Wishes are not reality

I created a narrative. The narrative was true but not in the correct order or context. So does that make it a lie in its entirety? Or did I just create the one sentence to make all of the other memories easier to bear? I think the latter.
In my mind Nana always said, “I’m sorry that Billy Banks did what he did to you.” That made Nana the one and only person who reached out to me, that I remember, who told me how badly she felt for everything I’d been through. My memory deceived me. That does not at all mean that all of my memories are lies or are confused. I’ve said from the beginning that with repeated ongoing trauma, the time line gets all jumbled up.
Last night I dreamed I had just had surgery for endometriosis. I was on the couch and Nana brought over the fake flower arrangement she made for me. She used to make these arrangements. It was black and white. I am absolutely sure of that because I remember thinking it was odd to give someone who had just had surgery an arrangement of black and white flowers. Where was the color. Where was the encouragement. It just seemed dead. She handed it to me and told me she was sorry that I had been through this. It was true. My dream.
I had awful periods and my mother was sure I had endometriosis like she did which caused a hysterectomy and her sister which caused her infertility. I had surgery of what I thought would be laparoscopic to remove endometriosis. I have always remembered distinctly the feeling I had when I woke up. I heard the doctor, interestingly the same doctor who delivered my brother and me, telling my mother that he had found endometriosis on my uterosacral ligament and that was all. He said he did a D and C to clear out my uterus of any endometrial tissue as well. After I heard this I reached down and under my hospital gown I was lying on a thick pad that I was bleeding onto. I had no idea he was going to be going into my vagina to do anything. Then telling my mother…I felt like I had been raped but I had no idea why I felt this way.
When I was 8 years old I became ill with what doctors now think was a precursor to the disease that had adult onset, which infact started when I was 8. I remember not being able to move without pain. I remember the pain being the same as the pain I have now. I also remember crawling to the bathroom. But that’s not true either. I didn’t crawl to the bathroom until I had the endometriosis surgery. After I came home from that surgery, the gas that they put in my abdominal cavity to move things around and search for the endometriosis, rose up into my shoulders. They told me it would take days to dissipate. If I sat completely up it was excruciating. So I crawled around. Until it finally did go away. Maybe I did crawl to the bathroom when I was 8 years old too. Maybe doing it as a teenager reminded me of that and that is what I remember most. But in my dream, which was a real recollection, I crawled down the hallway after that endometriosis surgery.
It took a long time to heal from it. I was weak.
I had come home from a waterskiing job, lived with one guy for a year, then came back home and I have no idea where I was living but I recovered from this surgery at home until my boyfriend at the time insisted he could take care of me at his house. As soon as I got back to his house, which he carried me into because I still could not walk, I had this sickening feeling I’d left a safe place for an unsafe one. But my house was never really safe. My memory of going back with my boyfriend to his house was that at some point in the relationship his wife came home. I head her high heels down the hallway and opening the bedroom door. I was mortified. I had no idea he was married. He was separated apparently. But that’s not the point of any of this. The narrative is. I had gone back to his house because he said he would take care of me after the surgery. My family made fun of him. He was 30 years old and I was only 19 or so. I always referred to him as “the humper” in my mind. You know how you can watch a dog hump on someone’s leg. That’s what he was always doing to me. Humping up against me. It was disgusting. But I was too weak to protest him taking me back to his house so I went.
At some point I broke up with him after finding out he was only separated from his wife.
My memories. All jumbled up. Very clear in my dream.
Before I was sick at 8 years old I was having urinary issues. So I had a surgery. They put me under anesthesia. Exploratory surgery of my bladder. I’m not sure what else happened in that surgery. I remember waking up and the nurse drawing with a pen on my sheets as to what was done. I remember being on a pad, naked, under a sheet. I remember the first time I peed it was very painful and that was at my Nana’s house but I never told anyone how badly it hurt to pee.
I continued having bladder issues, UTIs and my mother even sent me to her doctor to have urethra stretching done. This doctor put these smooth glass pieces in the urethra to stretch it. Getting bigger and bigger in hopes it made me get less UTIs. It was extremely painful. Is that when I peed at Nana’s house and it hurt too? I think so. It was all very clear in my dream.
I also had gotten a sexually transmitted disease that caused my cervix to have an abnormal Pap smear. That doctor did a cone biopsy to get clear margins. She told me she did not know if I’d ever get pregnant due to the cervical dysplasia and the endometriosis background.
I also had polyps on my cervix that a doctor twisted off. I told her to stop but she didn’t. She kept saying ONE MORE SECOND.
