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Death of a Thousand Cuts

Two decades ago, I overheard Father and Brother having a conversation about me. They spoke wholeheartedly about my deficiencies, my awful and controlling nature, how sorry they felt for Husband having to live with me.

Around the same time I discovered they were avid members of my cousin’s smear campaign to destroy my relationship with extended family. Nobody asked for my side of the story, not even family members I held close to my heart. Mom enabled the lies when she didn’t speak up and attended family get-togethers I was very pointedly not invited to. When I bawled to her over the phone about how much this hurt she stopped going. And then she was no longer invited.

These are examples of traumatic events in my early twenties that caused soul loss. I became more and more haunted as that part of my life unfolded. Husband supported me as best he could. At 24 I found shamanic healing work and that started the next phase of my life. I even experienced a prescient dream—my digital watch flashing the # 24.

And though I’ve been working hard to heal for two decades, I still find myself struggling to go no contact with the most Daedalian of my abusers.

Father likes to complain about sister-in-law, a person who has been nothing but rude to me, and tell me how similar we are. (Brother used to do the same before I went no contact with him.) It shouldn’t hurt, but I wince every time. Enough for him to have a small feed on my energy. Then Father talks over me, gently condescends about how uninteresting and wrong I always am without ever actually saying it, prods for other topics that open a small wound.

Mom’s dementia + Father’s little digs meant to cripple my self-esteem = BURN OUT.

Ocular migraines threw me into a tailspin a couple weeks ago. My first instinct was to journey into the spirit world. Ask my guides and guardians for help. It was excruciating, what they shared. Still is. I know why they waited until now to show me the devastation being attached to a narcissistic abuser causes. I could not have seen this earlier in my healing without shutting it out entirely.

I walked into my childhood home and was somehow also walking into my father’s current house. Both are his domains, and spaces I have “shared” with him. In his hand, he held a small but razor-sharp knife.

He’d decorated his walls with pieces he’d been carving off of me my whole life. Made into wreaths, decorative flourishes, garlands. Quivering and bloody. A slow but steady acquisition of my soul energy.

Death of a thousand cuts never aims for the jugular.

In the spirit world I experience everything without ego. The image did not hit until I returned fully to my body. I felt so sick. THIS. This is why I must go no contact. Even over the phone he carves pieces of me away and uses them as fucking horrific decorations.

I know what my next phase of healing looks like. Bringing all those little pieces home. LIKE A GODDAMN INDUSTRIAL SIZED VACUUM. But doing it all at once is not something my bears recommend. Instead, it’s a steady process. Every day beckoning for more. Crying. Rejoicing. Understanding deep in my gut that this is the end of my relationship with that man.

Because it’s not just the pieces I was trained to give to him. It’s the pieces I allowed him access to—friends who are my family, Husband…Daughter. Any part of them I find will go straight back to them.

Mom taught me to be her shield (yay co-dependence) but these others would never ask me to stretch myself so thin. They deserve a Bare Bear Woman who is not chained to this monster.

And I deserve to be free.

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