Aug 212016
 

I laid there with the hot water dripping down my foot and for a few seconds I wondered if the scalding pain would force me to move but my eyes have been so heavy and before I knew it they were fighting to stay awake, the sounds of a house asleep and the rhythmic burning drip running between my toes putting me to sleep like a parched-summer welcomes rain.

I opened my eyes and I was still in the tub, only I was standing in the shower and it was home, but not this home, not where I have come to be but where I ran from and my body deceived me, not moving or comprehending what was going on. My hair being used as a handle to push me to my knees and I thought to myself “I remember this” as the panicked bile started to rise.

I instinctively closed my eyes knowing what was going to come next. My head pushed back into the wall and there nothing to grab, the shower curtain replaced by shower doors and nothing to hold onto and the only thing keeping me upright at all is the knotted hand in my hair.

I heard his voice so far away and yet too close for comfort. Did I dream that I had escaped? His salted heat hit me in the face and I didn’t want to open my eyes because I didn’t want to see him, or his body. I just wanted it to all go away. Did he really just do that to me? And before another thought can even begin he twists me around and his urine hit my hair, running through it and down my back and then my face and chest. Tears stuck somewhere inside of me as the degradation and reality set in. I was his all right. I had no choice. Tossed out of the shower and cuffed behind my back before I could even try and wipe myself clean.

I jolted awake and saw my foot growing red under the faucet and looked around, I am not bound anymore and yet 11 years after escaping I could feel it all like it was yesterday. I scrubbed and scrubbed again, making my skin itchy-red-raw and my hair so clean that it feels like straw.

Flashbacks plague me. Not everyday, but when they do they come fast and hard and without warning or notice. I felt so filthy laying in the bath I had to get out and I couldn’t hold it down anymore and my body heaved and purged itself of the toxicity of the memories of the past.

I scrubbed my face and took in the smell of my moisturizer -fresh roses- and stood there looking at myself naked in the mirror, staring into scars I don’t want to see, scars that tell anyone who sees that I have been used, abused, and that I am ugly. I slipped on my pj top over my wet skin with my hair hanging and dripping into the thin fabric.

The panic still trapping me like a coffin being nailed shut even though my surroundings indicate I am free. I feel the weight on my chest and the strain in each breath. The lights are all on but it’s the blackness from the underground that I can see.

Aug 052016
 

In some sort of twisted manner I am punishing myself. I have always punished myself. Ever since that day in the snow where innocence was lost to a man who held me firmly in place while forcing himself on me, into me, violating me right there between the two houses and my body numb, maybe that was when my mind decided to protect itself, to punish itself, to cause an ugliness that no one could ever want or love, or maybe it was the iced snow that I was melting into causing me to float away from myself and the shock of the bath water making sure I never fully came back.

I may not have any new blooded lines covering my raw and naked flesh but that doesn’t mean that I am not suffering, the only difference is no one can see the pain I am feeling and there is no visual representation of the scars on the inside healing, maybe it’s because they aren’t, they are my unspoken broken, the parts that I try to hand up to God and then with a single word I recoil like I am the serpent in the flesh and I wonder if maybe that’s why the God I praise doesn’t listen when I pray and instead allows me to be my own victim, my own prey.

My body trembles as the drug leaves my system, invisible chills that can’t be felt but cause my body to shiver just the same, the nausea causing bile to rise and I choke it back and swallow hard the nausea meds and the Tylenol with the candy coating and the migraine that has taken up permanent residence behind my eyes beats to the rhythm of it’s own drum and I sing lyrics I don’t know and I walk the broken streets of cobblestone and then he says it “Love you too Marisa” and the tears flow from a place in my head that I had worked so hard to pulverize without success.

My name. He uses my name. I have been given it back. The name I was given the moment I entered this world, the one that my parents toiled over while expecting me, the one my birth certificate states and the government knows me as, the name that had been stripped from me by the man who stripped me of everything. My name pops up on my screen and suddenly those flood gates aren’t made out of some great wall but instead the hurt is held back by a chain link fence and everything flows straight on through and I wonder if the gates were better when encased in the wall that will surely go back up.

The scars that I wear, tattooed to me as a reminder of where I have been and that I escaped the physical aspect, and they don’t bring me shame because every scar has a story, every line reads like a barcode that only I can scan. My veins throb beneath my skin and beg for release and my conflicted brain says no and yes at the same time and my heart hardens a little bit more while trying to contain the pain and I realize that I have my name but my identity has been cloaked in a dusted blanket of insanity and the cobwebs in my cathedral have left me in a constant place of self-imposed hurt that only I can see.

