Afraid of what they might think or do or say, I never dared to tell a soul about the abuse I was going through. That is until a few weeks ago.
I am not sure why, perhaps it was a call for attention, or “heaven forbid”, a call for help, but I decided to open up to a trusted teacher of mine.
Although I have had to mature a great deal in my life time, clearly I was still naive.
What was I expecting?
A promise it would all be all right?
A huge, shocked look on his face?
Well I got E. None of the above
“What do you mean he would say all these horrible things to you? Put you down? Make you feel like you were nothing?”
“Well.. I mean just that.”
“Well, give me specifics? What did he say that ruined your self confidence? What did he say that makes you feel incapable of being loved?”
“Um.. a lot of things. For 18 years, every single day. It isn’t just one thing he said or one fight that we got into, it was him in my head every day”
“I don’t understand, tell me what he said that was verbal and emotional abuse”
“Nevermind, let’s change the subject”
And just like that I understand why for 18 years I didn’t open up, why I didn’t turn for help.
Verbal and emotional abuse is invisible. It isn’t capable of understanding unless you are a victim of it yourself.
There are no cuts or bruises or breaks on the outside for the world to see.
There are no black and blue marks for my teachers to notice and reach out to me.
There are no broken hands that I would lie about the cause in the hospital, yet secretly praying that the doctor wouldn’t believe me that for the 6th time in my life “I fell off my bike and broke something”
There are no scars on my body that I can show the police and say “this. This right here HE did to me, for no reason”
There are no concussions from my head hitting the wall after being thrown that I would need to miss a day of school because of and have to tell my friends a made up story, hoping they would hear my true pain inside.
And so, in the understanding that no one else will understand, I keep silent.