My dream reminded me of how many times doctors had made me feel violated. If you combine what the doctors were doing with the abuse that was going on…well it was pure hell. All of it. Even at 18 I had to see yet another specialist due to vaginal pain…I wonder why….he decided to cut the tissue out of my vagina and study it. I had multiple stitches. I was under anesthesia then too. He also put a cancer treatment on my vagina that swelled it closed so that I could not urinate at all. I had to go to the ER. All in the hopes to cure me. My poor vagina is all I can think. Violated by men, traumatized, ripped off and cut out by doctors.
But in all of this I have always thought that in the MIDST of this STORM of my life, Nana had comforted me. She had been the only one to come forward in the Billy Banks abuse to tell me how sorry she was it had happened.
But I created that. I guess I needed someone on my side in my own mind. I needed to know that someone was there to really know and give me empathy. In all reality there was no one. I was accused of being a slut by the gynecologist for the sexually transmitted disease. I couldn’t tell her it was from abuse. I was told by the surgeon who cut tissue out of my vagina that maybe the pain was from past abuse and trauma to the area. He didn’t know. But that did not stop him from using me as a guinea pig. I was too young to object, know better, or stand up for myself. I was desperate for an answer and a treatment. I never got one.
I woke up from my dream/nightmare thinking about my mother. She always acted like we are on the same team. She had endometriosis so I must have it too. She had a big butt so I had one too. She wanted us to be the same and talked about us as if we were. I didn’t need that surgery for endometriosis. I didn’t need any surgery I ever had.
I had a muscle disease that the doctors were too stupid to figure out. It affected my bladder and other muscles. They just “explored” on me and my bladder and my uterus and eventually I even let the doctors take a piece of muscle from my leg. I needed an answer. I had a muscle disease was the answer but the biopsy atrophied my leg.
Such a cost to me. Such a loss to me. I’ve been tossed in the devil’s den too many times to count anymore.
After waking up, everything makes more sense though.
Between the doctors and the abusers, my body was not my own. It still doesn’t feel like my own.
I thought Nana was there for me in a way that she was not. She was in other ways growing up. She was my safe place. She was a protector.
At least that’s how I remember it.
My memories have no real time line. I know they all happened and I know that I did what I had to do to survive.
I just don’t know if I am a survivor. I don’t feel like I’ve survived anything.
I recently wrote my mother a letter. Her husband’s daughter had told me that my mother spoke of me fondly. I’ve heard this before. Apparently all of my family speaks about me to others fondly. But it’s all a lie. They will tell you that they want a relationship but that I have not reached out. They will tell you that they love me and I won’t let a relationship happen. I believed for just one moment that maybe my mother did. I felt like, since 5 years ago when they all disowned me for speaking the truth about the abuse I’d experienced, that maybe they had NOT really disowned me. They don’t make it seem like that to others. I had some things that had been left unsaid. Some things that I had learned in the five years they had disowned me. I still felt that maybe one of them would come to my door one day.
Then I received my letter back from my mother “refused” circled on it and return to sender. And it hit me. In the five years I’ve been struggling, mourning, they really did just let me go. I had created this narrative in my mind based on what they told other people (lies) that maybe there was a chance my family did care.
I wasted five years.
My family did not just stop caring five years ago.
I’m not completely sure my family ever DID really care. I believe now, with these memories coming together, that I created a narrative where they did care about me. That made surviving the abuse tolerable.
That’s just not true.
I will never know what I was to them.
When you are dead to your parents what does that make you?
When your life has been a series of devastating events where does that leave you?
I am 48 years old with severe complex ptsd and seizures and a muscle disease and a bone disease and a vaginal disorder and trigemenal neuralgia and wide spread pain and atrophy. What will become of me now. What will the narrative of the rest of my life be? I’m the only one who knows the truth of it. I tell it here but the truth has not set me free.
It has made me alone. Would I rather be alone in the truth or surrounded by liars. Seems like it would be an easy question to answer. It isn’t.
I’ve begun to lose hope that there will ever be any normalcy in my life. Now that I am living in the truth and am aware of the truth in my past, I can a tiny bit understand why some choose to live in an illusion.
I can understand why I made Nana say she was sorry about what Billy Banks did to me because it was coping. But it wasn’t true. No one really cared about what Billy Banks did to me. And he was only one very very tiny part in the destruction of my childhood. Why would I ever have thought anyone would ever have cared about anything else.
I can only wonder what my dreams will remind me of next.
I know there is more I have suppressed.
I can hope it will stay buried in the recesses of my mind. But nothing does. The truth always comes whether we want it or not. I wish my truth were better. I wish it did not have so much tragedy. I wish my Nana really would have said what I thought she did. Wishes are not reality….

