I Believe You
When I was in my early twenties people would often ask, “Why do you talk so fast?” I would either laugh it off or hunch my shoulders. At some point I paused and thought about the fact that at times I spoke (still speak) at such a rapid speed it was hard for people to understand me and/or keep up. It has lots of clinical explanations, but the truth is harder to speak and accept.
This is what I figured out.
When I was a little girl, my older brother and I were beat with leather belts, the buckle of belts, extension cords, wire hangers, wooden hair brushes, “switches” from trees etc. etc. We were often punched, kicked and/or burned, and that was just the physical abuse—the emotional and verbal abuse is too, too much to touch.
The beatings always began in the same way: questioning about the “bad” behavior. Often the accusations of transgressions were not based upon fact. So, I believed that if I could just get the truth out fast enough, my mother or stepfather—sometimes my aunt or an uncle—would hear me and believe me. Each time I was asked about why I had done x, y or z I would start speaking really fast. Faster. Faster. Faster. The end result was always the same. Me running. Me being caught. Me being beat
This is what I learned.
At age eight from my mother, during a beating, “It’s supposed ta hurt.” So, I lost my tears for almost ten years.
This is what I carry.
At age nine, from mother, staring her down, refusing to cry as she slapped and punched me, “If your own mutha don’t love you. No one will eva love you. And. I. Don’t. Love. You.”
This is who I am.
Broken. Afraid. Recovering from a lifetime of trauma. And I learned today that I have been waiting a forever and a day for a stranger, to look at me and tell me that my current abuser is just that an ABUSER.
This is what happened.
The Hearing Examiner sat across from me, and my two attorneys. She had left the poverty pimp—the head of the organization that housed me, abused me, and then retaliated by making me homeless—wait outside away from me. The Hearing Examiner sat across from me—a homeless, mentally ill, convicted felon—looked me in my eyes and said, “I believe you. I believe everything you told me.” Lifetime. She knew me less than two hours and—as one of my attorneys said—the Hearing Examiner knew I needed to hear her say, “I believe you.”
This is who I am becoming.
Empowered because my therapist, my lawyers, and a very special man, K, surrounded me in light, love and validation. Vindicated, because I stood tall, spoke in spite of fear in front of the head of the abusers of the wicked organization and did not back down.
This is the truth.
We made change today, for me and all the current and future clients of this organization that attempted to tell me, “It’s supposed to hurt” and that, “No one will ever love me.” Alone, none of us can change the world, but we proved today, that together, that is another thing coming.
I might not be someone’s only only Love. But I am loved. That Mother—and all the other Dementors that have come and gone and will try to come— is another smite to your lingering harm.
Blessings E, T, A, K, and the Hearing Examiner. Thanks for hearing AND believing me.