Recently while pondering a new post on abuse, the image of a cat bringing his owner a dead mouse came to my mind. It was rather amusing to me at the time, but I have come to realize that there is a lot of truth to it. When I was young, I had a cat. Sometimes she would bring us “presents”. At least I think she thought they were presents. These “gifts” consisted of dead birds and more frequently dead mice. We were less than joyful to receive them. It’s not that we didn’t know that our cat killed mice. We knew there were mice, and we were glad she killed them. That is one of the advantages to owning a cat, after all. The thing is, we didn’t want to see the mice or even think about them being there. We just wanted the cat to take care of them, behind the scenes, you know.
I believe it is the same with abuse. We all know it happens, but we would rather not think about it. That is understandable, of course. It is a painful subject so why dwell upon it? The thing is when you are the person who was abused; you don’t want to think about it either. Some people are even able to repress the memory and not to think about it for a long time, years, even decades. Unfortunately, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Eventually, there comes a time when your body and mind refuse to keep the secret any more. And so it begins.
How do you face an enemy that is inside of you? You can’t run from your own memories. You can try, and most people do try, but the memories are inside of you. There is no where you can go to get away from them. It is a lonely battle, because no one can face the inner dragon for you. It is a lonely battle because few people understand. If you were facing a medical demon, there would be much support. People would ask you how you are and ask what they can do to help. But how do you begin to explain this kind of a battle? And if you do, how do people respond? With confusion mostly, it seems. Some wonder why you aren’t “over it” since it happened a long time ago. Some want to help, but don’t know what to say or do. Some don’t believe you. Too often, because they are confused and don’t know what to say, they do nothing. They don’t ask how you are or offer service. They just leave you alone…to face the dragon. If you fall in the battle, how will they know? If you are victorious, who will cheer you? Who will appreciate the victory? When the abuse occurred, the child had to endure it alone. Now the adult must deal with the pain, alone.
So like a cat with an unusual gift, I keep bringing you: The Ashes of Abuse, because our friends and loved ones need to not be alone any more. But there is another reason that I write about abuse and it’s after effects. . .
I am a survivor too…
Because I hurt,
. . .and if I fall in this battle, or if I win…
I want someone to know.