POETRY/RHYME

SOMETIMES

MINDFUL BLISS

BECOMES A DEAD WISH

BLOWING A DANDELION

INTO THE ABYSS

COMING BACK TO REALITY

AFTER A MOMENT WITH A BUMBLE BEE

MAKES ME FEEL LIKE AN ADDICT

MY OTHER REALITY IS TOO PAINFUL TO BEAR

MINDFULNESS IS LIKE A DRUG

WITH NO FIX

BECAUSE I CANT LIVE THERE

AND I COME BACK TO

THIS

A REALITY I CANT LIVE WITH

OR IN

TWO WORLDS

I AM SPLIT

WHERE IS THE WISDOM

IN A COPING SKILL

THAT’S RIPPED

JAGGED

SOMETIMES I MISS

BEING OBLIVIOUS

WHERE DO I FIT

IN THIS LIFE WITH SUCH BEAUTY

BUT EQUAL PAIN

TOSSED IN THE MIX

I WANT TO LIVE

NOT JUST

EXIST

Talk about me

I went out to the prairie tonight to look at the moon.

I met a man out jogging. I watched him running down the road through the prairie and for a moment I tried to imagine being him. I watched his arms and legs and I stood in place and moved like I was running slowly in place. I thought about what would happen if I put one step forward just to feel one last time what it felt like to really run. Then I thought better, knew my leg would break and it would ruin the last of my independence. So instead I sat in the car and I looked over the prairie and I remembered. I remembered when I used to canter the horse through that field. How the horse felt underneath me and how I would rock back and forth as the horse moved. I wondered if that is what it felt like in the womb. I looked up at the moon and wondered all of these things and reminisced about how it felt to have been able to run and ride a horse through this prairie. I thought about my friend Kae and how I wish she could be sitting in the car with me looking at the moon and how she’d toss out a quick poem to sum it all up.

I went to the prairie because I was having terrible dissociation due to a PTSD trigger. The prairie calms me. Probably because of the hundreds of times I was there on that grass and under that sun and those stars and moon when I was not suffering from a muscle disease and crippling PTSD.

I write this blog as a way to share my life, abuse, recovery, and everything in between.

My life as a woman, mother, wife, trying her best to overcome childhood abuse, health conditions, and PTSD. I share my inner most thoughts through poetry, and through posts like this where my fingertips write the words I may not be able to say out loud.

I realize that coming from a small town, there will be those who read my blog as a gossip line. A new tale to tell at the dinner table of Bethany’s struggles. I find that sad.

If you want to talk about me, or spread my story, then do it with the same courage I have by writing out my life publicly for all to read. Do it with integrity. Talk about the abuse I am trying so hard to overcome. Talk about how women can better be helped, encouraged, protected, supported through the recovery of abuse. Talk about the parts of my life that you, in your own life could help someone else with. Talk about me. Tell my story. Do it for the same reason I started and will continue this blog, to be real, raw, honest, and true, in every aspect of my life so as to connect to others doing the same. Talk about me so that my story does not repeat as it has unfolded to this day. Teach. Educate. Change the future for anyone who has had to go through sexual abuse.

Talk about me.

Talk around your dinner table about what COULD have been done for Bethany along the way so that she would not be struggling as she is now. What can you do for your friend, your daughter, your cousin, your mother, your coworker, to show them that they matter! What can you say or action can you take that proves that this individual has worth beyond the shame they may feel in the shadows of abuse. How can you empower. How can you offer presence.

Talk about me with your Doctor friends. Tell them how I should have/could have been diagnosed with this muscle disease at 8 years old if only someone believed me.

Talk about me to your psychologist and let her/him know that you are not alone in your feelings of abandonment, rage, despondency, dissociation, depression, frustration, loneliness.

Talk about me to someone in need. Give them my blog so they can contact me. Give them my email address bethanykays@hotmail.com so they know there is a person in the world that will listen always.

In your small town, your big town, in your car, to your spouse, under the stars, tell my story of weakness and strength… of my breakdowns and my victories…of my mindfulness…of my deep capacity of empathy and ability to love…Tell my truth just as my fingertips will tell you about the beauty that the moon radiated as I put my hand out to it.

But don’t gossip.

Let my life, my story, my pain, my suffering, my survival MEAN SOMETHING.

The journey to my childhood home

I knew at 3AM that I had to go to the lake. I had to go to Lilly Lake. My brother sold the house a few months ago. I have had sleepless nights since. I have mourned the loss of the lake, the peace I got from being in the water, the memories of raising my daughter there, and more. I mourned the loss of my family, the abandonment of everything in my childhood. I woke up and asked my husband if he could drive me there to get the closure that I needed. I had no idea what to expect. A new owner lives in the house now. I knew that “letting go” was not what I was looking to achieve.

“Letting go” is not part of my vocabulary.

CLOSURE is what is part of my vocabulary. Closed doors. Trying to move forward with understanding and awareness. My intention was to go to the lake house that I grew up in, was surrounded by abuse in, and find answers to the nightmares. I had no idea what I would I would find. I just wanted some sort of closure.

I drove the long road to the small town of Melrose. Trees, woods, and swampy area line the roads there. Farm land and dirt roads led us back to my “home.” There is one light in Melrose and a gas station that still pumps gas for you!!!


We turned down Neale road, a clay road that I walked down most of my childhood. We took a turn onto Austin Road. I stopped to look at the clay puddles. I briefly reminisced about the clay animals we used to make on that road with our lake friends.


A beautiful purple flower caught my eye. Then my husband found my orange flower. The orange flower that I used to skip from my house to my nana’s house and stop and look at and admire. 


We followed Austin road to my old driveway. Turning up the driveway we drove so slowly. I looked at all of the trees. I observed each and every tree, the length of the driveway we walked to get to the school bus in the dark every morning. I even saw the part of the woods that I went to when I was a little girl to ponder this life.


I brought some special things. I wanted to bury them there and more than just release those parts of me but more give gifts to the painful parts of those parts of myself. I threw a blue gem out into the woods where I sat when I was 8 years old.

We pulled up the driveway. There is one spot at the top of the driveway that you barely come over the hill and you see the lake. It always makes me catch my breath. You can see the green. So much green. All of the bushes my mother planted still thriving. The moss hanging from the trees filtering the sun through the trees, water, and grass. It is beautiful.


We pulled up and found a truck in the driveway. I walked to the front door. I stepped up the steps I walked up for 40 years. We moved into this house when I was 4 years old. I knocked. It took him a few minutes to come to the door. I had already planned on what I wanted to say. I needed closure because my twin brother sold the house and I just wanted to say goodbye.


