Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
shadesong

Ancient history

I'm being asked what the deal with my ankle is. Generally, I just say "it was broken a few times when I was 14/15, and always got re-injured before it healed entirely, so it just goes out on me sometimes." Because generally I don't want to have This Conversation. I don't really want to have This Conversation now. Not that it's a thing to hide, but it freaks people out, and I am a different girl now, and I hate the horrified looks, et cetera.

But I don't like categorizing anything as a thing not to speak of, especially domestic violence and abuse.

This post is friends-locked because I don't want family members stumbling upon it; my birthmother and my daughter know nothing about any of this, and I don't want them to. Please do not refer to this on Facebook or around my daughter. Thank you.


I'm pretty sure most of you, save the new kids, are aware that I'm a survivor of child sexual abuse as well as rape. It was my "babysitter", not my parents. He had a son of his own, and he abused him as well - and that son and I grew up twisted around each other in really horrible ways. I escaped the primary abuser at 11 by throwing myself into massive amounts of activity at school and my synagogue and elsewhere; I'd mentioned that recently.

I started dating the son when I was fourteen, and he was seventeen and emancipated and had his own apartment. I moved in with him in short order, because my parents and I had a fraught relationship, and frankly they were sick of dealing with me - at this point I'd already been involuntarily committed twice. I got out and moved in.

All y'all know about the cycle of abuse because you are smart 21st-century people, so I don't have to dissect that for you, and you won't be surprised that he turned out just like his father. But worse.

We had an almost-stereotypical domestic-violence relationship. When I showed up to school, I had bruises on my neck, and of course no teacher ever said anything, because hey, doing your job as a mandated reporter involves paperwork, y'know? And yes, *when* I showed up, because he had the typical controlling/jealous/isolating thing going on.

Here's the thing. When someone has a broken ankle, they can't run.

The first time, I don't think that was the goal. It just happened. But it worked to his benefit.

So when I got the cast off, which they do before the ankle is 100% - he did it again, this time deliberately.

Lather.

Rinse.

Repeat.

And it never fully healed. This was during my last growth spurt, too. So my left leg is ever so slightly shorter than my right. Is why I sway like I do when I walk - because I have a choice, limp or sashay. I choose sashay. The limp only comes out when I'm particularly exhausted.

Knowing the me you know now, you are probably wondering why I stayed.

It was all I knew. I'd known him since I was four. We'd been through the worst hell imaginable together, and that's a hell of a bonding experience. He was the only person who *knew*. And... I'd been raised by his father to think that this is what I was *for*.

Long story short (too late!), I only got out when he put me in the hospital under circumstances I'm not up to recounting today that have nothing to do with my ankle anyway. My parents got the call from the ER and arranged for me to go straight from the hospital into another psychiatric ward, and from there to the wilderness survival camp, and from there to the group home in Utah, and then I turned 18 and had to teach myself how to be a functional human being in the world, which took me a long-ass time.

Everyone involved now is dead. Except me.

So every so often, I will be walking down the street, and my ankle will just give, fail to support my weight. Usually I can manage to just be very wobbly and wait patiently til it's done being fucked up. Sometimes I'm just walking too fast and I go splat, and my knees and palms get scraped up, but whatever. (This is why my iPod has a crack.) This time, not so much; this time, two stairs from the bottom and straight down, with the ankle bending very badly and all of my weight landing on my ankle/the outside of my left foot.

People who don't want to read the cut-tagged portion of this don't have to. Also, I'm leaving comments open, but I may not be prompt in answering them or answer them at all, depending on my level of cope. As a reminder, "*hugs*" annoy the crap out of me; if you want to just signify sympathy, "I read this whole thing" or leaving a metaphorical pebble does not make me stabby.
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