It’s been two years, two months, and approximately seven days since we first heard the news.
We weren’t best friends, or even particularly close friends. What I do know though, is that being on an online platform–where a few lines of html, SQL scripts, and code, become a diary, and a way out–creates a space where strangers know more about us than the people in our lives. If you were still here today, if you could still hug your son, or speak to your husband, I would tell you that in this space many of us have created for ourselves, there will come a time when we can slowly go through each post, and with each post, we will find a piece of ourselves that we have lost, or one that we have yet to find. From those short lines, or that one verbose, sordid post where we laid bare our souls, we will look at it, and think, “I cannot believe I made it this far.” Then, in time to come, we will even say that we can not fathom how we moved from the world where pain, and darkness were everything, to one where we understood that they are only a fraction of what we could feel.
Since I’ve last known you, and read your words, I’ve lost my own words, but lately, things that remind me of you, have been showing up in my life. So, I thought I would wrestle with my word loss for a few minutes, to say that I wish you had made it into this year. I wish you were still here to realise how many miles you’d travelled in this journey, and how much of that journey would slowly become something you once hoped for. No, I will not, and I would not have said that the journey would get easier, or that it would fail to hold its power over you, but I would have said, that you did have the strength to move through it. Sometimes, it is a matter of making it through every second, and then every minute, and finally every hour, until the days begin to move at a regular pace again. I don’t know why I chose to address this post to you, or why, when I first heard of your death, I chose to address that post to you–for my beliefs teach me that death is a sweet sleep, one in which you feel and know nothing until the time to wake has come again; yet, I do not think that this post could have been complete without me writing it to you–for it is yours in the only way I know to offer something to someone I care about.
There were many things that influenced your choice, and we will never really know which one was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What we do know, those of us that cared about you, is that at each step of the way, you fought it all tooth and nail, and to those that secretly called you a coward for your choice, I hope in time they put away the shell that covers their hearts, and take time to understand. Understanding is what saves lives. Companionship is what keeps those of us who are drifting, grounded. Not big gestures. Not fancy words. Just knowing that there is one person who we can talk to without talking, that will grasp at least a minute amount of the whirlpool that swirls within us. True, it cannot stop everything, for the final decision rests with us, but often, a bit of flotsam floating nearby, is all that’s needed to keep our heads above water.
To you, and the many parts that were a part of you,
From the unfragmented, but many parts that are a part of me.
The Honorary Member of the Sugar Clouds Club.
To Laughter, and Cotton Candy.
Last evening, at approximately 2.40 a.m. I received an email. It was the notification from a blog that I have followed since the beginning of my entry into WordPress- kyllingsara. In my email account, all I could see was a small blurb of the blog post, and I tried not to worry. For in WordPress, sometimes silence is good news, and words are the real killer. I hurried to click on it, for it had been so long since there was any word from Sara. I wish what I had read was something different. I lay on my carpet, shocked. I felt so frustrated. So saddened. All I could see in my mind was the beautiful child who had been, and the horrors in this world that had dared to lay hand on her. It made me angry. So angry. As I struggled to withhold tears, all I could think of was the strength of the woman who had made it this far in her journey, but could no longer hold out. After sleeping, and taking a few hours to process, I know what I can do. Tell you the story of Sara.
Sara was a beautiful woman. She was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse; abuse so horrifying that it forced her mind to fracture into pieces. Into different sections to keep the pain from mounting into one unbearable ocean. To some of us who have never experienced DID, it may seem far-fetched. However, in this world, even those of us who have never had DID know what it is to compartmentalise our lives in such a way that we never have to deal with a segment of it until it hits us in the face. DID is that on a magnified level. A degree to which the mind creates personalities to protect itself from the outside world filled with potential abusers. In Sara’s case, she wasn’t aware of how fractured she was until shortly after her marriage, and the birth of her son. Confused, suffering, and reeling from dreams,nightmares and memories that did not appear to belong to her, she had attempted suicide and was placed under psychological care for a while. Soon, she began therapy and at the suggestion of her therapist, she began the blog kyllingsara.
It was there I first found her, full of a witty sense of humour, and a wonderful mind. Seeking every opportunity to heal herself, she blogged about the memories. Memories so terrifying, so disgusting, that I could only wonder what sort of monsters exist in this world who have gone unpunished. Her voice was strong, never faltering…..but it was her own emotions that faltered, and tripped her in places. Whatever those mongrels had done to her, mongrels that look so much like you and I…… Mongrels marauding in the shapes of kindly old grandfathers and indulgent uncles….. had torn her apart. She bounced back and forth in emotional turmoil. Filled with guilt and shame, struggling to balance her love for her husband and child against the internal push and pull of alters fighting their way to the surface. Anyone who has ever dealt with sexual abuse, can grasp an inkling of the trauma for a young girl who had been gang-raped once she entered her pre-teen years, perhaps they can grasp how confusing it must have been to have memories from about the age of two……memories that made you run from your bed to hang over the toilet, shivering with disgust as you tried to empty your stomach…..for this was what Sara had to deal with. Every single day of her conscious life. Every day that she was not fighting for control with alters. Everyday that she was not cringing from the touch of her caring, concerned and helpless husband. Everyday that she worried for her son’s wellbeing. This is what Sara dealt with.