He was extremely kind and graciously allowed me to go to the water. He went back inside and said it was simply “neighborly” to let me go to the water. I beckoned my husband from the car. I cannot walk to the water. I have not been able to for years. My husband carried me down to the dock. He waited as I took my shoes off and stood in the white sand. I walked to the water. It was clear as always. I could see my toes. The water was warmer than a bath. I saw at the beginning of the dock was a stature of an owl. How comforting was that!



I looked across the lake to my Nana’s house. I remembered swimming across the lake to her house.

I sat down and grasped the sand and tried to remember the sand castles my mom used to build with me.

I looked up and there they all were. The ski team. They pointed at me. Then others pointed at me.

The water was not so calming anymore. The sand didn’t seem so soft anymore. Watching the waves land on my feet didn’t make me feel free anylonger.

I brought my daughter to this place where I grew up to try and reframe the bad. I wanted her to grow up in this lake of clear water and white sand. I wanted her to feel the bits of good that I had felt. I brought her to evil. I was too manipulated and damaged to see the truth back then. I sw it now.

I realized in this very moment that I had tried to reframe something that was unframeable. I brought my daughter to a lake full of people that represented evil. These people were evil. These ski club members were still skiing on this lake. So many people who betrayed, did not protect, and physically and emotionally harmed me were STILL HERE! I experienced what was a completely confused, delusional, groomed, abused girl emotion. I had misplaced, misguided hope. I had not comprehended what these people had done to me until RIGHT NOW>

I grasped the sand in my hand and started to cry. I had come back to a place that represented nothing but tragedy and extreme pain. I walked to the end of the dock and threw my baby bracelet in the water. It was kind of a gift, to the water for giving me the one peace I was ever allowed to feel away from the hands of men and also a way to let that part of me know I heard her.


I stood on that beach and I faced my fears. I did not run away. I did not live in denial or fear. I drove out and faced my fear.

This photo is the only one taken by my husband:


My husband carried me to my car.

He stroked my back. I wanted to drive to my Nana’s house now. I wanted to feel what it felt like to see as an adult how far did I walk alone after I swam to her house, walking back home. It was much further than I thought.


I drove to nana’s driveway. I left a small piece of something special there too. Something to remind me that part of me and my love for her would remain. Her driveway will always fill my heart with peace. So here it is:


We then drove to the church where abuse also occurred.


It was pouring down rain.

You can see the farm land here in the rain too.


In each of these places that I visited today I outwardly said, “ I don’t need these memories any more.” I went to these places to purposely, with intention, bring closure to their thoughts and nightmares. I TRY. I have no idea what my efforts will bring in results wise  but I still try. I still find the flowers. I still went to see the only  light in town. I went to see the Hardee’s that we frequented when we were teenagers as a hang out place… even stopped by my first ever job on the corner.


We drove through town and the one light that is still there. We stopped at Mallards to see the five and dime storewhere my nana used to get me dollar barbies. We stopped to see where I learned to swim and the park nana took me too after we went to the library. We STILL found good!


On the way home I wanted to see my Nana’s grave stone. I have never seen it. It has been 21 years. I was forced to hide my pregnancy when y nana passed away. God forbid me bring shame to the family. Not that my mother had a child out of wedlock! Not that my family did NOTHING but continued skiing witha child molester. But I was pregnant with a man I loved and have been married to for 20 years now. But it had to be hidden . My family has and always will be ashamed of me.  When THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED. Sickening.

I wanted to visit my nana’s grave stone. We couldn’t  find it. Drove forever searching. My husband got out of the car in the rain and searched the entire cemetery for what felt like forever until he found it. He was determined.

I left a picture of my daughter, as my nana was the only one other than me that knew I was having a girl, on her grave stone.  Nana passed away when I was only 4 months pregnant. She told me she knew I was having a girl and to take good care of her so I felt it appropriate to leave a picture of my daughter on her grave stone. I cried again. I left a picture of myself, a stone (for my Jewish heritage), and my necklace that I felt led to leave. I took it off my neck and left it over her name “let God” with a cross.

