I stood. Yes! I stood like a rabbit caught in front of the head lights of a car. A car which catches them unawares. Just as my standing there or even ending up there caught me totally unawares.
I honestly totally forgot about that road which leads to that particular cul-de-sac. In fact, I forgot that this particular road would bring me back to my destination. In my mind’s eye as I cycled I couldn’t picture the route until I reached that, yes! that junction. That T-junction which when I turned right instead of going straight lead me there. I didn’t have to end up where I ended up standing, in all honesty, I could have ignored the opening in the road on my left and sailed down the hill and right past that place. That place where so much happened. First happiness, but then sadness, terror and abuse. But I looked as I was just about to pass. Looked expecting what or to see what I really don’t know. I don’t know what I expected to be there.
The first thing I noticed was the cattle grid was gone. The place where that dreaded slippy useless piece of metal was all cemented over. Curiosity pulled me over that piece of cement because with the grid gone my bike moved freely to where I ended up standing. Standing frozen as if a statue of alabaster. Did I think that because bad had happened me there the building would cease to exist? But there it was that beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house. With its massive split level kitchen, massive sitting room and huge entrance hall. It still stood there as I now stood looking at it. Looking at the windows for what I don’t know exactly. Signs that I was never beaten or raped there because that was the house we had our wedding reception in and lived in for a short time.
I stood as if time stood still, never thinking of why I was doing this instead of cycling past this cul-de-sac. It was as if by being there I thought I could rewind and erase it all. But, nothing can be rewound or erased because he did what he did and I now use this experience to encourage others to report abuse and rape by speaking about my experience.
I never dreamed that in my 40’s I’d be beaten and raped. But that’s what happened and me standing there staring at someone else’s family home can’t change a thing.
But I kept on standing. I stood there playing like a video our wedding reception and then the terror. Talk about examining two opposite spheres of a spectrum. I stood there, just stood there looking as if there was going to be something to see. In my mind’s eye, I walked from room to room touching the furniture which wasn’t ours. Only stopping when I reached that rooms door, the room where he raped me. You see despite the fact we were married it was rape because he never asked for consent.
I stood there suddenly cold and I realised it was getting late in the afternoon. The wind was gone colder and dark clouds were shifting over head. So I cease standing there and faced my bicycle towards the road back out of that cul-de-sac back on to the road I should never have left. No, No now it was right to stand there to face demons of the past down. Now that road is just a cycling route past a place I used to live.
I stood there, I stood there for a reason. I stood there as part of my healing ritual which only I can understand at times. I stood there because despite the experience of that place I am who I am today. I STOOD THERE knowing I’m stronger for sharing to help others get out of bad relationships.
Yes! I stood there knowing that the house will exist long after my memory is gone or I have vanished off the face of this earth. I stood there for more reasons than you or I will ever know.
Standing like an alabaster statue dressed in cycling gear, hand on her racer to move on with life very positively and happy.