Friday, February 5, 2010


Sitting on a small couch last night, I felt as if I was sitting on the corner of some cosmic world.  Alone.  Completely alone.  And this particular world was not round; rather it was square.  Square because there is no circular justice.  Not unless you count being tortured and murdered as some sort of redemptive revenge.

And then I felt injustice pressing squarely behind my tired eyes.  What has happened is not just.  Nor is it fair because they have made their exits and I have survived.

Everyone is dead... that keeps ringing in my head.  I know that is not the precise case but in my own twisted world, everyone is, in fact, dead.

So now I sit week after week, even moment after moment, left to deal with their abuse, their hatred, their woundings, and their deaths.  Then there are my scars, my memories, my terrors, and all the collateral damage that comes with being a member of this disappearing family.  Theirs and Mine: two separate and fancy walk-in closets full of skeletons and ghosts tucked away in every nook and custom built drawer specifically designed for keeping the best and most wrenching secrets.  What an inheritance.

All this while their ashes stir peacefully in the smallest pockets of square cosmic spaces.

Death let them off the hook.  And now I feel that I am on the hook for the lion's share of the damage.  This hurts deeply; deeper than I ever imagined.  This surprises me.  I knew and yes, I fantasized, that this day would come.  And here it is and I writhe alone. 

But with this pain I have also discovered a considerable peace.  I can sleep.  Really sleep.  I have never slept well, even as a married adult sleeping in a safe environment.  From the day he fled I held my breath dreading his return.  Checking on my daughter five times a night was nothing strange.  I had to know that he was not in her room.  And with that knowledge I stole another hour of sleep.  So now I sleep surprised, soundly and deeply. 

While I always knew this day would arrive, I never believed it would. We are no longer looking over our collective shoulder. 

And that freedom is a complete, yet lost, surprise.


Andrea said...

praying with you,

Journal of Healing said...

I can imagine that grief and pain of the deaths, and how painful it may even be to never get that I'm sorry that shouldn't make a hill of beans difference, but sadly is what all the inner-children long for. I also can't imagine what the freedom of not looking over your outside body's shoulder must feel like. I can't imagine. Continuing to pray for full-body relief, and inner-relief for each part as they try to free themselves from the memories they are stuck in because elements have drastically changed. They are all dead.
Shattered, hang in there, ok? You are loved, respected and valued by outsiders, and that is a true gift I hope you can fully embrace and rest in.

love your way,

ang et al

Deborah said...

Those are two significant compensations for the disappearance of your last tormentor, dear Jennifer. Not looking over your shoulder anymore? That phrase took my breath away, actually, as it held all the truth of your existence since he left.

Sleep well.

sarah said...

Like Andrea...I too am praying for you...there's a strength in you...I feel it in your post...Stay strong your corner. sarah

Friko said...

I too looked over my shoulder for years; woke up (if I was lucky) from nightmares, being caged, being hurt, a darkness always following me. And then the tormentor died; very soon afterwards the nightmares stopped; I am no longer afraid when the doorbell rings, I no longer plan how to escape, where to hide; I could never ask for help before, because that would have been embarrassing, nobody was to know of my dark secret.
Now, the secret is irrelevant; my life has started, I can turn my full attention to anything I wish.

One day, maybe one day, you too will get to this place. With his death the way out has opened up.

Shattered said...

Andrea, thank you.

Shattered said...

Ang, it is such an odd feeling to be in this position. Grief, relief, hurt... all of these feelings mixed into one... ugh it's hard. And you're right, the acknowledgement we all want, we will never get.

Shattered said...

Deborah, it still takes my breath away too. I don't think I will ever be able to articulates how this feels. I wish it made it all better... maybe one day it will be OK.

Shattered said...

Sarah, thank you. :)

Shattered said...

"Now, the secret is irrelevant; my life has started, I can turn my full attention to anything I wish."

Friko, I can't imagine this ever being irrelevant but I do hope and agree that one day I will be able to turn my full attention to whatever I want.