The silence was the worst sometimes.
That moment when an abusive event ends the silence is sometimes the most uncomfortable part of being hurt. It’s a strange feeling to see someone who has just hurt you in ways that are abhorrent just turn around and walk away.
Watching them leave, it felt as if they were also taking a little piece of my spirit with them, leaving another tatter, another rip in my already shredded soul. It wasn’t very often that my abusers would say anything when they are finished.
The feeling of invisibility was palpable. No yelling, crying, blaming, scolding; they just simply finish and leave. It’s a rather powerless feeling because they don’t acknowledge me or what they did. That spirit shredding powerlessness always left me with a dark heaviness.
I’m sure sometimes I was crying as they left. I know I was certainly in enough pain physically, emotionally and psychologically to cry. But often I would just stare at them as they walked away. Watching them go, I sometimes asked myself, why did that happen to me? But other times, I silently observed as they moved away from me as if I didn’t exist. As if what just happened didn’t really happen at all. Their demeanor towards me was complete neutrality. It was as if I was a stranger who was just in their airspace, detached in a way that if they saw me on the street in five minutes, they wouldn’t even remember who I was.
There was always that little while no matter the place, the who or the when something happened, that the “after” was accompanied by a thick silence. Alone, with my mind now telling me, “okay, it’s over; stand up, clean up, unconsciously compartmentalize what just happened, and move on to survive whatever comes next.
The silence can by the worst sometimes.
excerpt from Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph