On Thanksgiving or any holiday that includes people, I can be found in my bedroom. My bedroom has become my safe place from interactions with people. Holidays are especially bad for me because the assault happened in February during a time when the stores would be crowded. Tax time. It was a rainy and grey type of day. Months earlier, I had been stalked and kidnapped by my then estranged husband. That was on Christmas Eve of 1996. That story I kept a secret with the help of 1 of my sisters. I just revealed it to my therapist on November 15 of this year. Exactly 22 years later.
I know you are asking why didn’t I tell my family when I escaped that time? Well, I call it survivors guilt. It was the eve of Christmas, the one time my dysfunctional family came together and pretended to be a family, and I couldn’t bare to see my small children (8, 6, and 5) crying as their father was dragged away in handcuffs. I thought they would never forgive me. So, in my childhood bathroom, I made my youngest sister promise not to say a word. I had brushed past my family who was in the kitchen laughing and talking without them even knowing. I kissed her and assured her nothing would ever happen like that again. Little did I know, 2months later I would not be able to escape his attempt to kidnap me.
Enough about that. I am celebrating! Yes, celebrating! I have a win in my treatment. I was up earlier on this Thanksgiving. I gave God thanks for some of the reasons I am happy to be alive. I had a wonderful day with my daughters and some of my grandchildren. My son is in Miami and will be here for Christmas. I cooked and enjoyed myself. I was truly happy. I can say this is the happiest I’ve been on any holiday since the assault. 😊 I did not entertain any of the automatic thoughts attached to this season. I was determined not to be a recluse and hibernate in my room. With all the strength I had, I prayed and asked God to strengthen me and to give me the courage I needed to get out of my room. It was like God had awakened a bear! I yawned, stretched and attacked the day by giving myself to those around me!
Until next time,
Awaken yourself! Someone needs you!