 

Aug 012016
 

All I had ever really needed was a pen and paper. Somewhere to jot down my thoughts, in words or sketch. I wasn’t thriving, I was surviving, despite my best efforts to end that for good-on more than one occasion. Never happy, never even content with how things were moving along.

I had escaped but I had also been exposed.

Exposed to this world where love often hurts and the sting of a whip can feel amazing while making your lips part and primal groans come from somewhere deep within. I didn’t love him though. I may have at one time, I must’ve in order to have been with him in the first place, right? But everyday was its own hell and left its own scar on my soul that I can’t erase.

You can’t just pluck those wounds from your mind and pretend they don’t exist because they do, and there will always be a trigger for a different time and place. The tightening of your chest as panic rises and the bile of the past boils deep within. Amazing how the mind can evoke such a physical response after trauma. The psychology of it all has left me intrigued and violated all at once.

I dated, quite a few guys and pretty seriously for a fair bit of time. The last guy told me he loved me. I may have loved him back. Yet he wasn’t what I needed and when he said those words my flight or fight response kicked in and I did both. It ended with a call from me to 911 and me sounding completely nuts explaining to an officer that he hadn’t hit me, or hurt me or grabbed me or done anything even remotely wrong… he simply said he loved me.

Over the next few years there was coffee and even sex but I wasn’t handing out my heart. I hid it behind the screen and it could be seen by those who I did care about in the words I shared. If I shared those words at all.

As the shadows buried in my soul began to stir I was seeking answers to the questions that no doctors or therapists or other victims could ever give. No one has written the book and maybe that’s because us victims don’t share enough to write, or maybe it’s because we get lumped into the categories of other mental health issues and the actual cause of the PTSD is overlooked.

I went to a website that I don’t think exists anymore. It was called Collar Me. A place for the kinky people of the world to look for people to meet or chat with or… whatever. For me? I wanted answers. I wanted, no I needed to know how he got to me and WHY. I found one guy who was an older married man with grandchildren who called himself a “Master”. I don’t think he really knew how to live the life and I know for sure he couldn’t do it 24/7, but for the first time he made it feel like it could be safe.

I didn’t even remember that I had added another person claiming a similar status to my yahoo chat until months later, long after I had visited that site that one night. I was on my laptop and a message popped up asking me if we had talked before and who I was. I explained we hadn’t talked and where I had likely got his info.

We talked for several weeks and I knew I loved him. Love seemed so extremely elusive and unattainable and yet there I was longing for a man who I had never spoken to or met. A man who could read me like a book and never made me feel like I was a game. He had answers to my questions and wanted to keep me safe. I respected that, 3 years later I still do.

I have wanted to be his in real life for the majority of those 3 years. He hasn’t been ready and honestly, I don’t even know what that means. I have grown a lot in this time. I have stopped cutting myself almost completely, meaning there have been slip ups but it went from several times a week to once or twice a year. We still don’t talk on the phone or skype. He has never asked me for dirty pics or tried to trigger me like others in this lifestyle.

He feels closed tight. A wall that separates us more so than the distance, yet, if he told me I was moving next week I would ask him what to pack and be ready to go. I never realized that freedom could be given to me by someone else, another human, and yet I feel more free now than I ever have.

The idea to land my ass on his doorstep and refuse to leave has crossed my mind more than once. Maybe he needs a similar push to be “ready”, especially since I wasn’t even looking for this.

I have also been told that I am being “cat-fished” and that he isn’t really who he says he is. Especially since we have never talked on the phone or skyped, and of course because he is so closed off. Initially, this made me defensive and even mad. How dare someone question our relationship!? Slowly though, those same questions crawled under my skin and caused me to feel insecure about it all.

Awhile back I realized that even if he is a she and I am being “cat-fished” and “wasting” my life talking to someone who will only ever lead me on but will never actually take me on –I can say I am better for it. I am happier. I am alive. I am trying to make changes to be healthier.

I feel understood for the first time in my life. So how can that be wrong? Even if it never does lead somewhere physical?

My family worries that I will hide out behind the screen forever waiting on a man who doesn’t really want me. I would like to think that at some point I would draw the line and choose to be happy in the flesh and maybe that’s what he is hoping for. Or maybe he is waiting for me to be bold and show up at his door to prove my love and devotion.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that the stirring in my soul grows greater and more impatient as I sit in wait. The days turning into years that rapidly pass us by. I want to live under his roof, cook his meals, vacuum his floors, kiss him good morning and kiss him goodnight. I want his mouth to explore me and I want my scars to be exposed the way my heart is. I want to be one with him and I want to grasp at the earth and feel it grab me back. I want to show him my love, adoration and appreciation for all that he has done.

