It has been a long couple of days here and I woke up extremely early today with a lot of anxiety about the weekend. The funeral is this weekend. The funeral of the man who I can only refer to as a cult leader, a cult that people didn’t even realize they were in until it was too late and their possessions were being burned at his command by husbands who demanded obedience in the name of God.
247 times that metal studded belt came down on my naked flesh. Me, refusing to give in, I wasn’t going to give up one of the only things I could hold onto. I just wasn’t and after 9 hours of being bound and beaten the cuffs were released. My bottom black and blue and the calendar read that it was barely the next day. What a long day that had been.
I don’t remember the pain it brought though. I remember instead being called a slut when this man saw through my window what was happening to me. Completely helpless, drenched in my own stinging sweat and then called a slut for being stripped of any inkling of humanity that I had been holding onto.
Words often sting far worse than any whip and they cut deeper than any knife. Words can make you or break you. In my case, they broke me down, wore me out. Changed who I was inside and out. Maybe because I was so confused it was just easier to lose myself inside of the black holes in my mind, where a bounty of nothingness existed.
Now as I sit here nearly ten years later I worry about the funeral and all the people who had hurt me being in town. I worry that he isn’t really dead and it’s some joke that the world has played on me. Giving me a sense of relief just before the cobra strikes, or the storm clouds swallow me whole.
God’s grace though? It is long and enduring and it holds onto me in ways that no one else ever could. It reminds me that I survived and that I won my life back, fair and square. That same grace, it tells me that I don’t have to be so afraid anymore. Part of my problem is solved. Parts of me that haven’t been free since I was a young teen are finally free and only by Gods merciful grace could that ever happen.
Where I go from here I have no clue. I am not sure what life will be like without the fear of being taken back, killed for escaping. No longer having to look over my shoulder or sit with my back to walls. Another aspect of being untrained that I will have to figure out during this insane life I live. Not a thing is normal for me. Not a worry is the same as what a non-victim feels.
I wonder if I will ever regain that innocence or if the evil that nearly took my life will always blanket the good in a dark shroud, forever reminding me that evil lives.
Now? Now I suppose I live in wonderment and pray that where this mans preaching left off isn’t picked up by someone brainwashed by him or as sick as him. I pray that no one else is ever hurt again at the hands of this “family”. I pray that this feeling of being safe is real and that I really am safe, in the grace of God now and always.
All of this, has been half a life time, too long. Far, far, too long.