Violence Prevention Grey Bruce

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I Am So Worth the Effort

CW: incest, childhood abuse, domestic violence

By Wendy

I am so worth the effort.

I am so grateful for my three children who love me and taught me how to love them back,

And so together we broke the cycle of abuse.

I am so worth the effort.

I am so fortunate to have a partner who truly wishes me the best at all times, and with kindness, tries to be supportive and understanding.

My partner is the only man I have ever trusted (until my sons were born). And when our daughter was about two I became kind of paranoid about people being around our kids, the trust thing.

I am so worth the effort to free myself from the past and release the wee me who was sexually, physically, emotionally abused.

No one discussed where my sister and brother went, leaving a terrified child searching…

I am so worth the effort

I witnessed the daily abuse my mentally unstable alcoholic mother was subjected to. She was terrified of him; he was a violent alcoholic who believed we were his property to do whatever he desired, whenever. In the sixties the police would come and take him away for the night sometime; however they also put the blame on her, saying, “What did you do to provoke him – you know he is nasty when he drinks.”

He was gross, smelled like whiskey all the time. He always abused me in the tub in the basement at the end of the stairs.  Mom was usually in bed, sick: recovering from hangovers, and beatings, and ill health.

I am so worth the effort

I moved out at 16 and had my own apartment that had a big lock on the door.

Married at 18, first baby at 20, first mortgage payment at 21.

I am so worth the effort

Flashbacks. Wow, not a fun ride down intense-anger memory lane; no warnings.

You learn in therapy the tools to begin to understand that your feelings have merit.

I had a lot of work stress at that time. I was 2 years back from breast cancer. My post cancer workplace experience eventually had me quit that workplace. I was suicidal over leaving my job, cancer, and the pre-cancer workplace was gone. I was now unemployed.

I am so worth the effort

He always said I was a dirty girl, and that meant a stunned c**t, good for one thing only.

I am so worth the effort

Triggered by smells that can really cause me great anxiety, eventually graduating to panic attacks.  Memories of being made to eat my own vomit, being hungry, loud men, hearing my mom screaming and knowing by how drunk he was what kind of event was about to take place. I always slept with a knife, always.

I drank and did drugs. I loved the numb feeling.

I am so worth the effort

One time at a trailer park we went to one summer, Dad threw Mom out the trailer door by her hair because she burnt something. She started to run towards the highway, and I was about three and I ran after her. We walked along the highway shoulder until we got to the old Kmart and Mom phoned a cab. As an adult I realized just how long of that walk that was.

 I am so worth the effort

Driving on the highway, he would try to push her out of the car; it was so awful.

I am so worth the effort

I was five when I knocked him out with a frying pan.  The others were laying on the floor lined up just like he told ‘em to – he was holding a gun to my mom’s head and a boot to my brother’s head. Not me though, ‘cause I was his favourite.

So when he came around I had the gun pointing in his face. For years I remember thinking I could have ended all the suffering if I had just shot the b*****d. Instead he grabbed me and punched me in the head. I ran outside.

I am so worth the effort

As part of my journey with trauma therapy I was hypnotized by a wonderful Indigenous healer who led me through age regression sessions to go find my little self who was in desperate need for safety, comfort and love. I could not find me but I did find my sister. Later, I found myself, after one particular nightmare where I found my wee self in the basement of the house we lived in, the house was on fire and I electrocuted him, with the very live wire that electrocuted me when I was very little.

I am so worth the effort

Trauma counselling has been a lifesaver quite literally, as I was suicidal.

I am so worth the effort

My story has a lot more to it, as life does. And I am now looking forward to it all, and embrace everything.

I am so worth the effort

The necessary work it takes to have a chance of living a life that is worthy of living is something I work on every day. I have come a long way and today I can even say out loud, “I am an incest survivor, and


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