Reading, healing, realizing, and connecting the past…this all leads to hurting, but then to healing.
He never told me in exact words that if I told someone what he did to me that they wouldn’t believe me.
But he actually did.
In 2005, at 16, I left the United States with him and grandma to visit family in New Zealand. During the three weeks we were there we went to a “Batch” (a NZ beach house) for some camping. Naturally we found ourselves oceanside for a lot of the trip. I had my little camera that I had just received from Mom and Dad for Christmas. My first digital camera. It came at the perfect time, four days later I left for New Zealand.
I snapped a picture of grandma and an aunt while sitting and soaking up the sun. A beautiful picture, but I thought little of it, I had been taking pictures the whole time. A couple hours later the picture was shown to grandma and my aunt.
He claimed credit for taking the picture, they applauded his “talent”. I thought he had lost his mind. I argued with him for 30 minutes, explaining that based on where I was sitting in relation to the picture, I had CLEARLY been the one to take it. Annoyed that no one would believe me and frustrated after 30 minutes, I went back to the water. I was done trying to prove myself to my aunt and grandma.
2 hours later. He came to me when I was alone. He told me that he knew I had taken the picture. With a smirk he left the room. No apology. Nothing. I remember being so puzzled….angry for a moment. Then I forgot about it.
Now as I lie in my bed, woken from nightmares and deep in thought from reading about what abusers say to their victims, I realize. I realize that back in New Zealand is how he showed me his power for convincing. He showed me that he could make others believe lies, that my truth was lesser than his story. That 14 years of secrets revealed later would have no power. That no one would believe me that I took the picture.
Lesson learned: The truth will always set you free.
What is your truth? I don’t care what he told you. You story is valued. Your story matters. And you are not alone.