You're grateful when they don't hurt you too badly. Thank God! Pathetic gratitude for them not being more sadistic than they are. Goodness and kindness and compassion are so entirely lacking that being abused, but less severely, feels like a gift. You loathe yourself in your powerlessness.
Normality? Tuned to survival, you forget. You live like an animal, just to get by. Scavenging food. Crawling when you can't walk, on your knees when they make you. You're caught, caged, trapped. You stop speaking. Can't trust these people! Will his hand stroke you or hit you? Will his words soothe you or cut you? If he offers something nice, you're waiting for the catch. He'll take it back, laughing maybe, taunt you for showing your desperation, or maybe let you have it. And then get angry later. Or maybe not.
Nothing can be held onto as solid, nothing can be trusted except for the certainty that today you will be hurt. You are only alive because your body is useful to them. It has value, not because it's good or intrinsically of worth. It has value financially, and that value lies in its use as a fuck toy.
You are owned. This body's not yours anymore: you have no say over what happens. You want to detach yourself fully, you get to hate this body for what they do to it, covered in their fluids, their scents, weak and hurting, frozen and incapable, but you can't, because to let go wholly would be to die, and you don't want that either. Well, sometimes perhaps but you're scared because you know you're bad, they tell you you're bad, and you're scared of the devil.
Scared of everything: being alone with your head; being with people, because of what they do to you. Scared of dying here like this; scared of going on like this. Scared of the dark and what hides there, but scared of the light, of seeing what you've become.
Lonely lonely lonely. With no place to run.
Here in recovery, that past hell hasn't simply lifted. You can be out of the hell that was then but still in hell, mentally. The experience of being tortured, physically and mentally, isn't something you can shake off or snap out of. I was young when it started, so I don't have any other frame of reference. I struggle with PTSD, nightmares, dissociating, splitting... a mountain to climb. Slow, slow progress, integrating, processing, feeling, accepting, coming to terms with. So frustrating!
I learned to survive, but now I'm trying to learn to live. And that's a different thing entirely.