This is a guest post from one of my good friends, Kendra, who was silenced by fear for far too long.
She is now one of the most passionate people I know…
Determined to be a voice for those that are still stuck in silence…
This is her story.
Every little girl grows up pretending to be a damsel in distress…
Just waiting for a superhero to rescue her.
Without fail or a smidgen of doubt,
We believe our superhero will come.
That they will be stronger, wiser, and more courageous
than any boogieman in the closet, monster under the bed,
or scary creature living in the basement.
But who are these superheroes really?
What makes them so special?
What makes them so strong? So wise? So courageous?
What did they have to go through to become that way?
… radioactive spider bite.
…powered suit of armor.
… Once a damsel in distress.
For 6,058 days she didn’t have to pretend.
The damsel was real. Distress- tangible.
But no hero came her way.
So patiently she waits,
living alone in a world hidden to all.
The lies and deceit.
So many secrets.
Sleepless nights and terrorizing nightmares.
For 6,058 days she waited to be rescued.
For someone to notice that the monster wasn’t under the bed…
no creature living in the basement…
nor a boogieman in the closet.
For someone to see that the bad man answered to daddy.
You’re my dad. This isn’t how you should love me.
Loved by all.
No one knows.
Big sister too. I never knew.
Inability to sleep.
Slow to trust.
Loss of interest in things once loved.
Loss of appetite.
Thought of suicide.
Hiding under the blankets. Fondling. Gross Sexual Imposition. Molestation. Living in shame.
Slammed against the wall. Physical. Sexual. Emotional Abuse.
In the dark. The living room. Bedroom. Hotel room. Car, truck, semi. In the barn.
It’ll happen everywhere…
there is no escape.
Love my mom. LIKE my dad.
Waking up with no shirt, door unlocked, window open…
no memory of how it all happened.
Affection and silence. Bought and paid in full.
Wishing he died instead of my friend’s dad.
Guilt for having once loved him.
Baggy clothes to hide my body.
So. Many. Masks.
Hidden hurts, crying in secret.
Rrrr rra rrr… I dare not say the word.
Never ending fear.
Cringing at the words “you’re beautiful”
He’d crank up the heat. So I’d shed the layers.
Anatomy lessons started far to early.
Confusion. Paralyzing fear.
Breaking into my apartment.
Losing all sense of safety and security.
Stalking from across the field.
He knows where I live. The car I drive. Where I go to school.
He disappeared. Without a trace. No one knows where.
“Do you love me?” “No, daddy”
Photographic memory incessantly replaying the abuse.
All day. Everyday.
DON’T TELL YOUR MOTHER!
Hot mess of emotions.
Floods of triggers and flashbacks.
Lessons learned early on.
Things no 3 year old should be exposed to.
Never expected to remember.
For 6058 days she was a damsel in distress.
Waiting for the hero that would never come.
Haunted by the memories. Crippled by the triggers.
Unable to live another day same as the last…
Unable to keep the silence for one more second…
The damsel fades away and like a rose…
Superwoman rises from the dirt that covers her past.
With the most difficult words ever spoken, chains of silence are broken…
impossibly heavy weights finally lifted.
Superwoman is finally free.
But justice cannot be served
Without a certain word….
Day 6235… One phone call. One confession. That’s all it will take.
Queen of procrastination.
Clean room. Check.
Change clothes. Check.
Rearrange room. Check.
Change clothes again. Check.
Make lunch. Check.
Clean kitchen. Check.
Fix hair. Check.
Out of excuses… Its finally time.
The phone is ringing. Confrontation. Racing heart. Fear. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Doubt. Weak. Coached by the detective. Sharing secrets. Extreme awkwardness and discomfort. Disgust. Rage. Cursing. Demanding answers. Denial. Manipulation. Increased rage. Anger. Strength. Confident. Adrenaline. Confession.
“YEAH… I DID IT… AND I’M SORRY…”
I am Superwoman.
I am Stronger. Wiser. More Courageous.
Without doubt. Without fail.
My Heavenly Father was with me all along.
Fighting for me.
Giving me strength to carry on.
Speaking truth when all I could hear were lies.
Holding my heart and keeping it safe.
Preparing me to help rescue all the damsels in distress who are patiently waiting….
To be their superhero.