I was embarassed, ashamed and felt used.
I mentioned before when I went to St. Jude's House in the Cinco de Mayo of 2007, they did a craft for us women to create a t-shirt that empowered, told our story or had some sort of significance on them. They provided us with paints, t-shirts, glitter and other embellishments. So there were about 12 of us huddled around our long tables.
We were chattering a little here and there, asking where is this color or that? Can I use the glitter paint? Or do you have an extra brush.
Soon there was a hush over the group of us. No more chuckles. No more chattering.
If you listened closely you heard sniffles and soft sobs.
I heard someone really crying and realized it was me, boy was I loud! Ever have one of those moments? I seemed to have stepped out of myself. Not uncommon for me to do. I would step out of my skin when something bad was happening with my STBX. Someone handed me a wad of kleenex and I'm unsure who did as my eyes were filled with tears and things were a blur.
I looked down at my creation.
There was no fun colors.
I had chosen red and black. I was surprised. I almost felt as though someone else created the words on the shirt. They were dark, scary and hurtful.
Did I do that? I was rocked back on my heels. The words seemed so evil and vile.
After we were all done, the supplies were put away. No one was talking. There was tissues balled up over the tables. Hugging going on as we could get up and look at everyone's creation. Then the young lady leading us asked for each of us to go around and tell the group about the shirt.
We went around and around. Each story so heartbreaking. Each woman had a story that is some ways mirrored my own. These survivors were White, Black, Hispanic, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. Abuse has no age or race barriers...
By the time it was my turn, I hesitantly spoke up. I told them I don't know how I wrote some of the words I did. They all just spilled out. I also realized during this exercise that I was not just some crazy lady. I was raped many times by my STBX. I was pushed to the brink of insanity by his tauntings at times. I was abused for many years.
And I survived.
Well that shirt served to remind me what I went through. Of course I took STBX back. I allowed him to come back. It was great at first, aren't all honeymoon's? A week or so later, I showed him the shirt, and he was embarassed. I had to run an errand that day and left for the appointment, it was the eye doctor. I received many stares and a few questions. I told those that asked, "I am a survivor of Domestic Abuse". And I went on to say that my husband and I had decided to get help and work it out.
I was so hopeful!
I arrived home and he was livid! How can you wear that shirt? What will people think of me? What if someone we know finds out? Burn it! Throw it away! NOW MELINDA! What the *uck! I thought you wanted to work this out Mel!
Please don't ask me to do that! I thought you were ok with this R?! You said it was ok and you admitted you had a problem but we are going to fix it right?
He came and grabbed it from me, then he headed to the back yard fire pit. He ended up burning it. He thought it was terrible for me to cause him to be embarassed by parading around in it. He apologized saying that it was just bad karma to keep that around. It's a fresh start and why be reminded of the past? He smiled a wide smile and kissed me. He gave me a playful pat on the head... So what's for dinner?
I knew things weren't going to change. The happiness and good feelings had already started to dissolve. I was rethinking my choice. What had I done! I should have known! I felt duped! He lied! I thought to myself... I felt stuck again. Maybe I was overreacting. Doubt played on my mind. I still remained fearful and tried to push negative thoughts from my head. Turning the events that happened towards menu's for dinner...
Instincts, I should have listened and I should have never let him come back!