My Inner Child is a Stubborn Little Bitch

Well, she’s not really a little bitch, but she is pretty damn stubborn.  Most days, I adore that little girl with her you-have-to-wash-them-out-cause-you-can’t-brush-them-out curls.  But, she led me down a treacherous trail to a marriage to an abusive and narcissistic psychopath because he made it okay for me to be angry and she needed that.  She now leads me around to date after date looking only to realize her little girl fantasies because she needs them to live outside my mind.  It isn’t her fault completely.  She’s just a little girl whose unmet needs and unresolved anger shaped me and nearly allowed my assured ruin.

She missed out on the family life she wanted, the one she felt she had a claim to.  Maybe, she did have a right to an expectation of a healthy and intact family life, but she didn’t get it.  Certainly, not in the package she wanted.  So, there it is…she missed out and someone was going to get her what she wants – that someone became me.

As a consequence of my unsettled anger, I made choices and sometimes fell into situations I do not believe I would have if my extreme emotions had been explored and set free.  But, no one was watching my downward spiral.  No one understood or even saw the effects of their actions on me.  So, I coped as most children did in the 70s and 80s before therapy was commonplace, alone and on my own – just being and not progressing through the damage and grief ensuing from my real and perceived abandonment due to my parents’ divorce.

Not being shown how to work through my pain in a safe and honest place, I became ripe prey for someone who knew how to influence a person tethered to her daddy issues.  He made it acceptable for me to have anger.  He did not help me through it of course.  That wasn’t his game plan.  Instead, he acknowledged it, which is all I ever wanted, but then he used it to exploit and manipulate me into believing he was all I would ever have and at least he wasn’t leaving so take what I could get.  He used my unreconciled past, among other things, to fence in the best of me.  And I existed and endured in that psychological prison for 21 years.

Since I put my freedom back on several years ago, the little one inside has brought up those unfulfilled desires.  She says, “Here’s my chance.  That maniac is gone.  Now, I can get what I’ve been waiting for all this time.  Let’s do it!”

But, she only looks out for herself.  I’m a means to an end for her.  She has all the gritty strength of mind and floods with optimism at the end of a select few of these dates while I get all the sorrow and disenchantment when things do not go according to her plans.  She’s – well, she’s a child.

I’m not angry at her, though.  I love her.  I really love her.  I know her pain.  I feel her pain.  Her pain is mine.  But, it’s in the past.  It’s not part of my present.  For me, it’s done.  For her, that’s all there is.

So, tonight, I will let her climb into the lap of my mind and I’ll hold her and stroke those stubborn curls as I try to persuade her though I may never be able to give her that which she believes she needs to be whole, she will never – not ever – be alone again.  And, maybe – just maybe – we can be whole together.

 

Grip – A MicroStory

Disclaimer:  Mature rating for language and content.

 

She had a smart mouth.  That’s what he always told her.  In the odd-shaped walk-in closet, she stood with her back to the opened door.  In an instant beyond her intuition, his meaty fingers were around her throat. She was turned and pushed to the ground – in one fluid motion.  She was too aware of the broken guitar lying between her and the closet floor.

With her eyes closed, she heard him say, “You think you’re gonna disrespect me, bitch?  Do you know who the fuck I am?”  He spat the words at her.  Spittle settled on her face.  Had she known, she would have wiped it away.  There were some things she just couldn’t tolerate.

She could feel the dryness of his hand from the palm to each digging tip.  She could feel the distinct droplets of sweat forming a shackle around her neck.  The dryness, the sweat – living in the same space at the same time, yet so very separate.

Suddenly, she felt a slack in his grip.  One gasp for air ran away before she realized he was only shifting for a better hold.  The comprehension sank so deep her eyes slammed open.  Finally looking into his eyes, she could see they didn’t look different at all.  She wished they did.  But his eyes were calm, at ease, steady.  For him, there was no passion, only intention.  For her, there was no panic, only resignation.

Nothing flashed before her eyes. No images of happy times or of sad times.  No hope of times to come or longing for times now gone. She might like to wonder why, but she can’t.  Nothing but the moment exists.

And then he was gone and she was alone – and alive with the broken guitar still making its presence known against her back.

She picked herself up, walked quietly into the kitchen, and made dinner.

His grip on her throat never as tight as the one he had on her mind.

 

It is my understanding that a micro-story is meant to convey a story in as few words as possible still making the reader feel something.  I hope I made you feel.

 

 

They Keep Coming…

I walked out of the bathroom into my bedroom and he was there, lying on the bed like he belonged there. My body was stricken with paralysis even as my mind skyrocketed into hyperdrive.

“I’m back,” he declared as though he expected me to throw confetti and blow New Year’s Eve party horns.

For some reason, his mother was lying beside him – they were lying on their stomachs, heads at the foot of the bed, propped up on their elbows watching my TV in my bedroom like it was the most normal thing in the world.

He stood suddenly and I told him he couldn’t be here and so we argued. I had to express my anger a bit and then capitulate. That was our usual pattern and he expected everything to be the same. To do anything else would heighten his attention to detail. I was trying to buy time so that I could remember where I left my cell phone the night before.

He was satisfied with my reaction and relaxed back on my bed beside his mother. I said I needed to get dressed and began rummaging through my drawers while his mother droned on about how she had been living successfully on her own for months. With my back turned, I couldn’t resist rolling my eyes.

My eyes met with my cell on top of my dresser – black on black. He had not noticed it. He did not even know I had a cell phone. I placed my clothes on top of the phone and scooped it up. I wanted to run from the house and into the street screaming wildly for help, but I knew I would never make it down the staircase. So, I walked as normally as I could to the bathroom and casually shut the door behind me. He didn’t follow. I locked the door, rushed into my closet, and dialed 911.

“Please help me… My ex-husband is here. He’s not supposed to be here!”

Unexpectedly, I hear bitter arguing coming from the bedroom. My whispered pleas to the 911 operator become more desperate and frantic. She’s asking too many questions. I’m too frightened to think straight. Even she can hear his yelling through the two closed doors.

Then came the piercing screams. I know he’s choking her, but I am confused as to how she can make so much noise with his hands around her throat.

“He’s killing his mother! He’s killing her!”

“He’s killing your mother?”

“No, no! His mother! Hurry, hurry…please.” I am sobbing and shaking and forgetting to whisper. “He’s going to come for me…”

Then I hear my daughter’s voice in the bedroom and I shout to the operator, “My daughter’s in there,” as I rush out of the closet.

Then I wake up.

This is the recurring nightmare that woke me at 3:45 this morning. They differ a little and this was the most violent one by far. They always involve a search for my cell phone – that is the one constant besides the terror — crippling, out of your mind terror — that confuses me long after I awaken. It took me an hour to shake this one enough to get out of bed. But when I did, I decided to Google nightmares and Dr. Phil said write it down in detail, so I did.

Still it lingers over me like a full raincloud and reverberates through me like thunder in a fireplace. I tell myself it’s just a dream. And it is. But the fear, the fear is real.

I wish I were the only one. I cry knowing that I’m not. I cry knowing so many have it much worse than I ever did. It is for them that I pray. Those whose nightmares last all day, whose nightmares lie next to them every night, whose nightmares have a beating heart, beating fists, and beating words.

I want to tell them that I know their pain, their dread, their hesitancy to make a move. I pray they will get out, too. If I could address even just one woman who lives in this kind of abysmal reality, I would say you are not who your abuser says you are. You are not the feelings your abuser conjures up in you. You have inherent value, beauty, and promise that he did not give to you and that he cannot take from you. Hold on to it and then please run with it. Don’t do what I did. Run away…