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What does freedom feel like?

My abuser just died.
My abuser just died.
My abuser just died.
My abuser just died.
My abuser just died.

I see the words. I say them. I write them.

But it does not compute. My brain does not absorb them.

I cannot link the man who abused me for 3 years and stalked me for 11 years (and as recently as last week) with the man others are mourning so fiercely.

My abuser has died.
My abuser is dead.

There is no instruction manual on what to do next.

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When I was younger, my parents took us on a road trip across the West coast. One of the funniest memories was driving through fields upon fields in Saskatchewan and coming across a cow who had somehow gotten over the fence.

He was free! He should have been galloping across the streets, running to freedom.

But instead, he just stood at the fence and stared at his friends on the other side of the fence. They looked like they were having a little meeting, discussing "Shit, dude. What do we do now?!"

This is the only way I can explain how I feel right now.

I am trying to learn what freedom feels like.

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Activism has always been my self-care. But for so long, I felt like a hypocrite. I'd rage about violence against womyn but I couldn't talk about what I had gone through, and continue to face, because I knew he was always listening; always watching; always waiting.

I took to Twitter to try and shed light on what the last 11 years of my life have been. It's only the tip of the iceberg and it doen't even scratch the surface of what it was likeΒ dating and living with him.Β But it's a start.Β 

And I hope that gives others a voice and lets them know they aren't alone.

Major TRIGGER WARNING on my Storify.Β Please take care.