I set out on this journey with the intention to get closure. I had no idea what I would end with. I will never go back to Lake Lilly. Lake Lilly is a representation of a LARGE group of liars, denials, betrayals, and family that are willing to choose a pedophile over a good girl. Yep, I can tell you this beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am a good girl. My heart is pure. I put others before myself. I put animals, children, those I love, before me. I know when I look at myself in the mirror that my heart is pure. When I looked out on that lake all I saw was evil. My own family willing to sacrifice their own daughter/sister to be…what? Why? Because of the stigma of abuse? To have a “name” in this country dirt road town where white church going men get to get away with raping little girls.

Shouldn’t they be more concerned with their honor, their integrity? Their little girl? Their daughter?

I cried on that lake at the fury and hatred that I felt for all of the ski team who trafficked a little girl and discarded her over and over again. I cried at the people assigned to me as my family. It was their job to love me no matter what.

They did not.

Pedophile privilege. It exists. It lives. It destroys.
I stood on that beach and I knew I did not matter to any of those people and I never would. So no, I will not forgive them, I will not let them go, I will not release them. The damage they ALL did to me is on them. It is their shame. They can decide what they want to do wtih it.

For today, I will just close the door on them and walk away and watch the sunset instead.

I have not given up. I CHOSE to face these Demons with my “fear no evil” shirt on for a purpose. I stood on that beach and I discovered the truth. Finally. 

Thank you God. I am finally HOME!

Poetry


Enough.

“Was I supposed to be looking for a pedophile around ever tree?” 

Yes mother, you were. 

“Should I have not shaken his hand?”

No father, you shouldn’t have. He is a pedophile.

“What could we have done? You didn’t tell us enough.”

I told you both enough.

Enough.

I lay here.

The sticks thrown,

Laying at my feet.

Lashes felt through out me.

I lay here,

As the green algae envelops me.

They won’t notice.

They scoff at my defeat.

“She’s just mentally ill.”

They say to disregard me.

To deflect my persistent screams. 

They mock and minimize the anxiety.

My spine is crooked from their feet. 

I said enough.

I shouted to the world. 

But enough is not what they ever need.

“Silence!” The continue to plead.

I will never concede. 

They want me down with the sticks

And the stones.

They want me covered in the mold.

I’ve had enough of that life.

Look at me

Here,

Now.

Look in my eyes. 

“ENOUGH!!”

I say.

I claim this life

Without you

As finally

Mine.

*photographs by Riley Kays

A tiny seed and a tiny root.

I loved my next door neighbor’s mimosa trees. One day,  many years ago, he brought over what looked like a stick with barely any roots and just stuck it in the ground. He told me that it would become a beautiful mimosa tree in no time at all. I didn’t believe him! It was a stick! With only a few roots! But look at it now:


I can’t wait for it’s little puffy flowers to appear. They are pink fluff and smell like cotton candy and bubble gum. 

This tree came from next to nothing. But those tiny strings of roots took hold and spread. It took many years. It transformed from scrawny and spindly to strong and tall and spectacular.  It was worth the wait. Some things take a long long time to take root and to flourish. Longer than we could have imagined or expected. 

Take a look at this…when we first built our house, there were massive stones that had to be dug from where the house would be placed. I asked them to put the stones next to the trees. 


Out of one of those rocks is now, 12 years later, growing a flower. Just a rock, and a flower and some ferns that grew along side too.


It just took only little seed to land on top of a ROCK to get this beautiful orange and yellow flower. There is no soil on the rock. Just some leaves that have accumulated. But all it took was one seed to make a flower grow out of a rock. 

It didn’t need the perfect accommodations!It didn’t even need soil! But it grew. Out of a STONE!

Just a tiny bit of roots and a tiny little seed. Imperfect conditions. Improbable outcomes. And yet, there they are. 

