"One quality every survivor can be confident of having is strength."
Emma has said a couple of times, given what I've been through and what my brother and sister have been through with our family, it's a surprise all of us have actually turned out sane. Normal. I'd have to agree.
I still have some doubts about our sanity but I do believe we know the difference from insanity.
I often find myself thanking my mom and the bastard for the things they did - quite wryly thanking them. I have lived through shit. But that's just the point. I lived through it. I have been able to recognise what's right for me and had the courage to take it when the time came.
Darren is right for me. I knew it in the early days when we started seeing each other. When I had to decide whether I was going to marry him against my parents' wish, there was a calm acknowledgement that that was the only thing to do. No one was going to stop me. It wasn't rebellion or spite. What my parents or family thought had nothing to do with it. I knew he was the only man who would look after me and love me for who I was. Who I am.
The ability to escape uncomfortable or dangerous situations helps me in times of need. I can switch off my emotions and deal with the matter at hand without it affecting me. It may sound too cold and extreme but it helps me not to panic.
The level of 'horrible' that the sexual abuse and violence reached has prepared me for absolutely anything. I'm not fazed by anything. Shit happens. It needs to be cleaned up. I believe I can help anyone clean up theirs.
Trying to face this head on now, there is some comfort in knowing that I'm going in the right direction. No one can ever put me through what they did back then. Certainly, no one will ever take advantage of me sexually. As for my mother, she continues to emotionally take advantage of me and I hope to reach a stage where I can flick that off my shoulder without having to cut her out of my life. If I'm not there for her in her time of need, I will be letting myself down. And as I am the only person who can truly be there for me, I cannot afford to let myself down.