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A Doll's Redemption: A First-Time Author's Story of Trauma and Recovery Born From Childhood Dreams

He took my body, but he cannot have my soul.

He took my body, but he cannot have my soul.

A child's dream

As a child, I loved reading! At only two years old, you could find me sitting on the couch with a book in my lap. As I got older, I would always ask my parents to buy me books from the Scholastics magazine and they would. I remember my dad, who was curious about whether I understood what I was reading, asking me questions once I finished a book. He would sit with me and sift through the pages, pick one, fast read through the lines and ask me specific questions. I would always have the right answer. I remembered everything I read and understood every word. Another fun thing he would do is come up with a fun project for me to do. He knew how much I loved reading and writing.

So one summer, he told me, "I want you to research the mosquito and do a project on it as you would in school. I want to know everything about the mosquito." I was ecstatic and jumped on it right away! My favourite parts of going to school were taking notes, reading aloud to the class, and solo projects where I would have to do extensive research. Weird right lol

I was twelve years old when I started writing. No, not true, I had diaries upon diaries before that but when I started truly writing, I mainly wrote poetry. It was like taking my diary entries and making it all rhyme. Sometimes I would speak in riddles so only I understood the hidden message. I tried to write fiction stories too but I could never finish them. I would write out the ideas, the character maps, and even the beginning of the story but I struggled to maintain the writing never allowing me to finish. I blame the fact that I was so young and sheltered. I could have done the research and filled my mind with new knowledge but I had an, "I can do it on my own," mindset. This hindered my success.

I had a big dream despite my failures. I wanted to be an author. I daydreamed about being an author. Regardless of my struggles, I told myself, One day, I will write a book. I will have my name printed on a book before I die. I don't care if it's just one, it will happen."

I lost my passion

What was once therapy daily was now a memory. I wrote poetry tirelessly until I was 18 years old. Then I started college to study French Cuisine (I dropped out), moved in with my then-boyfriend, and was working almost full-time hours as a cashier. I got busy. I got distracted. I got obsessed with the relationship. It was unhealthy. When I wasn't busy, I was pouring my energy into singing. I tried writing songs alas I am not a songwriter. We moved again and I gave birth to my first daughter at twenty-one. Writing stopped altogether. I became a single mom and depressed. While I turned to poetry as a child to get me through hard times, this time I turned to cigarettes. Chased relationships. I was already low in self-love as a child with the bullying I suffered, and then I had none. I wanted to be an author but I didn't pursue it. It was a pipe dream. Plus, as the day I die was my deadline, I had ample time.

I lost myself to the darkness and writing wasn't even an afterthought.

A story is born

The abuse happened in 2014-2015. I struggled for another three years with depression, heartbreak, and trauma once I realized what I had been through. I thought he was just an asshole. Then I realized he was an abuser. My abuser. The memories lived inside me. In my head. Under my skin.

I had a dream one night. In my dream, he was grabbing me and holding me against my will while I screamed for him to let me go. When he didn't, I yelled out for help. There was a woman. She had no face in my dream but she was female. I yelled out for help again hoping she would help me. She said, "Nobody can help you. Sometimes we gotta figure it out on our own." I woke up. This dream sat heavily with me. I felt so alone in my pain. I realized that so many other women in the world must be feeling what I was feeling; alone; scared; ashamed.

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In 2018, I started writing about my relationship and the abuse. I knew I needed to tell my story and share it with women who had gone through the same thing. I hoped that my story would help others not feel so alone. So I wrote. I researched synonyms, word substitutes, emotions, descriptive words, and I wrote my book. I wrote all the important details I could remember without holding back. No censorship. I reached out to other warriors to see if they would share their stories too to bring more awareness to the subject of marital rape. And then, I packed it up and it sat for three years. It was too much. The emotional rollercoaster of going through the events over and over was sickening. I broke down with every word feeling sorry for myself, feeling dirty, and weak. I couldn't bear another visual of myself feeling powerless.

It sat for three years, while I reconnected with myself and fought to find the light.

Sometimes, you give yourself closure

A year after writing the first draft, I tried to pick it up again. I looked at the pages. I read a few words. I broke down. It would go back into hiding. It took me a whole three years before I could finally sit with it again. It took an entire healing journey where I learnt to let go of addictions, reconnect with myself, and love myself through the flaws. Not to say that I did not cry as I edited and re-drafted my manuscript, but I wasn't scared of feeling the pain because I knew that to get past the pain, I would have to get through it. It also helped that I had my best friend back in my life to listen. I also held my fellow warriors' stories close to my heart and knew that I had to get their stories out into the light as I had promised. I struggled at first. Every time I would read, I would cry, reminded that the woman in my story was me. But the more I read it, the clearer my heart became. I am not that girl anymore. I am stronger. I am a warrior.

I knew I would never get closure from my abuser. I don't even think he realizes the effects his actions had on me. Writing my book was my closure. It was me telling myself, You have been through something traumatic; painful; haunting. You have also grown; flourished; metamorphosized. That is all the closure you need. You are beautiful, worthy, and strong. You deserve all the love and success that comes your way.

Now the book is finished and that chapter is closed. I took him out of my blood and locked him into those pages along with the woman I used to be. He took my body, but will never take my soul. That woman in the pages, he can keep her because the woman I have become, he can't touch her<3

A Doll's Redemption

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© 2021 Michelle Brady


Michelle Brady (author) from Ottawa, ON on June 02, 2021:

Lady Dazy - Thank you so much!

Lady Dazy from UK on June 02, 2021:

Good luck with your new book.

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