From 1996 to 1999, I was emotionally abused. I was taught that I did not deserve to be listened to, that I should not do what I knew was right, that if I participated in a political protest I was making a scene, that if I had inappropriate emotions I was crazy. I should not protest when I was not held equal. If he had something that needed to be done, I should drop everything to make sure it got done; if I had something that I wanted done, nothing would be dropped...
And I knew there was something not right, and I stayed anyway. And I started to agree with the restrictions. And I grumbled and grouched and complained and let myself be smacked down again every time I tried to tell him I didn't think it was right, and it was my fault anyway for letting him intimidate me.
Now that it's not happening anymore, it doesn't seem so bad. I haven't cried about it in a long time. I haven't been stricken to voicelessness for maybe a year. My head has rearranged itself so that the front isn't the one who's taking all the damage anymore, and the creative self, the little who used to be catatonic and mute, is cocky and verbal and can come out and speak in words to people.
Before him, there were already a few of us: a bored and lonely Lunatic was hit with what must have been adolescence-onset depression, and fragmented more strongly along the lines that were already set up from childhood school/home dissociation. Before, mostly, we gossiped between ourselves, because it was safer to be friends with ourselves than with the other high school students/non-geeks...
After him ... after him, there was the one who took the damage, the one who couldn't speak to express anything he might disapprove of, the one who made sure the whole collective didn't get her hands on any knives when she was alone (and made sure we were never alone), and the one who just wanted to kill him.
I remember when I was amazed and dumbfounded that Mona had spoken aloud with words to another human. We'd thought that she would never speak. She'd learned that it was too dangerous to speak, and when it was too dangerous to speak, she'd come out so the words would stay inside. She wrote or fingerspelled, but one day she started talking. It took a long silence before she would talk, but she talked. Word by word, she learned that if she talked about how she felt, she wouldn't get smacked down, she would get hugged and reassured and clonked over the head gently with schoolbooks if she started freaking out. It took years, but maybe, finally, the worst is over.
I'm Joan. I'm a survivor of emotional abuse.
No pity. ... No silence.