Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I Guess This Is Why They Call Us Survivors. Not Necessarily What You Would Think: Trigger Warning

Dear old Maurice. Believe it or not, her face is looking much better now than it has looked in quite a while. Mr. Moon and I have joked that we should make her wear a battle helmet every day but of course, we do not. It seems to me that she and Jack are not quite as apt to fight as they were, although trust me- they still get into it at times. Maurice just did not want another cat in the house and Jack just did not care. He was moving in and that was that, just as Maurice had done.
Our next door neighbor asked Mr. Moon this morning if Jack was okay. She hasn't seen him in awhile. He's known as Hobo over at her place. She feeds him canned food and also, we discovered just this morning, loves to brush his fur and he loves to be brushed.
Why in the world did he choose our house over hers?
I don't brush his damn fur nor do I give him canned food. It's Publix finest dry food for my cats and a flea collar and don't ask for anything else.
Oh, cats. Why do we love you so?
Maurice killed a mouse the other night in the fireplace of the dining room. Mr. Moon saw her do it but then she ran off with it and I found it yesterday under the kitchen island thing. It was just a small one, not one of the enormous rats she brings me. At least she tries to earn her keep. Jack does nothing but eat and sleep and cuddle with me a little before we turn out the light at night.
And I will admit that I do love that, stroking the especially soft fur of his white chest as he purrs and reaches out his paw to touch me.
Maurice still claws the shit out of me and frequently. And bites me. She thinks that means that she loves me. I understand. I tolerate it. But I don't walk by her in the kitchen when I can avoid it. She lies in wait on the kitchen island and has a reach which is far longer than you would imagine. Plus, like a Kung Fu Fighter, she moves faster than lightening.
One fast swipe before you know it and you're bleeding and all you wanted to do was put the soy sauce back in the refrigerator.

Oh well. As Hank says, cats domesticated us and not the other way around and I think it's still an ongoing process. At least in my house.

I've had a peaceful day and didn't do much but take a walk and do some ironing and a few house chores. I collected six eggs but the hens did all the work. If my calculations are correct, I may soon be getting up to ten eggs a day and another reason I'm glad that Jessie and Vergil are coming home soon is that I'll have yet another household to give them to.

I want to say that writing these posts about sexual abuse are not really upsetting me. Don't praise my bravery because I do not feel brave at all for writing them. I just feel like it's time. Now, I do definitely remember when every therapy session I went to, every meeting of the survivors' group I attended, made me feel like I was ripping the scab off a terrible, infected wound.
Honestly, that was quite possibly one of the very hardest times of my life. It was, quite frankly, horrible. A constant nightmare.
My oldest children were around nine and eleven when I realized that I had to get help and my therapist told me that it is not unusual at all for a person's defenses and crutches to cease being effective when their children reach the age they were when the abuse began. This was definitely true for me. And that therapist saved my life and those women in that group with their honesty and strength and courage and humor (yes! humor!) did too. I felt like I was being torn apart and put back together and I was crazy as a betsy bug (as my mother-in-law used to say) during those years. All of the anger and the sadness and the grief just poured out of me and I will admit, sadly, that I spilled it on everyone around me who would let me. Mr. Moon got the brunt of it and it's a miracle he's still around. I was hell to live with. And although I did not go into any details with my kids, they knew Mama wasn't right. There were many, many nights that getting a meal on the table and laundry done was tantamount to me running a marathon with one leg taped to my butt.
But I survived that. And in the midst of it, I had another baby- Jessie. So I had a thirteen year old, an eleven year old, a three year old and a newborn. I was dealing with all of those ages of children and volunteering in the classroom, and had been working at the birth center, taking call as a birth assistant. And on top of all of this, my husband was working twelve hour days.
THAT is the time when I was brave. THAT is the time when I was so much stronger than I ever knew I could be.

Now? Oh, honey. Having a whole day to myself where I can do what I want and sit down and write about something that happened over fifty years ago? That's just cake.
Okay. Maybe not cake, but it's so easy compared to those times. These are things I think about every day because they still impact my life every day. But they don't bend my days the way they used to. They do not cause me to scream and cry. They do not make me feel as if I am vomiting nails and tacks.

I still carry sorrow, I still carry grief. God help me, I still carry anger. But none of it is like it used to be. And I can usually put it all in perspective and I can usually understand where these things come from and why they surface although sometimes knowledge is not power and it doesn't help.
But eventually, it does.

I did not mean to write more about it all tonight but as with all of these posts, they seem to have just been waiting for a long, long time and will have their say, irregardless of my own plans.
Not unlike these cats of mine.