It was here on WordPress that she found some reprieve. It was here that she found a circle of friends who listened to her. Here that she found others who knew what it felt like to scream in the recesses of your mind with only its echo for company. Here that she found comfort in knowing that others had felt the fear, the shame that comes from your own body betraying you, the worry that no matter how hard you try, normalcy will never be yours. It was here that she shared her story, a story which helped me, which helped her followers, which provided a support for those of us who were unable to voice our own mind with her brutal honesty, and clarity. It is here on WordPress…….that her community let her down. The circle of bloggers who had stood by her……… Slipped into her closed heart, and called themselves her family…….became like those abusers in a way. They removed her power. Culled her ability to vocalise how she felt. Removed her freedom to speak on her blog about the things that she was doing. To you who have not been within that circle, it will be easy to judge, for me, I understand.
The woman who had fought tooth and nail to remain the front-facing alter – Sara- lost control. She became tired. She became unable to focus on the world around her, and the medications which claimed to help her, in some ways made it easier for her to slip from consciousness into a fugue state. A state in which alters whose voices had remained unheard, stepped out of the cracks and wrenched control from her. Placed her son, and husband on the back- burner, and indulged in promiscuity, sexual things that were actually performed to make “Sara” and all other parts of her feel even more dirty, and shameful. Why you ask? Because they were hurting too. They were scared and uncertain. They were the part of Sara who had become so accustomed to the years of abuse, and the feelings it evoked that they could not be away from it. They knew that it was wrong. They knew that they did not deserve to feel that way. They knew that they were good, and beautiful. But in a way, they did not know. They could not see. And they allowed the hardwork that Sara had done to become a practice in futility. Not because they did not want to be healed, but because they could not understand what healing was.
It is this that upset the blogging family. They were hurt and disheartened that Sara, who had always shown a strong will to survive, had fallen into infidelity, and what others would term moral “looseness”. They did not intend to judge her, but they did judge her. They did hurt her. They made her feel the same shame and guilt that the abuse had, and it tainted her blog. It made it difficult for her to share her words with us. Why? Because some saw these new stories as Sara happily indulging in wrong. They saw it as Sara reveling in the “pleasure” of it all. They saw it as Sara pulling us along. It was not so. It was a cry for help. A cry for understanding, and care from the part of her that had become attached to the abusers. Most likely, it was a part of her that felt that it would never be acknowledged, for how many of us are willing to admit how the abuse made us feel in all of its entirety? It was a part that had been suppressed, and was told that it was abnormal, and an anomaly that did not belong in this world. Due to the religious beliefs that Sara and I had come to share, it was perhaps seen as an even more disgusting horrifying aspect of herself. I cannot speak her mind or her feelings for her, but I can try to understand them, and share it with you out there who are uncertain or feel the same way.
Humanity is not perfect. We are people who screw-up. The worst of the worst come from us. However, the fact is, that the best of the best exists in us too. It is this that God sees. It is this that God understands. It is this that keeps God’s arms opened wide, whispering and cajoling promises of love. Promises to clean us up and show us that there is more to life than the filth that exists around us. In religion, and in Christianity, we often forget that. We forget that God called David, an adulterer and murderer a man after His own heart. Not because he condoned David’s actions, but because he saw the good in David. He saw that little shepherd boy who had seemed insignificant and useless to his family. God loved Rahab the prostitute, not because he approved of her selling her body, but because he saw the broken, lost woman who was searching for a way out of her life, and wanted freedom. You know something else, those two names I mentioned, they are even seen in the birthline of Christ. Why? Not because God wanted to tell the world that sin was okay, but because He wanted to say that I see you. I see your broken- spirit. I see what those monsters have done to you. I see how much you are fighting. I see how dirty you feel. I see your pain. I feel it all with you. And although at times, it may seem the devil is winning, he will not have the final say in your life. He will be punished for corrupting your world. He will be destroyed. People often ask, why does God allow this, and allow that. Why does God not stop this and stop that. You tell me. Who is really committing these acts of atrocities against little girls like Sara, or me. Who fills our heads with things we do not understand. Is it God? Or is it another human being, like you and I, who failed her? Is it God? Or is it those of us who judged her, and pushed her away from the family she had come to find? Is it God? Or is it those monsters who think it is fun, and exciting to torment little two year old girls and boys for their own twisted sexual pleasure?
Sara. I salute you. You fought hard. You bled. You cried. You screamed. Your voice was heard. You tried. You did not make it to the end of your journey, in the way that you wanted to. You did succumb to those abusers, but you did more than that. In your own way you conquered. I love you, and I am so sorry that we were not able to be with you in the last stages of your life. I know I speak for Bourbon, Bird, and Terry when I say that we all loved you. Your life may not have ended in a manner that all approved of, but what we all do agree on is that you did make a difference. Your laughter, your jokes, your warmth, your honesty, your openness. It made a difference. Thank you, Sara. I love you. To sugar clouds and cotton candy.
Sunday, January 20, 2013. 17:55 hrs.
- RIP Sara (crazyinthecoconut.co.uk)
- I Lost A Friend (terry1954.wordpress.com)
- Why Sex Abuse Continues: Focus on Female Perpetrators(Potential Trigger-Read With Care) (reflectionsonlifethusfar.wordpress.com)