We are all Innocent Image2 (2)_MomentHome, a place I used to run away from. (Doe, a deer, a female deer…) It felt like Prison to my adolescent heart that yearned for escape. From all the anger and bitterness, all the dislike we harbored for each other. And run I did, but still tethered to the safety net of a Mother I could manipulate at will, whether begging for money or just an ear to listen to my endless apologies.

.  I think back now, to the men I chose to give myself to. The one I nearly married, who hit me in the face with a board, ripped my clothes off in front of his friends, and shouted loud enough for the world to hear, that I was a dirty whore. This man I idolized. I told anyone who would listen what a he-man he was, an ex-Marine, so well built and strong.

Threatening me with a beating, he would make me approach other women in bars, to recruit them for sex with him while I watched. My gut turns now at the shame I felt. It mars me still, even though he died 25 years ago by his own hand. I cried for him, the pain he must have been in to do such a thing. But I had so little sympathy for myself. The abuse had been “my fault”. If I had only done a better job at loving him, perhaps he wouldn’t have done it.

.  I have gone down into this Rabbit Hole of flashbacks again. Images of the painful abuse of my ex-husband haunt me as if they happened yesterday. It has been 4 days now, writhing in the Muck of my past, no energy to drag myself out, hoist myself up. I just lie abed washed over by the pain, remembering the burning need to have a man to own. Even if that meant I would burn with jealousy when he flaunted his exploits with other women. No , I even told my best friend that I had really scored a live one, “a real criminal”!! I was so foolish, and so proud.

.  I hope this immobility passes soon, so that I can put away these thoughts, put them back into the Pandora’s box and slam shut the lid. I will then be able to face the world, at least for a while.

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