For years, my body has been my journal and my scars my story. A story of pain and fear. A story of sadness. A story of loneliness.
My scars speak for me. They tell a story of every time life tried to break me but failed. I am no longer ashamed of my scars. They show that I am stronger than the hurt I have endured.
The smile I wear, it hides the truth. My heart tells the real story that I am not sure I will ever be able to put down in words.
A story of a secret. A secret left unspoken for twenty years. A secret of abuse, rape and betrayal.
You know my name, not my story.
You see my smile and not my pain. You notice my cuts but not the scars. You read my lips but not my mind. You do not see my story or the tears I am unable to cry.
After so many years and so much pain, I am starting to try to tell my story and I can’t tell if it is killing me or making me stronger.
I have never told anyone my story. The story I have been carrying alone since I was 11 years old. A story I am afraid to tell but one that I know I must tell.
I hope that every time I tell my story it will become easier and that it will become a healing process. I hope that it will help me and other victims survive. I have to hope. Hope is the thing that keeps me going.
I don’t know how I will start my story. How do you begin a story of abuse? I am still trying to figure this out.
I do know that my past is just a chapter. One that I hope one day will hold no power over me.
It is the start of my story and where I am now is just the next chapter. There will be lots more chapters to my story and an end that will be happy. It has to be happy; otherwise living through all this pain means nothing.
I have wished for my story to end more than once. Even now, I still wish it on bad days. It is on those days that another bit of my story, another scar, gets written on my skin.
I hope that by starting to tell my story, I can begin to stop my body being my journal. It is the only place I have felt safe to tell my story for twenty years. Every scar is a memory, a wound. A wound so deep that no one but me can see. Some of these wounds I have hidden. Some of these memories I have locked away for a very long time. I am scared of what will happen when I begin to tell the story of each scar but I have to try.
I am reliving my nightmare every single day and I am frightened but the only way to end this bad dream is to share my secret and tell my story.
I have to find the strength from somewhere to believe that this is not how my story will end.
I have to change my ending.
You know my name, not my story, but you are about to.
Thanks for reading.