But I promise you, I am absolutely fine. And no braver than I am when I walk past Maurice in the kitchen to put the soy sauce back in the refrigerator.

Thank all of you for coming along with me. I just hope that some of this is helping others to know that they are not alone and not necessarily crazy, either.
Or any crazier than circumstances would warrant.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I think that you can write about all of it and still be pragmatic shows that you can live a life beyond the abuse. Countless times I have looked into going into group therapy for adult women of violence and abuse but I keep coming up with excuses. In reality, I am just afraid of opening Pandora's box. My life is okay compared to my brother. He can't live alone when he is in a bad place. My step dad cares for him. He can't hold down a job. He's never been in a long term relationship. He's medicated to the hilt. His life is sad. So sad. I don't know. I don't know what to do. The violence was so bad. It's part of me.

    However... your Maurice story made laugh. We once adopted a cat from the SPCA and it loved me deeply. My kids? They walked around the apartment with couch cushions to avoid getting clawed. I had to take him back because it got so bad my kids would hop on pieces of furniture to get places. 😂

    1. Well, I would never tell anyone that they simply had to open up a Pandora's box. What I discovered when I did was that despite everything, it took a lot less energy to deal with it than it had to hold it in all of those years. Plus- I really had no choice. I was that insane. But it is different for everyone and I think you DO deal with it, just in a different way.

  2. Speak the truth, darling Mary. We're all a little Betsy bug crazy.

    XXXXX Beth

    1. And I have no idea what a Betsy bug is but I'm sure it's the craziest bug in the world.

  3. Dear, dear Ms Moon.

    I hadn't visited your blog for a while and after today's post, well, I had to backtrack to the previous "trigger warning" posts and, oh my! I can only say...

    Well here's the thing, dearest Mary, I don't have anything useful to say at all. I can only tell you I first had a good old weep, and then I became furiously angry. At that piece of shit, C, of course. I so hope he died slowly and horribly, but the universe doesn't always reward us like that. (I guess I'm finding something to say after all...)

    I am also so happy for you that you have Mr Moon by your side. Now I know there is no such thing as the perfect man (even my beloved partner of these last 36 years is not always perfect, but I love him anyway) but Mr Moon must be a pretty good 'un to have stuck with you through thick and thin, and I say good on him!

    Mary, I know cyber {{{{hugs}}}} don't match up to the real thing, but I gladly send them anyway, along with my love.

    1. I will take cyber hugs any day! Thank you, Rozzie. And no, my man is not perfect either but he is, in so many ways, perfect for me. And Lord knows, I am not close to perfect in the least and yet, he seems to love me.
      Thank you.

  4. So many thoughts - i guess I'll just number them. 1) I realized when I was writing my last comment that I sounded awfully casual about such a horror show but then I realized...ya know, you're taking about it. You've put in years and decades of work. It's not like you're ripping off the band aid here. It's ok to share it and it's not something that just stabs you. I can tell it from the way you're writing it. 2) So. I'm real fucking glad Maurice likes to wait and attack you because Charlie has been a dickhead for like ten years about lying in wait for me to leave for work to leap out and attack. I feel less alone in this journey of cat motherhood! Haha :)

    Love you meanit.

    1. What IS it with these cats?
      Well, I am ripping the bandaid a little tiny bit but NOT the scab. There is a huge difference.
      I love you, girl.

  5. Love Maurice (hobo) , he is just as terrible as my orange cat was, something about gingers maybe.And C. just ewww, what a scum bag. I can almost smell him, now THAT would be a trigger!

    1. Thankfully, I can't remember what he smelled like. Probably some sort of hair crap that no one wears today.

  6. Writing about such things helps just a little i do hope x

    1. My main hope is that it helps someone else to feel not so alone.

  7. I'm just glad you're writing it all out. Hopefully it is helping you continue to process all that stuff. I imagine no matter how much therapy you undergo, coping is a constant process.

    Cats are so peculiar. There's such a fine line with them, between "I Love You So MUCH" and "FUCK OFF"!

    1. That is true, Steve. One does have to constantly cope but that's sort of life, isn't it? It's all such a process.
      Cats are completely mystifying to me and yet, they are so soft and pretty. Plus, not very needy.

  8. You telling your painful stories is helping me. Thank you.

  9. I think that you can write about this now because you've healed to the point that you can.

  10. Jeeze. tolerating Maurice *is* brave. I'd be pushing her out of the way with the broom.

    As for those old days, well, that's nothing short of heroic. For all of you. I had nothing remotely close to what you overcame to what you overcame and I didn't come out of it the baby years with an intact marriage. In awe, indeed.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.