Sunday, July 31, 2016
There was early damage that contributed to her vulnerability. She expected more abuse and when horror visited, she greeted it with resignation, having given up hope of rescue.
Eventually, her personal armor developed, though her self-esteem did not. But she learned the right words to say to fool people into believing they were interacting with a confident, capable, forthright woman. Hers was a language of steadfast sureness, a soothing communication style.
She studied strong women and copied their posture and the proud lift of their chins. She practiced facial expressions in the bathroom mirror, imagining bits of conversation and trying on various reactions. She tested laughter to find one that conveyed a relaxed and happy existence.
Nobody was allowed too close. Distance is important when you're not protected. Partners were chosen for their unavailability. Safety first.
And nobody knew.