I’ve wanted to write for 3 weeks now. But my brain processing has been off. Maybe it is the low blood phosphorus or the low blood zinc levels they found. Maybe the seizures. Maybe it is the extremely high ferritin levels or the high copper levels. Maybe it is what feels like this weird life sentence with this muscle disease I was diagnosed with and the constant add ons that seem to be piling up on top of what I was pretty sure was a maxed out chronic illness status. I mean come on the muscle disease, ok, then the bone disease, well, that’s not good, then Lyme disease, REALLY, SERIOUSLY, and then lab after lab that is just a reminder that my body’s issues make me want to go back to bed and stay there for a very long time. MAYBE it is the PTSD. This less than lovely diagnosis that I received that at first made me think, ” Oh NOW I understand myself,” too soon after, “Oh shit this is not going away,” kind of like my muscle disease and everything ELSE that has plagued my body.
I’ve tried to come to an understanding between my body and me. I know it is living on borrowed time. I know that at any given moment my body could throw up the white flag and be be done. Given a diagnosis of “No cure, nothing we can do, you will progressively get worse,” I can only describe as petrifying. Terrifying. And I don’t use those words lightly. But then the bone diagnosis. I last ditch effort went to the Mayo Clinic just to hear the words, “There is nothing we can do.” YOURE THE FUCKING MAYO CLINIC!!!!!FIGURE IT OUT!!!!! And while there, ” Sorry your iron infusion caused bone and joint pain, hopefully that will go away but we aren’t sure when.”…….ONE YEAR LATER…..still same symptoms, while my current family physician is desperately trying to decide what on earth to do to give me some shred of hope, I sit here wondering if for me, hope even exists anymore.
But all that sits on the back burner. On the front burner has been this little tidbit of information on my family. My EX-family. You know those people who pretended like the ski club coach was never sexually assaulting their little girl. THAT family. The one that went on with their lives like nothing ever happened until one day I held up a mirror to their faces and said IT DID! STOP IGNORING IT, at which point the entire clan disowned me. Yep. Those people. I just never understood the how and the why other than just chalking them up to really superficial prideful AWFUL human beings. But nope. That wasn’t enough. There had to be one more piece of the puzzle.
I received this piece of the puzzle a number of weeks ago and I have not written a word since. I haven’t been able to. My heart crumbled and little pieces of it have been littering the floor since. I will see a piece of my heart in the corner of the room, in the shadow of a picture, on the floor under the kitchen table. But I have no idea how to pick up the scattered pieces of me and put them back together. Some things are just not processable. They linger and tear and rip and crumble you to bits along with the plethora of a thousand emotions you didn’t even know were possible to have in one sitting.
First, how does one cope with the life sentence of PTSD. A disorder PURPOSEFULLY inflicted by others. I may as well tattoo that fucking word across my forehead. “Hey listen guys I have this and I can’t see it going away any time soon because a shit load of assholes decided it would be my life sentence.” And don’t get me wrong. I know that therapy and meds and all of that can help JUST like a muscle relaxant can help my cramping muscles. But some things….they cannot be fixed. My leg is atrophied. It’s not coming back. My brain is traumatized. It may get some coping skills and some bandaids. But fixing or not fixing my PTSD is not really the point. The IDEA that a group of people could give me PTSD causes a rage like no other I have ever felt. And as most people can go for a run, bash a ball with a bat, get out their anger in a healthy physical way, I am left with my own weakened body and a mind that MUST some how muddle through all of this GARBAGE. ALL OF THIS SHIT THAT HAS BEEN PURPOSELY LAID UPON ME. All those ski club members who knew and did nothing. The people of my church, the people in the town. The people that could have helped me in the aftermath of the abuse that chose to do NOTHING. I have rage towards those cowards. And I very well give myself permission to. I was ELEVEN. I deserved to be saved!!!!!!
So back to the tidbit. I discovered through a number of people that during the abuse I encountered my father was doing some seedy and secretive tasks of his own. My abuse was secondary. But then again I have always been secondary. This is nothing new, but it is to a whole new level of depth and disgusting. I was told, my father chose his dirty little secrets and protecting them over me. He allowed the man who abused me to still have contact with my brother. He shook the abusers hand. He allowed us to live across the lake from this monster and acted as if NOTHING happened. Nothing. My entire life I have felt like I just didn’t matter. But THEN I find out that one of my mother’s friends actually warned her. She told my mother she was worried I was spending time unattended with this man, this abuser who at the time they did not know was an abuser. But my mother was adequately warned, alerted, given a subconscious thought that she IGNORED. My mother was warned. My father was busy…CHEATING. And they acted my whole life, and still do like I was the one with the problem. Me. It was NEVER me! They brought their skeletons in the closet and those skeletons were more important than the healing and protection of their child. Can’t wrap my mind around it.
