He Can’t Hurt Anyone AnyMore

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive in your comments as I enter this chapter of my story of surviving abuse. I’ve been unable to form words to reply but did read them and felt so loved and connected to all of you.

Those words keep bouncing around in my head now. At first they were quiet. He can’t hurt anyone anymore.

I went right back to work 2 mondays ago after the news of AF’s death, as if nothing had changed, even though I felt so sad, not for the loss of a loving father, but for the finality of never having the possibility of a loving father. I fell into old habits and kept my suffering a secret from coworkers. I didn’t tell anyone at work to avoid discussion and unwanted sympathy. I also felt like I shouldn’t be sad and tried at first controlling my reactions.

But then depression hit me the following week. After the week of processing and feeling a bit numb and a bit sad, it hit me full force. Headaches, vomiting, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, muscle aches, withdrawal from life – depression. I sunk really low this past week, and barely got out of bed until Friday. I fell into tortured sleep as I lay in my darkened room alone, full of nightmares and twisted dreams. I leaned completely on hubby and my 11 yr old daughter to take care of the house and younger kids. I didn’t ask them, it just had to be, as I was rendered useless in my own inner prison.

I told work I had the flu and I am now kicking myself for this. I should have told them the truth and been allowed my 3 day allowance of family leave. I should have let them offer me sympathy.I didn’t have to tell anyone more than I was comfortable with. I could have simply said we weren’t close and hadn’t spoken in years. I think I would have found more understanding than I think and I’m thinking now it would have been nicer to myself to share this time instead of holing myself up alone. But the habit to keep my secrets are so strong still. The instinct to turn inwards at troubled times is impossible to ignore.

And then that phrase got louder in my head. HE CAN’T HURT ANYONE ANYMORE!

I no longer need to protect myself or my children or nieces/nephews/cousins or random strangers from this terrible man. No matter what now, it is over. I am beginning to realize what a weight has been lifted.

Yesterday I finished Christmas shopping for my kids and enjoyed picking out the gifts. Spent way too much money, but I have the extra money this year. I won’t have to delay paying the mortgage this time, so I don’t have the same guilt as in years past.

I told my Mom and brothers I will not be going to Christmas dinner. I gave myself this gift early, instead of torturing myself with the decision down to the last minute. Going to my hometown is just too hard on me.

I’m ready to focus on my own little family for the next few weeks, be gentle on myself, but also firm with self-care, making sure I eat healthy and exercise and don’t stay in bed forever less the depression will actually consume me.


I will carry on.


4 thoughts on “He Can’t Hurt Anyone AnyMore

  1. These next weeks and months will have you catching yourself lost in thought, again and again. Even though there might be some times where you stumble and get a little lost, or feel stuck, trust that you already have the knowledge and tools needed to get through those rough patches. Continue doing what you are already wise enough to do for yourself – remove any obvious obstacles or blaring pitfalls, and do your best to be kind and gentle with yourself as you move through the maze of emotions and memories that might surface during this time.

    I remember being surprised at how little “relief” I felt when my AF died. Somehow, I guess, I had expected that his passing would signal that a weight had been lifted from my life. I also remember feeling very conflicted about the fact that I was feeling something that can only be described as mourning, and was confused by the depth of how it hit me. Eventually, I decided to try to get out of my own way, and just let whatever I was feeling happen, and quit trying to justify or dissect why I was feeling it. The disappointment of not feeling immediate relief stayed with me a while, but eventually, when I wasn’t focused so much on how I “should” feel, it occurred to me that I had crossed over some invisible threshold, and there was most definitely a before and after.

    Some time after that, I caught myself being able to think of him, or memories relating to him, without so much pain. And even further down the road, I finally got to a place where I finally and truly felt free of him. Not in that “I’ve sliced you out of my life and never have to think of you again” way, but rather, in a way that feels more like that painful wound has finally ceased to fester, and is slowly beginning to mend. I hardly ever wince these days, or get caught off-guard with a searing bolt of molten pain. Now I’ve finally managed to reach a place that was foreign and unknown to me before; where he simply didn’t matter much, in the overall scheme of my life. Sometimes it feels like a big eraser has been at work, and even though the imprint might still remain under the smudges that are scattered across the page, the image is blurry and distorted. No more hard edges.

    Sending you thoughts of peace, and hugs. Nancy

  2. I’m so glad to hear that you are being gentle with yourself and finally taking some time to take care of yourself. I’m glad to hear you’ve released yourself of the burden of dinner and are trying to enjoy Christmas.
    I think mourning for something we will never get from our parents is very hard. Letting go of that hope is difficult and always leaves a bit of a hole.
    Keeping hanging in there. Thinking of you.

  3. Good for you for giving yourself an early Christmas present. I’m sorry the news hit you so hard, especially in delay. Give yourself permission to grieve in your own way. The world likes to dictate how we should do things. The world is frequently wrong. I’m so grateful your family is there to support you. No sense beating yourself up over not telling the people at work. Some would understand, but there are a few who would not. For me, all it would take is one saying, “You should have done something to mend the gap,” and that would have been worse. It wasn’t your fault. You’ve learned a lot of tough lessons, and you’re finally allowing yourself to be the person you want to be and the world needs you to be. God bless.

  4. When my mother passed earlier this year, my first reaction was relief. My second reaction was fury, she never acknowledged the harm she did to me, she never said she was sorry. How could she live all this time and never say it.

    Those were my first two emotions. Then, I cried for what I didn’t get from her, for us and for me. I shook my fist at the world and said, ‘it isn’t f’ng fair’.

    Sometimes, still after all these months I still think the last one. Sometimes I am still sad and angry.

    It is just fine, both of them. I also wish I had done more to reach out to people. You know what, if this is all you can do, then this is all you need to do for now. It is enough if this is the where you are comfortable.

    Take care of yourself. Place yourself up front, know the better care you give to you the better you will be in the long-run.

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