Several months ago a wonderful woman by the name of Maggie started a blog called Violence UnSilenced. In it, survivors of domestic violence and abuse would tell their stories. Some were from people who were already in a better situation, some were from people who had to stay anonymous to protect themselves.
I read the stories with mingled horror and admiration. Some stories even brought tears to my eyes. These women and men were so strong, so brave. It took several days of soul-searching before I decided to send in my story. This was back in February. I think it’s a testament to the welcome nature of the site that it was finally posted today.
Those of you who have come to my blog from that post, thank you. Thank you for your kind words, and your support. When I started re-reading my own post, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest, and narrowly avoided having a panic attack. Your words calmed me, soothed me. I wonder if my mother may stumble upon this post. I still haven’t told anyone except my husband, and you faceless, wonderful people of the internet.
I’m mainly writing this post because I wanted to share the letter that I wrote about. I’m not sure that I need to say much about it, the words speak for themselves.
I have tried for years to say I’m sorry. I’ve imagined it, I’ve said it out loud yet the whole time my shame takes me to the place of the unforgiven. I have tried for years to give back to you what I took from you, with anger of my own making. I had no understanding at the time who I was or why I was. It’s funny how the past sews itself into the now and never lets you forget even when you try. We all find ways to cope and yours was the most beautiful. A true forgiving. You were always calm in my storm and my storm sometimes never ended. I finally found the reason and made amends with it. I made myself whole again and you have always been there, the one person I owe a world of thank you’s to, a world of apologies. I live with my regrets but no sorrow of the time we spent together. I came looking for you but never found you. Then out of nowhere google sent me here. I hope you’re well. I hope you have all the happiness in the world. I’m sorry to disturb you if the past is not a fair place to spend any time.
I wrote him back, of course. I won’t post all the emails here, but here is another excerpt from his second email.
I hate to harp on the same subject but I’m trying to find how, in words, to tell you that I healed thanks to you. I went to anger management, psychologist, psychiatrist, the works. All because I couldn’t live with myself for what I did to you. I feel like an alcoholic saying that I haven’t had a drink in ….. But I found peace and haven’t had a relapse of anger EVER. I am grateful that I only have you to apologize to. It’s not fair that we can be hurt so young and hurt other who are innocent, who only want to love us. I sorry from the bottom of my heart. There hasn’t been a week go by that I haven’t thought about you and hoped that I didn’t scar you.
I know I am so lucky, and I can only hope that other people in my situation see themselves and act. I can only pray that the givers of pain, the abusers, recognize themselves and -stop-. It’s a far cry, but it happened in my situation, I have faith that it will happen in others.
Thank you for listening.