*Content warning: This article is about childhood sexual abuse following online grooming. I’m sharing this as I’m currently struggling with a few things and hope I can find some solace in the community I unwillingly found myself in many years ago.
I feel stuck tonight. Trapped in my own negative thoughts. What should have been just a stupid argument has spiralled and sent me tumbling through the rabbit hole into a place I haven’t been for a long while.
“Do you mind if I stay out? It’s just we are having a giggle over at ****’s tonight.”
We had already made plans together.
He’s an arsehole. I told him so too.
That should have been the end of it. An early night for me, a couple of hours being pissed off with him, and then making up after he rolled in at stupid-o-clock in the morning. Thirty-six hours later and I’m still angry. Emotional. Raw. But it’s not directed at him anymore. My heart and my head is desperate to be okay again. It’s the things in my past, the things which happened before I even met my husband, which I cannot forget right now.
Our plans for that evening hadn’t been anything exciting. Just snuggling on the TV to watch our favourite programme before having an early night to make love, a rare occurrence these days what with him working shifts and us having three boys under five years old.
I feel my mind starting to do that crazy thing it does sometimes. It overreacts in ways which aren’t normal. Yes I was angry he wanted to spend time with his mate that night instead of me but it’s actually so much more than that. It’s the rejection of sex I am not coping with.
After desperately fighting much-needed sleep last night I realised I was no longer pissed off with my husband. He had been an idiot. He admitted it. Said sorry. And has been genuinely more than lovely ever since. It’s me that’s the problem now.
I have gone to this dark place of solitude that us survivors sometimes go to. Here my medal is stripped from me and instead I become the victim again; feeling like I survived nothing.
As the hands of the clock ticked over into a new day I realised I wasn’t angry at my husband anymore. I was angry with myself for letting that closed box in my head tip over and spill its contents out once again. Groomed by an internet predator, I learnt too young about the power of sex. I was made to believe sex equates to love. So when my husband wanted to abandon our plans, he rejected me in ways he can’t understand unless I explain it to him. But who would want to risk seeing the pity in his eyes? Not me.
Seven years I went without a flashback. Seven fantastic years. Now my thoughts are being held hostage back in that cottage. His cottage.
I don’t like where my mind has gone. This time I am a mother. I have a house to look after. Work to do. I can’t crumble now. Not when life was just getting secure again. Or maybe that’s exactly what I need to do. Maybe I should have done it a long time ago. Allowed the wall around me to fall and give myself time to build it up again around the people I love too.
I don’t want to sit on my own in my pajamas again, curled up with my arms around myself and staring at the wall, for another night. So today I will go for a walk with my boys, put some washing on, and do some writing. I will force myself to live my life the way I want to, not the way the intrusive thoughts would see me live it. Most of all though, I will try and be kind to myself and hope for some positivity to flood my notifications.