Trauma bonding – uncovering the unconscious

statistics say that, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse. I have three sisters.
I am that 1 in 4 statistic. Here’s why.

1980

I was in year 6,
I was 8 years old.
He lived down the street.
I walked home, through the garages.
A big man called me over.
I shook my head and said no.
He was a stranger.
He didn’t offer me sweets.
He manipulated me.
He told me a cat was hurt.
“Oh no, the poorly cat.”
I felt sad.
I wanted to save the cat.

The rescuer.

I went over quickly.
I was rescuing a cat!
It was dark and smelly.
There was dust everywhere.
He pushed me into the corner.
I froze in shock. Horrified.
He scared me.
Then he touched me.
I wasn’t happy.

The warrior
I shouted.
I pushed
I wriggled
I pinched
I scratched him back.
He was touching and prodding at me, it was personal you see.
Nobody touches there.
It felt very big.
But I was pushing and hitting.
I needed to focus on survival.
It felt like an arm?
I was getting more scared.
Still fighting.
I was getting tired now.
But I was determined to fight.
For my life. I fought back.
I clenched my body tight and then…
I got madder.

And madder.

How dare you touch me there?

How dare you pin me down?

How dare you hurt me.

I clamped my teeth into his arm
And clenched all my muscles again.
He yelped.
He hit me.
But, he was hurting me.
I was really scared now.
I shouted.
I thought I wasn’t going home.
I have to fight.

I burned with fire and fury.
To stay alive.
I was eight.
It was instinctive.
Then, he clamped my mouth shut.
His hand smothered my face.
Ugh, the smell.
Someone was shouting.
He clamped me back.
In a vice grip.
Then,
He held my hands down.
His put his arm across my shoulders.
His bicep was in range.
This was my shot.
I clamped down on his arm.
I wasn’t letting go.
I saw my dog do this to a postman.

It was bad to do this.

The Rebel
But I had a choice.
Be a bad girl.
Or die.
I chose bad.
I didn’t want to die.

He flinched.
He jolted back.
He was hurt.
I drew blood.
Bad worked?
I had a chance to move now.
I bolted.
It was the neighbour.
He interrupted him.
I ran.
I ran past the neighbour,
And ran back home.
Oh, no. The shopping.
Dad was home.
I can’t remember
I think I lied.
I’m still trying to fit the pieces.
It was never spoken.

I was too scared.
I ran upstairs.
I hid under my bed.
I froze.
Afraid. Oh my god, What have I done!
I removed the clothing.
The bad yellow dress.
It was the dress which was to blame.
It had a tulip skirt.
Easy access.
I’ll never wear a dress again.
The dress would remind me.
I bundled it into a bag.
It went into the big black bin.
Buried.
I was terrified.
I was bad, remember?
I bit him.
I drew blood.
What have I done.
I must never,
Ever.
Tell.
Anybody.
Not a single soul.
The truth stays with me. The victim
It’s my dirty secret.
My crime.
I might get caught.
Oh, no.
Nobody must ever know.
I’ll be punished.
For being bad.
People don’t like bad children.
They get sent to children’s homes.
Children who tell lies are sent away.
They are abandoned again.
Try to understand my young mind.
That’s what happened with the boy in the film.
Nobody’s boy.
He was sent away on a boat.
I cried, I was sad that nobody loved him.
That’s what will happen if I tell.
They will put me on a boat too.
And send me away to an island.
I must never tell.
I must prove I am good girl.
I buried the evidence.
I never cried.
Silent, vulnerable, alone.
I was brave.
I went to sleep.

Reborn… aSHAMEd.
But I will never tell.
I don’t want to be alone.
I don’t want to be abandoned again.

I changed.
I was bad for my crime.
I would accept all punishment.
For defending myself.
I deserved to be loathed.
I deserved to be ignored.
I deserved to be shamed.
I deserved punishment.
Who did I think I was at eight years old to hurt someone.
He was older than me. I was raised to respect them!
He was bigger than me.

My abuse conditions were created.
By society.
I was groomed.
For domestic abuse.
One trauma.
Too traumatic to open
To ashamed to release.

Held hostage psychologically.

Sometimes we punish ourselves for crimes we didn’t commit.

Our punishment is more abuse.

Some children may have been validated.
Acknowledged.
Had specialist support.
Had their voice heard.

Others faced their demons alone.

It’s was a huge challenge.

Some children don’t make it.
Some children commit suicide.
Some can’t keep a secret, they tell an adult and they get hated for telling.

I was terrified of the nightmares.
I thought maybe I was crazy.
Brushed aside.
It wasn’t real.
Or I wasn’t real.
I must not tell.

You learn to shut down.
To close off.
To protect your wound.

To make me finally realise.

That I AM NOT bad.

A paradox?    Definitely.

Being bad meant survival.
Being bad meant fighting for my human right to say NO.
Being bad meant justice.
Being bad meant boundaries.
Being bad got your voice heard.
Being bad meant exposing my secret.
Being bad means liberation.

Only, I was trapped in the tangled wound from eight years old.
Until I could understand the whole aspect of the trauma and the damage of this event.
I was forever going to allow myself to be abused.
I had to find the raw wound that anchored me to why.
Why keeping secrets was safe? Where did I learn this skill.

I had a deep deep trauma.
It wasn’t just the assault.
I had to keep going into the pain.
To discover the treasures.
I was not bad for biting.
I was not bad for lying.
I was not bad for throwing away evidence.
I was not bad for any of this.
It was a massive trauma

Like cancer.
It eats away at you.
Slowly.
Night by night.
Darkness falls.
Will he come again as I rest.
Terrorise me again in my slumber.
Can I ever get any peace.
Will his ghost forever haunt me.
Will his smell forever choke me.

It’s an implanted memory triggered by an emotional attachment. Good or bad, to remind you of its power.

TRAUMA.

I was 8 years old.
A child.
He was an adult.
I shouldn’t be ashamed.

I rescued my silenced, lost, neglected child.

They say. . . .
It’s old news.
Don’t drag up the past.
Let it go.
Move on.

Where is the compassion?

But I’m not a victim.
Because I escaped.
I lived to tell the tale.
Many don’t survive.
I was a survivor.
And a victim.
Wait, can I be both?

I got away.

I could have been murdered.

I survived.
I won.
I’m not a victim
And I’m not a survivor either.

I’m a warrior.

My feisty, bold, headstrong, determined inner child has returned.

She says, ‘I will not be silenced anymore.’

‘If you believe I deserved abuse too, then shame belongs with you.
Enjoy your badge.

It will take you far in hell’

2 Thoughts

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