When we think about the word imprisonment we naturally feel it represents incarceration, but that is not the only way that we can be within a space of imprisonment. A place where we are still held within its walls that are completely invisible to an onlooker. I’m talking here about a place where there will never be a daring break out staged, where there is no parole or any early release for good behaviour. A place where there was never any crime committed by that individual, but still it seems, it was their fate as abused children which holds them within that imprisonment for a lifetime.
An adult child abuse survivor knows that place well because it’s within them and to remove themselves from that incarceration will take time. They will need to endure the pain that can’t help but accompany them on their journey on that road to recovery, and so the question is asked, is it not far less painful to stay within that imposed Imprisonment? It’s so very difficult to break down the walls surrounding them and it may take many attempts. They are fully aware more than anyone just what they will need to encounter once that breakout is attempted. It will never really matter in totality others offering the sledgehammer in which to do so, they are the only ones able to take that deep breath within and take that swing.
The one thing that we know with complete certainty is that each one of them has lived within the horrors of sexual child abuse. It’s an impossible task for us to sit within another’s child abuse experience, in all truth, our involvement should be in guidance alone simply because we aren’t able to take this journey to its conclusion. On this, they stand alone.
So let’s just think about the tormented mass of abuse within that has always dominated their memory, the walls have been built so high they will seem impossible for them to climb. But what we need to remember here those walls were constructed by themselves to contain the past, and many years have passed for them to do so. The child abuse they suffered was inserted into the mind of that trusting innocent child by another, and the walls were a necessity to live life in any way that felt normal. So breaking them down? Well, we can see that there would be more than a little resistance. It would seem preferable to them not to disturb those walls and why wouldn’t it?
To be imprisoned from within there is just no escape just how you can you run from yourself? To be able to look towards the result of controlling the memory of their abuse and its effect? The walls at this moment in time for them they feel are still standing fast, even if with great difficulty and their input daily for it to be contained. But at least they are there they feel familiar and the work required to contain their abuse has become part of their life. Why invite that in which could proportionately undo that which took them so long to build? During the daylight hours, it’s somewhat achievable to hide behind these walls. But during the feared darkness of the night within those twilight hours, it’s a very different story. The abuse takes over within their subconscious and it becomes a place where all control is lost, its where the fight is always lost to them regardless. To be imprisoned within is unparalleled and surrender during the darkness of the night seems to be the only thing possible.
Here we find a space where nothing seems as if it fits overlapping with confusion and still there is no escape. The night sweats and the terror of thrashing around without any feeling of movement and always accompanied with the inability to awaken, its where they relive the pain of each abusive touch but somehow as if they are paralysed. Asking for it to stop becomes an endless loop within an echo in the distance as if it was being asked by another, the words ricocheting from wall to wall as every request returns to them unanswered and hollow. Incarceration, when measured against this torture, will seem like a preferred option. There is no mandatory time away from that cell or the giving of access to the exercise yard where they can at least feel the suns ray on their back. There is nothing remotely resembling my words above within the mind of an adult recovering from child abuse. It’s always dark whilst within the sun has no access their freedom just doesn’t exist
There is never any code of conduct that has to be followed by those implementing their incarceration, if it were ever so they would think that they have somehow entered fairyland. For an adult child abuse survivor, everything they encounter will be far less accommodating, there were no written rules their abuser had a free hand to tear their lives apart at will.
To live life within that dark imprisonment was never as a result of their actions and to experience this isolation is devastating. To look for that key enabling them any access to see the way out is achievable but for them its a huge undertaking. So do they take a sledgehammer to those walls? or stay within the maximum-security within and that cell eagerly waiting for their return. Somehow as if it was aware that leaving the cell behind them had never been a possibility.
Their liberty was taken without any wrongful deed and for that, there can never be any justification…….