Lately a lot of people have been calling me brave. I have written a few posts, Kiss Me Like You Kiss Your Boyfriends and I Have No Compassion For Child Abusers. I’ve been talking more openly about my past, discussing some of the things that I went through at the hands of my ex-step-father.
I am doing it as a method of self-healing. It is primarily for me, but also to help other people who may have or may be going through similar situations. My hope is that one of those more emotional posts brings them to this blog, and that they see how bright of a life an abuse victim can have. That it is possible to move on and not be held back by fear, anger, hate or self-pity.
No matter what I have gone through, I know one fact and that one fact is very well displayed in this blog – I have a wonderful life. I have a beautiful little girl. I am married to an amazing man that I fell in love with at 17. I am active in my community and I love my job.
But I think it is important that I continue to periodically write posts on this subject matter, so I can get it off my chest and share it with other people who may need to hear it.
I am proud of those posts and the fact that I can continue to be this publicly open.
I wanted to make that last point clear before I go ahead and mildly discredit some of the “brave” title that has been bestowed on me. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel brave. To write like this is something that is freeing, but also incredibly terrifying. It is always scary to open up and share this much of your vulnerability with the whole wide internets. So yes, in many ways, I feel brave.
But the reality is, for as open as I am, I have never actually confronted him. I have talked about it to family, friends and now my blog readers, but never to him.
I know there is not a chance in heck he has ever read this blog…tech savvy is not how I would describe him. But I have seen him. My hometown is very small. There is one bar, one Tim Hortons, only a handful of restaurants and he still lives in the house I grew up in. Our paths have crossed on more than one occasion since we had him arrested 13 years ago, but I have never said a word.
I see him, we’ve locked eyes, and then I look away. I have never had the guts to actually approach him. I did have to stop my husband from walking over to smash his face off a Tim Horton’s table once (first time Adam had ever seen him in person), but that’s about the closest thing to a confrontation we’ve ever had, and I don’t even think he noticed.
I guess I would feel more brave if I ever had the guts to walk up to him and call him out on all the shit that he caused in our lives. I wish I had the courage to tell him that it is not ok that he hit us, that he dragged me down the stairs by my hair, that he threw my little brother into a wall or locked my older brother out in the cold. I wish I was strong enough to tell him that he stole a portion of my innocence. That a 12 year old girl should not know what it’s like to feel a 40-someting year old man excited against her leg.
Most of all, I wish I was brave enough to tell him that he didn’t ruin my life. He overshadowed many good memories for nearly 10 years of my childhood, but I get the rest. I am happy. I have a wonderful life and he is just a mean old bastard living in the same small town. I win.
On that note, I will leave you with a video for a song that partially inspired this post. Last season on Glee (yes – I am a hardcore Gleek) they covered the topic of domestic abuse and featured Taylor Swift’s song, Mean. The words have always resonated with me.
Ideally speaking, if I ever have the bravery to confront him, it will go something like this.