Thursday, September 22, 2011
What Is Real(?)
I put the phone down and lean my head against the steering wheel. Rachel* from DCFS just told me that my five year old needed counseling because of the story she told about seeing an inappropriate movie at her dad’s house. Either way, true or fiction, the “dynamic” between my ex-husband and me was probably causing her stress that she needed to talk out.
Despite my best efforts, I feel the tears in my eyes, the familiar tight burning of fear. I want to tell her that it isn’t a dynamic. His abuse. The ugly, dirty word that has transformed my life from that of a rather selfish, but well-intentioned young adult to a thirty-two-year-old woman who has learned to accept that there will always be fear in her life.
But I know by experience that speaking that word, telling the truth, does little good. I am not believed. To them, what I have survived is always at least partially my fault. I participate in the “dynamic.” I help create stress for my daughters. I am only speaking out of anger or viciousness, never because it is the truth. If only they knew how hard it is for me to say that word, how humiliating.
Another day, I click open a blog post. It is another criticism of “the Church.” I feel defeated. I know I won’t comment, but still I read, hoping to learn. It is a typical blog post. Women should have the priesthood, we should focus more on Christ, men don’t get enough attention. Singles don’t get enough attention. The leaders said too much. Not enough. It doesn’t matter what it is, except it is about how the Church should change.
I read it. Click it closed. There is nothing I could do or say to have any effect. I know what I feel, I know what is true, but there is no way to be believed unless they were to see what I have seen, experience what I have.
It is possible that I’m wrong. I might be the crazy, hateful ex-wife he paints me to be, though even after nearly three years the only thing I feel is fear, not anger. All the things I remember happening could be delusion. Maybe I really have made it all up. Maybe I’m still making it up.
It is possible I am wrong. That the God I have felt and experienced is nothing more than illusion. It is possible that all the difficult things relating to the Church really do betray more than simple human weakness. But I know one thing. All I can do is hold on to what I know.
I was abused.
God is real. He leads the Church.
I am believed and loved by Him.
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