quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
I am stuck at 17 years old, pausing at the door of the home I ran away from forever. I am trying to consider all of the consequences of going for a walk and never walking back through this door. I'm too addled from abuse and arguments, though, and my feet begin to move before I have time to change my mind.

But I'd spent months trying to consider the consequences, of which there were two: Cassie and my kid brother, aged 15 and 5. The consequences of leaving them behind, alone to be abused, without me there to try and tell them how wrong what was happening was.

By the time I made that final pause, though, there was only one thing I could do. I could save myself and hope that someday, five years from then, ten years, twenty years later, I could save them, too.

Twenty years later, I am still considering the consequences of leaving home. I have not saved anyone, as eventually I realized we can only save ourselves. And leaving them at home did have consequences - with one kid gone, my mother and stepfather could laser focus on abusing the other two children remaining.

And abuse them they did. So much worse than what they did to me.

I know I made the right call for myself. But the survivor's guilt still has the ability to leap up and begin tearing at my throat. It's rare that it crosses my eyes, that I can see it at all anymore. But it still does run through my blood. I suppose on some level, it always will.

I'm still not - and likely never will be - convinced that I made the right move for them.

And what I'm feeling this morning, 35 years old paused in a doorway at 17 years old, is that it was not fair to have to consider those sorts of consequences. To save myself or try and stay and save everyone else...and now being old enough to where my siblings can tell me what happened to them after I left....things that I could have directed at myself instead of being inflicted on my siblings...

Survivor's guilt is an absolutely normal thing to feel in these circumstances. But it was certainly not fair that I had to make that decision.

No one ever should, let alone a 17 year old girl.
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