I buried it. And along with it the very last of him. The last man I loved. The last man I allowed to abuse me. The last man I tried to save. I will never forget how simple and yet how powerful the journey to finding the shovel in my hand slamming into the dirt has been. I am changed. Deep inside I know I am free. I know that I will never allow another to abuse me.
Childhood abuse can create a pattern that a child accepts and does not realize is doing so. A child’s mind is being formed. We are not born understanding how the world works. How we are brought up, the conditions, the way we are treated and so on have a direct effect on what becomes “normal” to a child. Childhood sexual abuse often leads to promiscuity and the need to replace the abuser in one’s life. This was one of the hardest realizations I faced in therapy. I refused to acknowledge that I sought out, chased down and fell madly in love with men who abused me in some manner. When shit got real in 2013 and I reentered therapy no subject was off limits.
There it was right in front of me. I was no longer able to deny that I had allowed males to abuse me since I had been raped at age 13yrs old. Slowly I saw how my choices had grown progressively worse as I got older. I saw how I valued myself less and took scarier risks with each man I loved. I allowed myself to embrace the truth that I had been replacing the abuser in my life because I didn’t know how to live without the abuse and I didnt know how to live without a fucked up male I was afraid of and trying to fix. That day I sobbed and sobbed in my therapist office. Years of therapy were in front of me.
In 2015 my Partner and I moved into a beautiful home together. As I packed my condo I found it. The very last item he had tried to win me back with. It was a silver engraved pocket watch in a black box lined in silk. I tossed it into a box. A few months later I spoke to a Shaman regarding the watch. I told a brief history and asked how I should cleanse myself of it. She advised that I should spend time sending him love and peace every time I thought of him and that I should then bury it. I asked how long I should do so and where I should bury it. Her reply was “you will know.” The box sat in the back of a cabinet for three years. I did as I was told. Every time I went to the lake or hiking I wondered why I had not remembered to grab the box.
Last week my Partner and I attended a womens festival in the woods. That is all you get to know about that 😉 While I was packing I saw the box. It was near the front of the cabinet. I was thrilled and tossed it into my bag without opening it. We shared with our Sisters for four days. We danced, We laughed. We sang. We wept. We made art. It was glorious. I never thought of the box. I had a spiritual reading and she told me I had something to leave on the land and not to forget. I still did not remember the box. I searched my heart and came up empty. On the last morning as I was packing things into my bag I put my hand on the box in the bottom of my bag. I immediately knew what I had to do. I explained it to my Partner and campmates and took off in search of the Matirach on the land.
The land I was standing on is sacred land. I knew better than to commit an offense by burying it alone. I found our beloved M and gave her a brief description of my journey to this point. She smiled and said “Yes you are ready, let’s go and do this now.” We walked together to the shed and retrieved a shovel and a pair of large garden clippers. She led me to a spot and she cut away the thorny bushes, creating a small cave at the bottom. “You dig and it has to be deep. Very deep.” I immediately began to slam the end of the shovel into the ground. I picked up shovels of dirt and tossed them into pile. Behind me I could hear M praying and shielding the land and the women from any harm. When she finished she set the box down and said “you finish, this is for you just make sure it is deep and no one can tell we were here. I’ll come back and check on you.” I replied “yes ma’am” and kept digging. The women I had shared the past four days with were gathering around the fire pit to sing and say goodbye. I could hear their laughter but they could not see me. I kept digging. Make it deeper I kept thinking. I realized I was filling with joy. I was unimaginably free and happy standing alone in a thorny bush shoveling dirt in my sandals and shorts. Soon I had to begin to cut through roots with the end of the shovel. I slammed the metal into the ground hard, slicing through roots and thorny branches reaching out to cut me. I caught one on the arm and slapped it back with the shovel as if to say “don’t fuck with me.” I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t sad. I was fired up. I was digging my way to the last bit of freedom. The women’s voices grew louder as the crowd gathered. I wanted to be with them but I wanted to be free more. I kept digging. I found evidence of humans before me. I unearthed trash and put it in a pile. When I reached what I guessed to be three feet or more down I stopped. I picked up the box. I held in flat in my left palm and held high to the sky. With the sun shining on my face I said out loud “I wish you love and peace. I forgive you. I forgive me. I grant myself love and peace.” The very moment the words left my mouth the women gathered around the fire sang out. Their voices echoed through the forest as if they knew. But they didn’t. Only I knew. They stopped, I lowered my arm and I tossed the box into the hole I had dug. It landed upside down and I tried to flip it over but it threatened to fall open and reveal its contents. Having still not looked inside for so many years I didn’t want to risk it. I buried it. Alone. I suffered the abuse alone. I went to therapy alone. I buried that son of a bitch alone. In my way. I was free and I knew it.
I set the shovel down and walked to the circle around the fire with silent tears running down my face. I made eye contact with M and she smiled. I sat down and listened to the closing remarks. I walked back to the spot and picked up the shovel. I used it to grab and pull the thorny bushes back down over the place I had just covered in dirt. The thorns never bit me again. Only the once. I threw away the trash I had unearthed, put away the tools and walked back to my camp. It was so pure and so simple but ultimately freeing.
I will never be abused again.