Unwise Words Became My Weapons

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” Psalm 19:14 ESV.

8 years of silence. 8 years of shame. 8 years of hatred building in the core of my heart. When will I escape this horrible man? Soon. I just need to hold on for a little bit longer. I’m graduating today. I’m wearing topaz blue. It’s my birthstone colour. I think I’ll look nice. I have a small tiara for my hair. My name means princess, so maybe today I can feel like one.

It’s time to get my hair done. The appointment is booked for the hairdresser down the road. Mum can’t drive the car but we can walk together and she can help me decide what to do with my hair. The answer is no. She’s not allowed to leave and spend time with me. Fine, I’ll go on my own. I can do this.

I’m back. I’ve got my hair done. My dress is hanging up. Mum and Grandma have gifted me with dainty silver and blue accessories. I look at them, lying next to each other, excited to wear them tonight.

Time for Mum to do my make up. We sit at the kitchen table, hopeful but fear reflecting back at each other. Pay no attention to him. Don’t let him spoil this moment too. He’s hovering. He hates Mum paying me attention. Just stay quiet. Ignore him.

Spit bubbles at the corner of his mouth. He’s pacing. He’s angry. What the hell happened to this man to make him this mean? The words, here they come. “Look at you. And that big nose of yours. Your flat, boring hair. You’re fat. You’re the town bike”. Don’t fight back this time Sara. Just keep your mouth shut. For once, keep quiet. Mum is focusing on me and blocking him out too. We’re playing quiet mouse. Say nothing just gently proceed. Gentle, gentle. His filthy words aiming at my heart. I won’t let you penetrate this heart. It’s hard and angry and full of hatred for you.

But I really want to have a nice night and look pretty for once. This is hard. Please just stop. Look at Mum. Focus there. I love Mum looking at my face. She’s telling me about the make up and what would suit me. She picks blue for my eyes. She’s so good with her hands. She can draw, sew, cook and everything she touches becomes beautiful. Maybe it’ll be my turn to be beautiful.

He loves to call me fat. That one always stings. I don’t think my nose is that big and my hair is okay. “You have small eyes”. Yeah, yeah, all the better for not seeing your big ugly head. I can do this. There he goes with the town bike again. Man that one annoys me. I’m a virgin. I hate how he calls me that, especially after what he did. Don’t think about it Sara. Keep that locked away. Don’t think. Just look at Mum. Gentle mouse.

“The day you have sex and walk through the door, I will know” pops to my mind. Just one of the things he likes to regularly say to me. I don’t want to have sex. I definitely don’t want you thinking of me having sex and then yelling at me for it. I don’t belong to you. You’ve stolen so much. Don’t think about it Sara! Just stay quiet and don’t think.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).

I try to block his words out. They’re escalating. Why does Mum put up with him? In the background, there’s my 5 beautiful siblings floating about as if nothing unusual is happening. That’s why. If I opened my mouth earlier, I wouldn’t have them and they are the best. They are worth it. I love having so many siblings. I can endure him and his words for them. Poor darlings are probably relieved it’s my turn again. It seems to be my turn all of the time. I fight a lot. I step in. I help to blow the house up so that it can calm back down again. No-one there to defend me. That’s my job.

Thoughts start to rush again as Mum continues with my make up. I hate this man. I’ve seen his violence towards others. I’ve seen his cruelty. I’ve witnessed him laugh with glee, as he has spiritually, emotionally and physically crushed those vulnerable and in his care. He destroys property, especially items that are deeply valued. I’ve stood in to fight him physically. That’s been happening more and more lately. My 56kg frame against his 100kg. But I have since learnt that it’s my words that are my most effective weapon against him.

I look down at my baby sister. She is the youngest and so precious. At least I can keep her safe. I keep her on my hip, nice and close. I love her fiercely. I suck at being a sister to my other sisters but this time I won’t fail. I’ll protect her. Memories and thoughts flooding into my mind. I’m trying to block him out. He’s not making it easy.

Damn it. I’m crying. Mum can fix it. Just a few tears escaped. No more tears Sara. Fight back. “I don’t want you coming tonight Johnny”. “You’re not welcome”. It escalates. I look at Mum and plead for him not to come. Our family are visiting and he has to come. If only they knew. He seems to be backing down. He has to put on a show tonight. Good, he is leaving me alone now.

It’s almost time to leave. Mum takes some photos. My lift will be here soon to pick me up and then I can forget about all of this. I’m graduating. I’ve got great friends. I need to do a speech tonight. School Captain, what a joke. Hardly a captain of anything. My friends and I are singing tonight. That’ll be fun. I can’t wait to see them. The house is calming down. It’s time for me to leave.

Before I leave, I turn to look at him, “I don’t want you to come tonight Johnny and if you’re there, please remember you are not welcome. Sit there if you must but remember that I hate you and always will”. Words are my weapons and I am sharpening them. I know how to strike his heart now. It’s taken years of unwise training.

A wise man’s heart guides his mouth (Proverbs 16:23).

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV.

(Names have been changed. These words contain my account of events and may not reflect each individual’s account of events. I have written from my heart, my memories and my understanding of what I believe to be true. My words are no longer intentionally used as weapons. My intention is to heal, share my life story, to raise awareness, to be a voice for others and to honour my faith in Jesus).

Published by Sara Cotton

Like a bowerbird, I like to collect words and then weave them together to create something that reaches from the depths of my heart to yours. Words are my paints. Life is my muse. Love is my reason.

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