillow case
I would never want anyone to feel the way I did
And still feel the way I do
Because it’s not a feeling anyone should ever go through
I was four years old
Didn’t even know my abc’s
Yet you wanted me to be grown and know the things I shouldn’t see
Yet and still you went through the pain and suffering
But I was nothing to you so you made me know what it was like to be broken
To feel like nothing
To feel incomplete
To feel like a worthless little girl taken advantage of by someone she called her sister
But you didn’t care
And you left me to stare
At the shattered pieces slowly hitting the floor
You opened up a door
One that couldn’t be closed
Broken off the hinges
No where to turn
No where to hide
No where to be but cold and alone
But it didn’t happen once and not just with you
It happened with you and the others I called my family
The people I trusted the most
Killed me eternally
Yet here I am fifteen years later
Wondering if my life would be different if you weren’t the beginning to this abuse
But you were the beginning
And you weren’t the end
Because others saw the broken pieces written on my skin
And took it for granted
And placed more bruises upon this fragile skin
And I’m so hurt deep within
Because you took my innocence before I had the chance to even begin my life
You took my state of mind before I got the chance to have a normal childhood
Before I knew about the fears of the world
Before I knew about the struggle of reality
You took my dreams and turned them in to nightmares
And now I’d rather be awake then try and go to sleep
Because in my reality
At least I have the chance to be the four year old girl you took away from me
I remember I was awake one night and all I could do was write. So I wrote that poem above because that was all that I could see and that was all I could feel.
I then shared that poem with the one man… the one person… my guardian angel…
I shared that poem with the one person who I owe my life to…
I shared that poem with my father. And my father is my life, he is my everything. He is the ONE…. who I gave time to learn how to love after all the abuse I endured. He was the ONLY person to allow me to feel safe, strong, beautiful and like I had a reason to continue in this world even though some days I didn’t want to.
Going back to remember when there wasn’t anyone I could trust. There was a time, probably about 7 years of my childhood that I didn’t know that he was the person that I could lean on. And one day out of curiosity we had a conversation about life. And about him. And about me. And we began doing that every single day on my way to school. It seemed to only be me and him. And I formed a forever bond. He became that one person that I could trust. That one person that I could LOVE after ABUSE.
When I say LOVE after ABUSE.
I mean that whole heartedly. Learning how to LOVE anything or anyone after ABUSE is by far the hardest thing to do. How do I trust him? How do I know she means what she says? How do I know that when I cry they will be there to listen to why my soul hurts?
But I have learned. I have been learning. I have been teaching myself. And the one thing that I have learned the most is that I cannot allow fear of being hurt stopping me from being loved and loving.
So I chose to, for most of my life, open my arms to everyone. And to allow love to circulate through me regardless of the outcome, and that is why I am able to stand on the compassion that I stand on… every single day.
In order to love after abuse, you have to love fearlessly. As scary as it has been and as scary as it continues to be, I have to. I have to love fearlessly. I mean it is ridiculously hard because my anxiety tends to lead the way majority of the time, but having that reminder every now and then that it is okay to be a little afraid, but to not let the fear control me.
The number one thing I had to remind myself of was to love me, first.
And that amongst all was the hardest thing I had to learn to do. Was to love me first. I had to love me through the abuse and put myself back on my own two feet. I had to do this so that I could make sure that anyone else would want to love me to. It was very difficult doing this though, because every time I had to try and put myself back on my feet, I got knocked off my feet again. Which is why I am doing all of what I have been doing for the last year. I have been learning to crawl all over again. I am learning to crawl before I walk. And in doing so I have to be happy with what I see when I look in the mirror. I have to love what I see. I have to love me… And I am indeed learning to love myself.
But, back to what I was saying… I never got the chance to fix myself in the past. Or work through anything that I had ever been through because I was on, what seemed to have been a fast track to trauma. (Not laying in my sorrows here… just talking). But every time I was able to get to a place to repair my wounds, I was back on my ass crying from the next thing rolling in. So I never got to work through things. And working through them are a hell of a lot better than pushing them to the back. So for the last year, I have been trying to work through these things that have been pushed to the back. So, so, so, so, so far back.
I have made mistakes. I fell flat on my ass… as many times as I could count. BUT, I am choosing to learn how to walk all over again. And right now, I am so madly in love with crawling. And I am wildly excited to see how amazing it feels to take my first steps on this side of the abuse. It looks incredible from here.
How to LOVE again…. AFTER ABUSE.
4 thoughts on “How to LOVE after ABUSE…”
Wonderful! Apparently I have some unspoken trauma memory. Someone explainned to me that my brain has push that sex trauma to the back (as you explained in the article). But I am currently learning to love myself all over again. And I have a great support system. Now truth be told,I have my moments of pause ( moments where I get lost in a past moment) and it like certain songs or trigger word. Have been through that?
Yes, I do have that. Fairly often. Triggers are a real thing. It’s incredible what the memory does. It sucks. I’m so sorry.
Just found your page tonight. Have read a few of your posts and I love them. You are inspiring. I too am a survivor of domestic abuse. I’ve been away from my narcissistic abusive marriage for 7 months now. Been going to therapy and working through why I stayed as long as I did and other issues.
Good for you!! I’m so proud of you! Don’t be too hard on yourself! 💜🙏🏽