Right off the bat that must sound like such a selfish thing to say, why would I wish what had happened to me on my siblings? But it’s an age-old question that hunted me for many years. Did I do something wrong? Was it because I miss behaved? Surly not I only acted that way to get noticed. If I were noticed, then people couldn't help but see what was happening to me. Anyway why should it only happen to me? There’s that selfish thought again. Truthfully I was not even sure that they weren't living this hell, maybe we were all going through the same terrifying torment. Were we all experiencing this excruciating mental anguish? I couldn't ask them because if they weren't then they would know about me, I would unleash a chain of events that I couldn't stop, then my abuser would know and that terrified me. There would be nowhere to hide from his wrath, he was firmly in control, l had no control whatsoever; I would be thrown to the wolves. I remember trying to stay awake once he left me, maybe I would then hear something that would finally answer my question, but each night my eyes got just too heavy to stop from closing them. Sleep was also something that I fought with a vengeance; nothing lay in wait there but the nightmares where I would relive everything that had just taken place. Vengeance…. there’s a word I thought of often but it evaded me for many years, by which time I no longer felt the need to harm anyone concerned. That was a hard one to achieve. I used to think it would be mine in the next life. But in truth the reality that became mine was that the best vengeance of all is to do nothing. I can almost hear the gasps of air being taken in right now as I sit here typing, see in front of me the shocked faces that feel they will never understand my sentiment. These words almost always receive that reaction. If someone is still within the claws of abuse I may as well be speaking Martian. It’s only after you have passed through the journey you are now on that these words become clear. Nothing is permanent in this world not even our troubles. We have to believe that nothing in this world is as strong as gentleness and nothing in this world is as strong as strength. I looked for a reason for so many years as to why me without any success. But we can never understand our abusers reason because reason is not always automatic; those that deny it cannot be conquered by it. To our abusers mind that in turn means a reason does not even have to be offered. So where do we run with that? There is only one place left to run - which is straight through it. On emerging on the other side we no longer feel that the question has to be answered. What lies behind us or before us are tiny matters to what lays within us, and on this journey into the abyss we find all we need to conquer that question. I also looked for some kind of communication to be given to me that would explain the journey I was made to travel. It’s true to say sometimes the strangest thing about communication, is to believe that it has even taken place. But if we listen hard enough deep within we have communicated with the only one that matters – our child within. It’s been a lonely road out there for them for so many years, but once this communication has been established we just know. Emotional scars remind us of where we have been they do not have to dictate where we are going.
So here I am back at that age-old question – why me? Do you still really feel the need to ask? Knowing why will never change our past; it only makes us hold on to a question that we have to leave behind us.
Let’s not forget vengeance – where there is anger there is always pain underneath, just by letting go we allow the pain to start to heal. I now firmly believe that before we embark on a journey of rage we need to dig two graves………….

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandsons; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.