I Did it!

Image

I did it, Peggy.

I set out to write your story and I completed it. But what I didn’t know was that I would be adding my own story as well.

I also didn’t know how hard it would be to put it in black and white. I figured it would be okay since I’ve shared our story for years. It was different, very different.

Holding the book in my hands the other day when I got it through the mail was surreal.

A lot of life within those one hundred and seventy-five pages. A lot of pain.

And now here I sit. Knowing I accomplished what I set out to do leaves me with mixed feelings. Yes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The technological part alone caused me a lot of big headaches. And you can verify that with a number of people.

And as any author knows besides writing the book, I still had life to do. I dealt with things like a leaky pipe, a soaked carpet. Taking the rug out.  My computer broke. I had work done on our house as they insulated it. We had a few days clean-up after they were done. I worked on another computer, which was difficult. Well, you get the idea.

But I faced those obstacles and did it anyway. It feels good to say, “I did it.”

But I’m sad too. Writing BROKEN, opened the door to some memories which have camped out in my mind, refusing to leave. But maybe that’s okay. You see, remembering the difficult parts of our lives makes us sensitive to others who are hurting. I want to be sensitive to others.

We live our lives where people settle for imitations of community. Many are lonely. And when hurting people are alone, the pain is intensified.

I’m praying for those who hurt. I’m praying God uses words I’ve written to ease someone’s pain.

God’s the only one who can do that. He comforts us so we can comfort others.

I miss you Peggy. But that’s okay, it won’t be forever. Some day we’ll see each other again and then we’ll catch up.

But for now I’ll think about a story I recently wrote. It was about you, Mom and me going for a special tea. I know the story wasn’t real, but it felt real. And for five hundred words or so, I felt like we were together again. We talked, we laughed. It was special.

Well I’m going to have to go, the book launch is today. People can actually buy the book on Amazon.

I’ve made a list of things that determine what success means regarding this book. And you know what? That list is really helping me.  And guess whose idea it was? Your eldest son, Drew.

Too often we determine our success by the wrong indicators. We use things like money, numbers of sales, etc. Knowing this book can encourage someone will mean I’m successful.  Knowing someone else may feel less alone, that too would mean success.

It’s all perspective.

Well, now I do have to go. But I’ll talk again soon.

In the meantime. I can imagine what you would say if you were here.

You’d smile and say, “That’s good, Anne. I’m proud of you.”

I love, you Peg. I always will.

Your sister,

Anne

I Never Meant to Hurt Them

I thought I saw him coming through the door of the thrift shop. Carefully I inched closer wanting to see if it was really him. He looked about the right age, but it was hard to tell since many years had passed. I wondered if he’d recognize me.

I had changed to be sure. Being discarded ages one prematurely, but it’s hard to tell when you’re a belt. My leather face was well worn, and my buckle somewhat tarnished. Shame had taken its toll on me. Quietly, I wondered if he ever thought back years ago, as I often felt compelled to do.

It always started the same. Apprehension filled the air. The noise level heightened, as did my anxiety. Though I felt hidden, safe from the impending crime, still I was afraid; afraid for the little ones who ran in every direction when the yelling started. Terror filled their young eyes; terror mingled with confusion. And then there was the shame. Little children wear shame as well as they are taught. Guilt was another jacket they easily slipped into. 

I especially felt sorry for the girls who lacked softness and longed for peace.

Somehow, it would have been easier to understand if the smell of liquor permeated the room with the chaos, but there was no drinking to blame. Rage would rear its ugly head unannounced.

I watched for years as the children tried appeasing the monster of anger unleashed, each attempt unsuccessful. I don’t know what bothered me more, the sound of tender flesh being hit, the childish screams begging him to stop, or the muffled sobs coming from their respective bedrooms. Their sobs required an occasional gasp to keep them going. 

No wonder the children grew up afraid of any sudden movement, hating surprises of any kind. Noise became their warning sign. When noise increased their adrenaline started pumping. They knew what was about to happen. Hide and seek started as they all scattered in different directions.

Their abuser was a large man, to them huge. His powerful hands had learned how to hit and he was a master. I remember the first time I was drawn into it all. Innocently I hung on a hook waiting to be slipped around his large waist to hold oversized trousers; that’s what I was made for. But sometimes I was pulled out of those loops so fast, against my will to be part of his hideous crime. The children grew up hating even the sight of me, but I don’t blame them.

At times they hid me, but I didn’t take it personally. It was for their self-preservation. Sometimes I wanted to reveal my hiding place because I knew what would happen if they didn’t hand me over. Harsh hands would hit impressionable skin.

I hated being part of that house. I loved the kids; I just felt so sad. And when the stresses of life overcame their mom, she too fell into the habit of releasing anger by striking out. I felt sorry I was ever made. My purpose was never to invoke fear. My leather was not made strong to mark little weak ones. One day I was discarded with old clothes and a truck escorted me to freedom. Though I would miss the kids, I was relieved to be out of there. I didn’t care if I ever got used again. I just wanted to be out of that house.

I never meant to hurt them.