The Awakening

And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming, or the moment of truth in your lies, when everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive.’ John Rzeznik

When I meet victims I observe how far progressed their abuse is. When they are still emotional, still able to cry, it is newer. They are hopeful. The less emotional they are, the more danger I see. They tell it stone faced, relaying horrific scenes as if recounting the plays in a soccer game. I observe the numbness. They are not afraid, not as they should be. There are no tears, no emotion. The light in their eyes has gone out. They accept it as you and I would accept a rainy day, something that happens.

It isn’t until you leave, and are safe to look back that feeling returns. It is like a limb going numb. The longer it is numb, the more painful the reawakening of the nerves.

No one told me how it just creeps in. I am unprepared. Unsuspecting, sometimes in the shower, or dressing, or at odd times when I feel peaceful and happy with my life, something will remind me. I see or hear something and I will spontaneously begin to cry. Many times before the actual memory is even clear. At times it brings such pain my tears are audible. I can hear his voice so clearly, some of the things he would say still untellable, still echoing in my head, some of the things he did still unspeakable, as it unravels and a new layer is exposed. I do not invite these memories, or the feelings that accompany them. They just come.

I understand now why women leave it lay. Keep it quiet, try not to let anyone know. I see it is much easier to close the door firmly behind one, turn the key and walk away from that life entirely. To experience them is one thing, to tell the secrets is almost like reliving it. It is as though I mourn each painful memory now. Finally mourn, each little death remembering the way he killed a part of me.

Much like our life together, interspersed are confusing memories of him singing sweetly to our children, tenderly dropping blackberries he’d picked into my mouth, dangling our feet in the water as fish nibbled at Sugar Hollow. Nursing my sick cat. Waking the children and I with breakfast on Saturday mornings. Never giving up on the hope he could teach me to dance, the two of us in front of the fire on dark winter nights. His kisses, when he loved me.

I write alone, in small increments. Anything more seems unbearable. Even after the time that has gone by. I only continue writing because I am determined to push through it, to expunge the blackness to make room for love and light and joy.


About Lisette d. Johnson

Murder-Suicide Survivor, Mom, Writer, Speaker, Serial Volunteer in the Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault Arena, Entrepreneur, &amp Friend. I survived, my kids survived, and I am here to tell the story.
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2 Responses to The Awakening

  1. ME says:

    “To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did” When God takes something from your grasp. He’s not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence.

    “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.”

  2. Kimmy says:

    I totally get it. Beautifully said.

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