I had tiny roots. Tiny. I did not have perfect conditions. My outcome, based on my circumstances looked pretty grim. But maybe we don’t need a lot to thrive. Maybe we don’t need a huge family and tons of friends. Maybe we don’t need the perfect anything. A flower grew from a seed on a rock. A magnificent tree grew from a stick and tiny roots. We just need a little bit to go on. A little bit will do. A little bit HAS to do. I only have a little bit. I have a limited, small, wonderful support system. I am not surrounded by thick rich soil and strong roots.I, myself am quite fragile. I have to accept what I have been given and let that be enough.

One tiny seed of faith. One tiny root of possibility. And some time. And it will happen. We will thrive and flourish. We just may need a little more time. I need a little more time. But if a flower can grow from a rock, anything is possible. 

Humiliation.

*lots of bad language, raw, real, triggers for abuse and rape*

I coped by complete avoidance for most of my life. Avoidance meant minimizing. Avoidance meant ignoring my own mind and my own body. I coped the same way that was modeled to me by my upstanding family, denial. Being numb. So when I spontaneously WOKE UP a little over two years ago, imagine my shock. Oh I never denied being abused as a child but it wasn’t spoken of. I went to therapy sessions where there was a lot of “sounds like you’re feeling sad” Hell yes you idiot I feel sad, I just  told you I was sad, now come up with something of value! When you wake up many things will happen. You will put people where they belong, in the correct catergory. Person A. You were an enabler to a child molester. Person B. You suppressed and oppressed my very existance. Person C. You never believed me or validated anything I experienced. Person D. You made me feel like I didn’t even matter and was a burden. What sucks is those people were an integral part of your life, your mother, brother, best friend, etc. Now that you are awake you see them for who they really are. You also see the abuse for what it really was.  And the gravity of it all is tremendous. I’m walking a new path with a new therapist that is superb and allows me to feel for the first time in my life. Today, I felt raw anger in a way I had never felt it before.

As a child I could not process what happened to me. It was not until a few years ago that I really grasped the significance,enormity, of the abuse I endured. It has taken 2 years for me to work through 40 years. I mean, if as a kid, you were able to get the help you needed, work through it all, have a supportive kick ass family, then fantastic! If not. It is just a matter of time before you make the choice to keep living silent and numb or speak and let pieces of your life fall where they may. I was NOT allowed to process anything growing up with a family living in denial. So I am just now starting.

I am 44 years old and today was the first day in my entire life that I truly felt the full gravity of what was done to me. It hit me when I remembered a moment of humiliation. Billy Banks, that child molesting piece of shit, always took things to a new level. He manipulated and molded me from very early on. I was his secret. He kept his secret in his house where he could hide me away and do as he pleased. But soon he started to test those around him. He wanted to see how far he could take the abuse in public. One day I remember in particular we had finished ski practice across the lake from my house. I had changed out of my bathing suit and put on shorts and a t-shirt. I had just started wearing a bra and didn’t have one that day when I changed. Billy and another ski club member were taking me home in their boat when Billy stopped the boat, said he noticed I wasn’t wearing a bra (I was maybe 11?) and he threw me over the boat into the water holding onto my arm. Slowly pulling me up and laughing while telling his buddy, “yep, told you she wasn’t wearing a bra.” Humiliation. Mortification. I tried to cover myself but I was dangling over the boats edge with my wet shirt stuck to me and two men laughing.  That’s all I remember. That incident was wedged in with hundreds of abuse incidents and many more humiliations.

Pause. The other man in the boat. Why did he do nothing? Why did he say nothing?

I tried to break the silence a few years later when my friend and I paddled out the ski jump in the middle of the lake and spray painted it that Billy Banks was a child molester. A warning to all the other moms. A cry for help by me. An act of finally saying NO MORE.  Bright and early the next morning the ski club members were rolling paint brush rollers right over my voice.

Pause. Why didn’t they do anything? Why did they say nothing?

After I attempted suicide years later and told my parents that Billy had been doing bad things to me( I was in a state of shock and humiliation and not many words surfaced, but enough so they knew I was being abused), They still let my brother ski with Billy at the club.

Pause. Why did they do nothing. Why did they say nothing?