I want the comfort of being able to watch the wounds heal. I need to be able to look over and see him fast asleep. I need the release that only he has ever offered me. I can keep on waiting. I don’t want to, but I can.

I think I need more. Those quick voice chats. Messages that don’t just arrive on my screen. I wonder how long I can keep on waiting though. That concerns me the most. I don’t want to give up or throw in the towel because of time.

I want to feel the stabbing of the steel knife gut me as he tosses me aside and makes it known that I am not what he wants. I can accept that. I will be destroyed but I can respect that. I can’t respect a passive-aggressive hope that I will end it so he doesn’t have to. I love him from the deepest parts of my soul. I want nothing more than to please him and be his in the flesh.

Loving him is easy. Being separated is becoming impossible.

What a wonderful grace it’s been to… love him.

Aug 202015
 

imagesCobwebs in the cathedral twisting, tangled, torn, captured, captive, captivated

Eight eyes, legs, many more pulling mighty knotted in naughty-girls filthy hair

Care, carrying on and walking, no running the dark paths from one evil to the next

Comfort there, in the scare, screams of torture, screams of death

Silenced marsh, footsteps felt but never heard

Clouds roll over the moon only you and I can see not the black hands in the black air reaching out for me

Choked and the blackness turns bright one last struggle, one last fight

Black. Consciousness lost who knows when.

Sky looks down on frozen me, bindings felt, the morning dew blanketing raw flesh as darkness covers my eyes.

Wake up girl this is your new life.

 Posted by at 9:18 PM
Feb 172014
 

Joy Dare: Taking the Dare to Find Joy in the Daily

Throughout Advent I found myself falling in love with the words and the peace that author Ann Voskamp was saying and writing on her website A Holy Experience. I felt slightly out of the loop being new to her work and her website and I was seeing so much about this Joy Dare and was somewhat perplexed by it and definitely intrigued. So, when the daily prompts for 2014 were released for download I had to see what this really was about. Really!

To my astonishment it was a gratitude journal! YES! I can do this!

Wait… I have to write down in a single year 1000 gifts or 1000 things I am grateful for? So with a commitment in my heart saying “you can do this, I CAN DO THIS” I opened the Joy Dare prompts and began to write. Not so hard when you have a prompt.

I can’t tell if I am behind, on track or ahead though and the perfectionist in me is staring at every nook and cranny trying to find just one. more. thing. to add in hopes of beating the 1000 gift dare.

Yet, deep down, yes down there, in my soul, where my creator, God, resides I know that I have so many more things to be grateful for than 1000.

I know that everything my hands touch, my nose smells, my mouth tastes and my eyes see I am to be grateful for and when it is just me and my soul sitting there together with God, with our books, with our thoughts, with a feeling that I have left my body and I only exist as soul I am grateful too because God gave me that power, the power to live, to float, to dream, to hope, to parent, to love and receive love in return.

Everything, every molecule that creates all matter I am grateful for and that’s a lot {or everything} and I will not miss out on praising Him and giving Him thanks for all that I have and all that I don’t and all that may be later on in life when He sees that I am ready in the physical and spiritual realms.

In taking this dare, this “Dare to Live Fully” right where I am, yes fully, meaning I am not missing out, I am not lacking, my chalice is full, I am full, I am filled with the Lord and it is my will to find this fill in his Word today, right now, right where I am and I am doing it! Not because Ann Voskamp said “yes you can” but because God spoke through her, He used her as a vessel to send this message to my soul to be filled by Him, the Holy Spirit, His Word, His love, unconditional. Joy. He used Ann Voskamp to “dare” little old me to reflect each night and come closer to Him than I have ever been.

How have you been challenged this year? Have you been challenged spiritually? Physically? Mentally? Has your faith been tested? Have you learned anything about who you are this year? If you had to write down three things about who you are what would they be?

I am a child of God, I am a mother, I am me!

Take a moment now and think about who you are! What your heart desires and what you are doing to achieve your goals. Big or small it doesn’t matter. How you feel is what matters. How you LOVE is what matters. Staying true to you, that’s what matters.

Don’t deviate. Celebrate!

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?”

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — by God.

Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive.

Come live the best dare of all!

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

 

 

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