For too long, I have allowed others to tell my story. To speak for me. Sometimes in the third person when I am in the very same room. Words about me, for me but not by me!I have listened to the words and wondered who they belong to. I have stood in embarrassment and wanted to hide from others and from myself! How weak and ineffectual I felt in those moments; when others have decided that they needed to answer for me or finish my sentences for me! The words are not my truth. No I don’t think that, no that’s not what I am feeling. But I remained still and silent allowing them to tell my story!
My father, the man who sexually abused me, always had the habit of telling family members my story. The story of my childhood. I would sit in the midst of a family gathering while he talked and talked. Yes he has a big mouth that needs to be banged shut. He talked for me. Told everyone what a difficult child I had been. How disobedient I was, how rebellious. One particular story that I have heard so many times is how he locked me in the bathroom to discipline me (I don’t know what my crime was! I only know that it was around the time of the actual abuse) and when he opened the door to let me out, I gave him the dirtiest look and said I would prefer to stay. I had also emptied out all the shampoo bottles and made a mess of the bathroom. He tells my story so that I won’t. So that I won’t tell the real story. He shut me up very cleverly by portraying me to himself and others as a ‘difficult child’.
I married an abusive, controlling and manipulative man (no surprise how that came about… clearly) and he tried to tell my story and silence me in the same way. I didn’t even know it was abuse until very recently. It’s interesting because over the weekend I made a toblerone cheesecake and when my husband heard this (we are separated) he said,
“But you don’t even like toblerone chocolate, digestive biscuits or almonds!”
There you go, he just reminded me what it was like to be told what you like and don’t like, to be voiceless and powerless. It used to be so familiar to me, that voicelessness! Now I rage against it and want to say to the world
“Stop telling my story or the story you think is me, because I am more than capable of telling it myself and I OWN MY STORY!!!!!