I always feared that I would be called weak if I expressed any vulnerability. So instead, I put on a “strong” face at all times...
I forgot. I forgot about how he looked like until today. Only today, in this very moment, when I saw a picture of him, did I remember it happened. Only right now did I remember that 5+ years of mental and sexual abuse did happen.
These memories hit me like a tsunami, pushing me until I could not breathe, drowning in the memories of him. So much has happened to me since then. I can barely remember who I was beforehand. But all I remember is that I used to be happy, I used to be innocent and carefree. I used to have a spirit, a will to live. But that was all taken away from him. From his hands, he decided to touch me despite me saying no.
From his words, told me that my no didn’t mean no, that he would overpower me regardless of what I said just because he could. I’ve learned how to live. I’ve learned how to cope, how to breathe, how to manage.
I’ve learned how to live in a world where he didn’t violate me. I’ve learned how to use alcohol and drugs to numb me, to numb the parts of me that he touched, to numb my memories so I can forget. But it still isn’t enough.
Because I look in the mirror and I see his image. I see the person who hurt me, the person I trusted and tried to be like, I see what I was and what I am and what I will always be. I see him, the man who made me believe that I would never be worthy and will never be loved. I see you, dad.