The trauma doesn’t end when the abuse does
Today’s post is brought to you by a very dear friend of the Sisterwives. He has endured much, and tries to continue as cheerfully as possible – or at least, continue. In spite of the variety of his experience, nothing in his life so far had prepared him for this… Scott, you convey so much in such a short space, and it is a solemn, heartbreaking moment in your history. Thank you for trusting us with it – Lizzi
We laid in bed, wrapped in each other’s arms, unclothed. We were both spent and catching our breath after having made love. The room was unlit and, other than the sound of our breathing, inescapably quiet.
A new sound crept in and gently dashed the silence. It took me a few moments, but I eventually identified the sound. She was weeping.
I pulled away from her and regarded her quizzically. “What’s wrong, honey?”
She didn’t immediately answer. She appeared to be fighting an internal battle, conflicted inside. She wiped her eyes, cleansing them of tears. When she finally responded, her voice was cracked and fragmented. “I need to ask you a question,” she timidly said between heaving breaths.
“Sure,” I responded. “Anything.”
“I need to know that you’ll never hurt my daughter.” And with that, the floodgates opened. She began bawling in earnest. Tears poured from her eyes like a water from a broken faucet. The hell she had endured as an abused child was evident as was the fear that her daughter would suffer that same hell.
At first I was offended by the assumption that I would commit such an atrocity on her little girl, but as I beheld her, broken, traumatized, and sobbing, I realized this question was more about her daughter and less about me. I realized that she would be asking this question no matter who was here in my place. I realized just how deep the scars from her abuse ran.
My indignity quickly subsided and I took her back into my arms. I squeezed her with all the strength I had within them. With the most soothing voice I could muster, I told her that, no, I would not ever hurt her daughter.
It didn’t seem possible, but this made her cry even harder. Guttural shrieks escaped her. She wailed incomprehensibly, the rivers streaming from eyes overflowing with pain.
I was completely paralyzed. I had no idea what to do or say. This was the first time I had ever been confronted with the consequences of abuse. Before I met her abuse was something I had only heard about. It happened to other people. It wasn’t real. She made it real for me. There were sick people out there who would violate young girls and get away with it.
Completely lacking any appealing options, I decided just to hold her tightly and let her cry it out. There was nothing else I could do. There was nothing else I could say. There was no magical deed I could commit to ease her pain or erase her fears.
So I just held her.
Scott, sometimes known as Twindaddy (or TD, for short), is an eccentric blogger and writer-wannabe who dabbles in essays, editorials, poetry, and fiction. He also writes about being a single father and his struggles with mental health.
For years he blogged from behind the mask of an Imperial stormtrooper, but recently came out of the closet (so to speak) as an actual human being. For the truly warped, you can check out his ramblings on Finding Twindaddy, where he vomits incoherent words all over the internet. You can also follow him on Twitter, where he tries to contain his brilliance to 140 character outbursts.