The hardest thing about losing the person you loved and trusted most in the world is keeping the ability to love and trust. I’m fighting that battle now.
I’ve never been good at trusting. For a while, I trusted the pedophile when he told me there was nothing wrong with what he was doing, even though every bit of me felt otherwise. I broke that trust and told my family. I trusted my family to keep me safe from the pedophile they invited into our home. They chose not to believe me and put their trust in the pedophile instead. I was seven years old when I lost my family forever. I never trusted them, or anyone else, that way ever again.
Later on, I trusted a monster with antisocial personality disorder who, over the course of eight years of emotional, then physical abuse, nearly destroyed me. I trusted the people in my life, my friends, to take my black eyes and police reports as proof of his monstering. They chose not to believe me and put their trust in the monster instead. One of those people even married the monster. She came to me, years later, telling me that she wished she had believed me then. Both of us barely survived.
Then, shortly after the second monster, I met Male. Slowly, over fifteen years, he showed me that I could trust again. He never abused that trust. Even at his worst, when he was self-medicating with every illicit substance known to man, he always told me the truth, even if it was impossible for me to carry, even if he didn’t tell anyone else. He knew that the easiest way to lose me forever was to betray the trust he had worked so hard and so long to earn. I knew the whole of him. I trusted him as much as I’m capable of trusting anyone.
My family, the monsters, my friends, my hometown; my entire life has been ripped apart twice in two big chapters with title case letters–Child Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence. Male helped me rebuild it; he built himself a room. It sits empty, save the bit of trust we built together and I have no one to give it to now.
It was two monsters against one Male and the one is gone. Two to zero is the tally. I’m trying very hard to keep it from being the final tally.
I find myself thinking, “What’s the point in building relationships when everyone leaves eventually anyway?” My sister will die. My best friend will die. My dog will die. One day, I will experience all of these deaths if I don’t die first.
I catch myself thinking that maybe it would be better to just be alone, that way, I won’t have to feel this again for anyone else. I catch myself red-handed and tell myself that that’s not the right way to think. That’s how I thought when I was seven years old, when there was no one in the world I could trust, and I’m right back in that dark room at night waiting for the monster.
I get angry, because all these years later, those defeatist thoughts mean that the monster is still in my head. I will not let him win.
I cannot do anything to change the past. I can’t put a salve on it or make it a bright, happy place. I can’t change the fact that the people who were charged with protecting me instead delivered me to the monster. I can’t change that the person who tried to save me from those truths is gone forever. All I can do is keep fighting. I just need to find the strength.
I look at the stars and baby tigers and my dog and the enormous tree outside that has dug its roots so deep into a concrete landscape that it has bent the sidewalk, and I remind myself that, even if love and trust are gone for a while, there is still beauty in this world.
The title of this post was stolen from the Belle & Sebastian song, which randomly came on full shuffle this morning.
If there’s one thing that I learned when I was still a child it’s to be alone