I was watching home videos of my daughter after her birth and my father commented on my large breastfeeding breasts. Why did I choose to ignore the red flags. He said so many sexually inappropriate things that I just discounted. When your hope for a REAL father overshadows red flags, it’s time to check yourself. I never did. Because everyone LOVES my father. Just like everyone LOVES the man who abused me. They have those loveable personalities. But beneath…
So to sum up. I recently discovered that a man tried to help me, tried to protect me, and my father blocked that due to his own agenda. In discovering my father’s secrets, I learned that I could have been saved by someone who tried to save me. Be still my broken heart. My mother was warned but chose to ignore it. I mean really it was of the UTMOST importance that our family stayed in high ranking in the little piece of shit podunk town of keystone heights. They really thought their “status” mattered more than I did. They still do. Then more information of knowledge that more people knew I was being abused has come flooding in in these past few weeks. More people knew about my father’s “indiscretions” and they all found it more important to cover that up than to pay attention to me. Little me desperately trying to be noticed. Desperately hoping someone saw me with my hand stuffed down some man’s pants. Desperately praying someone would walk in and see and save me. But alas, many did, and chose to do nothing so I now know. Praying someone would save me. I always thought God didn’t send anyone to save me. He did. They just gave up.
And to find out I WAS saveable. People KNEW. And they tried. But not hard enough. Apparently my family was an iron wall that could not be permeated.
So I texted my father last week. I told him that I knew about his secret life and he needed to tell the family or I would. I wanted him to have a moment of fear in his secret coming out. Not that his one moment of fear would equate to my thousands of moments of fear with a 60 year old man laying on my little child body growing up. My father will never feel the fear I felt most of my childhood. Ever.
Being treated like a villain for speaking the truth is criminal. But my entire family did that. Ohhhh Bethany’s poor family now have to live with the stigma of others knowing she was molested and that her family did NOTHING. At what point did society choose the family over the child. At what point did MY family, and they did, consciously decide that their lives secrets superseded mine. They are going on with their lives, buying houses, partying at bars, ya know, doing what people do, while I am left here with WhAT! The consequences of them doing NOTHING! PTSD because of not only the abuser but THEM. And their constant judgment. I was NEVER good enough, never pretty enough, tainted the family while having a child out of wedlock (and yet my marriage has last ed longer than any of theirs ever did. Let’s see they are on spouse 3?) They beat me down so that I would stay silent.
I have contemplated what to do next. Do I tell my family my father’s secrets. Yes, I thought. Then they will see, ” Oh my gosh Bethany was never the bad guy, she was just finally speaking the TRUTH, and her father and her parents just tried to cover it up.” Still the little reminisce of one piece of my heart left. That one piece that felt like if they KNEW my father was actually the bad guy here and I was the one who was the sacrificial lamb then they would finally understand. Cousins, brothers, aunts, would rush to me in love and understanding. They would turn their disgust to the ones who deserved it and not put their guilt/denial and blame on me anymore for telling the truth.
All these fuckers, and I do not use this word lightly. Fuckers, walking around, living their lives like I never got raped! Because they have no conscience. I cannot ever get into their minds and understand why because I am a decent loving person, they are monsters. Everyone of them.
Then I woke up. I woke up from my delusional thinking that hearing the truth would ever make a difference. They already heard the truth and they all ran away. Back 30 years ago they knew I was being molested and did nothing. 2 years ago I was brutally raw and honest about the full details of what I had been through, and nothing. So why would I EVER have thought that telling them that my father was busy doing, well apparently other people other than my mother…..and not caring about protecting me…..they won’t care. They will go back to their dinner parties and their little black dresses and I will NEVER MATTER to them.
How can this be processed. How do I move forward when I now have nightmares every night. How can I ever heal from this lifetime of abuse. It is to big. I am too alone. I don’t know how I will do it.
There will be no redemption for me. There will be no justice for me. I know this now. There will never be epiphanies for those people who did nothing to save me. There will never be apologies for those who let a little girl knowingly be traumatized. They can drink their wine and toast their lives because they aren’t left with PTSD. They aren’t left with PTSD and a declining deteriorating body. They are left with themselves. And some will say, “oh they are suffering for what they know they have done.” But I disagree.
Narcissists do not suffer.
I can still remember my aunt’s eyes after she saw me at my great uncles funeral. She was afraid. She saw me, informed the family I was there and they all scrambled like rats to run away.
Were they worried more secrets would come. Did they know I was no longer the wallflower but the speaker who refused to be silenced anymore. Did they know about my father’s other secrets. Or did they just choose to look away from the truth of rape like those others who cannot face it. I don’t know. Why is it so hard for those to face rape when those who ARE raped are forced to face it forever. Am I suppposed to be sympathetic to those ears who find it hard to hear because I sure as fuck am not.
I am left with my heart broken. Far more broken then it was before. And I have no idea how to pick up the pieces anymore. I thought I did. I thought if I texted my father and told him that I would NOT keep his secret, my life would finally make sense, everyone would finally understand that I was just the innocent victim, then I would be ok. But that was delusional thinking. Because as I said, I could text each member of my family, but I am sure my father has already told them that Bethany will be telling lies. He will protect himself until his dying day. They all will. Because I never mattered. And to say that is a hard pill to swallow is an understatement. Finding out this about my father….that hard pill is caught in my throat and it is suffocating me. When I can breathe again I will try to gather the pieces of my heart that are scattered. But this broken…I am must not sure if this one is fixable anymore.
I was the sacrificial lamb. I was then. I am now. And having my throat slit while others just have stood by and watched me bleed out, is unbearable.
The men who have molested and raped me walk free. Their supporters walk free. My family who did nothing, walk free. Justice will have to be God inflicted. Some days I just don’t know if I can bear the weight, or rather the wait, any longer.