“Liberty (n): (1) the quality or state of being free: (a) the power to do as one pleases, (b) freedom from physical restraint, (c) freedom from arbitrary or despotic, (d) the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges, (e) the power of choice.” – Merriam-Webster
*Trigger warning: This post contains references to suicide, rape and abuse. If you are underage or sensitive to such material, I suggest that you stop here and turn back.
CHAINED TO MY PAST
Talking about my ex was always something I found difficult to do. He hurt me in unimaginable ways. I think the physical hurt was the easiest part though it seemed like torture in the moment. However, the emotional trauma seemed to be like an extension to unwanted prison sentence for a crime I did not commit.
My friends and family are forbidden from saying his name. I think hearing or seeing his same is a trigger for me in and of itself. For some people, reading about rape or abuse would be a trigger, but even though, I’ve experienced those things, it isn’t for me. It’s only his name that gives me nightmares. Maybe if I saw his face or heard his voice again, I’d shut down or panic.
Lately, he’s been trying to contact me again and every time he does, it does trigger me. In a way, I am chained to my past. Healing from the physical rape was the easy part, but emotionally, I may never be the same. I find it difficult to trust and I fear abandonment. When I finally do let someone in, I hold on tight and hope they don’t abandon me. I think this fear stems from the emotional abuse and hearing that no other man would want or love me.
In part, my past holds me captive and I’m stuck in the shackles and chains he locked me in.
LIBERTY IN LOVE
But I think liberty can be found in love. Love has the power to break the chains that hold us captive. It can look different for each and every one of us because my shackles aren’t necessarily your shackles. My pain isn’t necessarily your pain and my struggles may not be the same as your struggles.
I think back to a time when I was suicidal. Thoughts of just ending it crossed my mind many times. I even tried to cut myself because I was so depressed. My depression was my shackle and chain at the time. But yes, liberty was found through love. It wasn’t necessarily a boyfriend or a Dominant who set me free. No, it was the love of a faithful friend that set me free. It was not just a love seen through words, but by actions to fight for my mental health when I could not do so myself.
With my ex, liberty is once again found in love. Sir’s care for me in the midst of my darkness freed me from the shackles of the shame and guilt. He freed me from this prison of feeling like I was unlovable and unwanted. Sir set me free from the shackles of loneliness.
LIBERTY FROM THE SHACKLES
The shadow of abuse is a shackle in and of itself. It leaves a scar that may last for a lifetime making it hard to trust others again, but love is the key that set me free. While I will never be the same as I was before my ex had raped and abused me, it no longer defines me.
Yes, when he tries to contact me, I get scared of what he could possibly do again. I think that fear is another form of a prison and this case my ex is the warden. But, I am no longer repressed by the guilt and shame that once ate away at me. I am free to love and be loved.
Audre Lorde said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” So while, I celebrate that I am no longer enslaved by my shame from being raped and abused, I recognize there are still many shackles that hold women in captivity. And until the world becomes a safer place for women, none of us are truly free.
The Sassy Sub Daily
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