Desiree's Writings

Finding Peace

You terrorized me for as long back as I could remember up until I was fourteen.  You did things to me that no little girl should ever know. 

I suffered horrible nightmares all my life and found no peace by day.  When I sought help, I was removed from my family, placed in foster care, and branded a liar. 

When the Child Protection System decided my claims were unfounded, I was returned home.  You beat me nearly senseless for my actions and tried to force yourself on me again.  I fought back like I had never done before.  Not because I suddenly found courage, but because I was sure you would kill me this time.  I ran away from home for the last time at fifteen.  I lost everyone and everything. 

By the time I was twenty-one, the memories by day and the terrifying dreams by night blended one into the other, never ceasing never giving me peace.  I was sure I was going to be attacked while I slept by some unknown assailant.  I started having trouble going out in public after dark.  Soon, I was unable to leave my house even by day.  I cried without provocation and began spiraling down into anorexia.  Life in my head was unbearable. 

By sheer luck and a severe case of poison oak, I found a counselor.  I very slowly started climbing out of the pit in my mind. 

As time passed, I tried to make peace with those that failed to protect me as a child.  I tried to understand.  I wanted them to believe me, but they were incapable.  I made concessions, but I wouldn't compromise that I would have nothing to do with you.  You would not ever set eyes on my children.  You would never be within striking distance of me again. 

I forfeited family get-togethers, Christmases, and all the holidays because the same people that didn't protect me as a child didn't believe me now, and they refused to tell you to stay away so I could come.  I refused to pass the legacy on to my daughters, the next generation.  I was ostracized for my decision. 

As the years passed, the nightmares lessened.  I learned to find happiness both within myself and with myself.  But still, just hearing that you were in the same state where I live, visiting other relatives, could be enough to make me shake uncontrollably. 

I avoided you for nearly twenty years. 

When it came time to clean out the storage unit and divide the belongings, you were there.  I knew you would be and almost didn't go.  I lost so much because of you and refused to lose any more.  I was still afraid, but now I was angry. 

You tried to speak to me several times and I refused to acknowledge you.  You looked baffled and hurt.  I watched you from a distance.  At first, it scared me just to look at you.  I watched how you spoke, how you moved, how you interacted with everyone, and as I watched I marveled at how I could be so afraid of you. 

You are nothing.  In the years since I saw you last, you've become an old man before your time.  I don't know if it was time or the drugs you abused your body with that did it to you, but you've lost your mind.  No one can understand what you say, not even your staunchest supporters, though they pretend that they do and tsk-tsk with pity at what you've become.  They talk about the hard life you've had. 

I listened to their talk and felt detached from this body you once took liberties with.  I was outside of it all; an observer.  I thought about all I had lost because of you: all the years with my family, the unconditional love of my mother, and my sanity. 

I didn't shake with fear.  I didn't hate you.  I saw what you are and realized that you had always been this thing in front of me now.  You are a counterfeit of a man.