Remnants

The past week has been challenging to say the least. I lost my dad on Oct 25, and a cascade of unrelated events followed. The details are unnecessary, but to say I am tired and worn would be an understatement.

After receiving a message shaming me for the pain my bio father and his wife are going through, I wrote a long letter. In it I let out the hurts and heartbreak they dealt to me over time, and for the first time, publicly told my side of the story.

One of the things I mentioned in the letter was how I used to hide in my closet because it was the only place in the world where I knew I couldn’t be “in trouble.” As I started my day today, I remembered that, even after I left his home, I still found the need for that safe space. Even though my room at my mom’s was a safe space, I still needed a sanctuary, somewhere I knew I couldn’t be found. So, in the only corner of the closet that wasn’t exposed with the folding doors were open, behind the long dresses I hung up to shield me from prying eyes, I made a little nest where I could hide.

Until this morning, I had completely forgotten about my hiding place. Now, however, I remember going there several times. I’m not even sure I needed to when I did, but it the only space in my tiny world I was certain I could control. It was dark and silent, in it I could find peace and release the anxiety that would build up.

What I also didn’t realize was that over time, I have continued to keep my little closet space, but I’ve expanded it a bit. My home is now my safe space, my sanctuary. It is the place I go to hide – it’s the only place where I have complete control. When people come to it unannounced, I feel that same sense of anxiety that I had when I would hold my breath, hoping no one would find me in my closet when I was hiding from the world.

At it Again…

Recently, I have started to feel the urge to speak out publicly grow stronger.  I have known for years that my goal in healing was to be able to one day speak without fear, regret, or a fictitious name.  To help others by allowing them to know me and giving them the opportunity to truly see that healing is possible, and so is life after the pain.

It has been a very scary thought to ponder, and there are quite a few draw backs that I still consider as I think of the possibilities.  I still worry that, upon speaking out, I can never take it back. Once I lay everything out for the world to see, I will be subject to their opinions, beliefs, distrust, and judgment.  I do not wish to confront my abusers, so there will be no accusations or naming, but I know that family members will want to know who the abusers were.  I can keep my secret because I know that it would cause me more damage to be forced to deal with my abusers, than to keep certain thing to myself.  Yet I know that it will be a serious issue.

Last, but not least, I feel I should tell my father.  Although we do not speak, and I do not wish to have a relationship with him, I feel that he has a right to know what I am preparing to share with others.  I thought about writing a letter to share what happened to me, so that he would not hear it from strangers and be shocked.  Yet, what started out as an informative note, has now become a somewhat accusatory letter.  There are so many things that need to be said…

I am not sure if I am even on the right track here.  Maybe I shouldn’t write the letter.  Maybe I should just leave things as they are.  I know that speaking out is important, and that it could help someone else – but sometimes I worry that I am not quite ready for the ugly mess that is going to come spilling out once the flood gates are opened…

Broken Silence…

My silence has been broken…my secret is undone.  Funny how scary that thought once was to me, but now it is actually comforting….

Recently, through a casual conversation, a family member learned of a family who is in contact with my grandfather.  There is a child, and terrified for their safety, my family member shared my story – asking that the family never, ever leave this child alone with him.

For so many years I have agonized over my silence.  My fear has always been that so many children are in danger because I have not told.  Yet, I never spoke out because the first time I ever told was over 10 years after it occurred.  I was afraid to press charges because I believed I would go through all the motions, only to end up with no results.  I did not want to accuse him publicly and then be called a liar because I didn’t tell when I was young.  With all the controversy over “repressed memories,” I felt it was better to make peace on my own than to seek a justice that would always be elusive.

I wish I could go back and fix it, but I can’t.  All I can hope is that, if my secret can be shared and the silence is broken, that one more child will be safe.

Anonymity…

Anonymity….it is my saving grace sometimes.  In speaking from the shadows, I am free to say what I truly feel and to place the blame where it belongs.

For over ten years, I have been speaking out against abuse and my abusers from the safety of my screen name, Kylee Jones.  Sometimes I do wish I could throw caution to the wind and tell the world who I am.  Yet, deep down I know that survival is about finding a place where you are free and can reach out to other victims – which is where I am right now.

There are so many victims out there who are afraid to speak out for fear of being revictimized.  It is my hope that someone, somewhere can learn to be free by knowing that it is possible to speak out without anyone ever knowing who spoke. You can make a difference, and you can heal.

Sometimes I wonder if I should “go public,” but then I realize that I can make a difference just by being Kylee Jones.

Speak out & change the world….

WOW!

For the first time in my life, I told someone that knows my father why I left his house when I was a teen…
Bare with me, that one is still one sinking in. This isn’t the first time I have ever told anyone – all my friends know, and I have no problem telling people who do not know him. However, it is different when they know him. Knowing that what I was saying had impact on this person’s view of my father made it feel awkward. The main thing that kept running through my head was that he would find out – then I would have to deal with him. It’s not that I can’t deal with this, I have dealt with my pain. What I cannot reconcile is that he will always be the victim – even though he was the aggressor. I guess that is what keeps me from telling people who know him about what happened. Deep down, I know that, by telling my story, he becomes a victim. Not that I victimize him, but he sees himself as the victim of my “lies” or my inability to understand his type of “love.”

The funny part is that I never really even said abuse, I mentioned his anger and inability to let it go. I mentioned asking the counselor not to make me go back to his house. I am sure the person I was speaking to could deduce the rest, but I still never actually said the words. There are so many things I could have said, but I did not.

One day, I’m going to say the heck with it and tell my whole story to everyone. On that day, I will make the accusations have held back for so long – and I won’t care if it “victimizes” him or not. But for now, I really prefer not to have to listen to it or justify my point. I shouldn’t have to justify it, but I still feel like I have to sometimes. Maybe one day soon I can reclaim that part of myself and stop feeling so wrong about justly laying the blame where it belongs without regret.