The first time my father raped me I was about 5 years old. The last time, I’m not sure, maybe 13. He strangled me till I lost consciousness, possibly to stop me from screaming. I was so young that, not knowing what passing out from lack of air was, I deduced from the pain and the unconsciousness that I’d actually died. My mother appeared to take no notice of what must have been the obvious signs of distress in her little girl. When we finally had a conversation about it, after I’d grown up and left the house forever, she said she believed me, but continued to live with my father for another 14 years. You would think raping your daughter, or any woman for that matter, is worth leaving your husband over. Apparently not.
My father is dying of cancer, hopefully quickly and painfully.
I’m planning to dance a sword dance on his grave.
I’ve started this blog to write about this, but now I find myself unable to write.
I found this picture of the Goddess Brigit with a sword that appeals to me. We women need to fight back, we survivors need to fight back against the silence and prejudice that keeps the abusers free and the survivors invisible.
The picture appeals to me because it represents the strength that is divine and female and cannot be silenced. The strength that is the iron core, the sword inside that we survivors use to fight for our lives and our happiness.