Humiliation. I felt such utter humiliation because no one said a thing. There were no protectors. There were no advocates. There was no solace or peace. There was humiliation, pain, shame, agony, depression, and so much more.

These people. Every single one of these people, my brother, my father, my mother, Billy Banks, the ski club members, Billy’s wife, Billy’s daughter, the ENTIRE TOWN, knew. And did nothing.

So I became numb. I walked the path of many abuse victims.

Until, I woke up. Still a little groggy from 40 years of sleep but each day waking up a little bit more. And as I awaken I see people for who they really are. When you are awake you tend to remove all facades, masks, and lies. 2 years ago I told my father all of the abuse that happened to me. I shared that information with my entire family. And they had an OUTSTANDING performance. They spewed hate, blame, shame, more humiliation, more denial, more revictimiation, and I have to give them a standing fucking ovation. Bravo. You won a prize. Really. I am officially awarding my family with an Emmy ward, a Grammy award, I may even throw in a Golden Globe for the most pathetic, most piece of shit group of people I have ever laid eyes on. Because see, I see you now. I see it all. I see you all. What my family has done should be criminal. But it isn’t. There is no crime for being pieces of shit. So I give them an award for a life long achievement as the worst family they could be for me. Funny thing about them, they’d take the award, put it on the mantel, and brag about it to their friends, and twist it to make them winners. I feel true and unabashed disdain for all of them.

I had my vagina, my breasts, my body, my heart and soul, violated, humiliated as a little child. And nobody cared. In fact, they care so little that they walked away the first chance they got. That little girl didn’t matter to them. And all of the Billy Banks fans, and there are many, who still stand by his side defending and demanding his innocence are sorry pieces of shit too.

You can’t make this shit up! I’m not living with PTSD, flashbacks, and anxiety for nothing! It was placed upon me, against my will, as I was molested repeatedly by Billy Banks. Do you think Billy Banks is having a hard time in his life right now? Hell no! He has tons of money, a big family, still lives on a lake where everyone kisses his ass, he even got into some sort of waterski hall of fame. He is happy as a clam. He has no remorse because he is an evil demented man who most likely has moved onto another victim that no one even knows about.

And I am left to pick up the pieces of ONE MAN. One man took away everything. He took away my childhood. He took away (indirectly but most definitely ) my family. and has left me with life long side affects to that abuse. The gravity of what that one man did and the ripple affect he had on everyone around him choosing evil over good hit me today.

Someone once commented on my blog that I just need to forgive. And listen. You can think that. You can think whatever you want to think about forgiveness, and letting go, and how that can lead to my healing. But keep those opinions to yourself. This is my space. I was “the good little girl” my whole life. I was made to be perfect and accepting and forgiving and QUIET. I am not there right now. I am ANGRY. And I have every fucking right to be. My body is angry at the pain that was inflicted upon it against my will. Forgiveness is not in my vocabulary right now and whatever unicorn world there is out there where forgiveness FIXES my PTSD and my vaginal pain, well all I can say is I hope I get there one day but just telling me to forgive is insensitive and I will not have it. When or if I forgive, I will let everyone know. I am currently allowing myself the FREEDOM to FEEL. Whatever that brings. I’m pretty sure my raped vagina fucking has the right to be angry.I am pretty sure the humiliation of my naked breasts as a child dangled over a boat in the water get to feel angry.  I’m pretty sure I have the right to feel angry that the people who were supposed to protect and love me unconditionally are pathetic prideful assholes that abandoned me the first chance they got because they just couldn’t handle anything but the “perfect bethany”. It is almost as if they liked the abused version of me. They could handle that me. The crushed beaten down barely alive person they liked. That person was very easily kept quiet.

So, I am awake. And awake hurts. Awake is so painful. Awake is full of awareness and memories and processing. But I am on a path of truth. I am on a path of healing, not living a life that is a lie. We will see where my path takes me. It is a narrow path. So I may have to walk it slowly heel toe heel toe. But I am walking it, nolonger numb.