I walk the meadow head down, feeling the battle of winter against spring as brain chemicals begin their spin to more daylight. Breathe. Oh, that is luscious, earthy and clean, not like the dull browns and greys as my boots suck at the mud mixed with pale bland grass.
I look up, noticing the robin following me from branch to branch, stuck in my thoughts just as thoroughly as my boots stuck in the mud; a moment of joy realizing that robin is protecting a nest near-by, a spark of what’s to come once the grass greens, the feeling of wholeness that takes a back seat during the winter months; a feeling of presence, of aliveness.
Freedom is on my mind, or lack of it. I feel victim to my days not master of them. Even now, fifty years later, I am ensconced within my own world and feel defined by the invisible chains of childhood.
Never has there been a time when I said publicly, “My brothers raped me.I hate my brothers. I wish them dead.”
I use the word rape loosely. The time real rape occurred was so vicious it is blocked from my consciousness niggling on the periphery of memory, but all other memories are rapes too in that my body was taken, used and abused without my consent.
Honest expression of the horrors I suffered needed to occur when I was eight years old. And if the attacks had happened by a stranger on the street, it could have. Who wouldn’t feel that way? Feelings are not facts. Wishing someone dead doesn’t make them dead. But it does a lot to relieve the horror and pain done by the evil acts of others. A mother of character would have allowed such expression not quelled it, would have seen to it—would have protected me in the first place, not blamed me into silence and a life of shame. That is family?
The chains of childhood bind me. Chains of conspiracy. Chains of silence. Chains of keeping silent to protect the name of the ‘family.’ The word family disgusts me. I wasn’t in a family. I was in a group of people that acted out, and acted out on me.
Three out of four are dead. The eldest, who hurt me the most, may outlive me and I don’t care. He’s done very well for himself, better than the rest at least financially. Not only does he own a place in Mexico by the sea, but is emotionally capable of getting there. I cannot fly unless drugged into oblivion. So I don’t.
There is a part of me that feels safer with three dead. My mother would say, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” And, “That’s not nice.”
These are the drones of sentences she used early on to control me, to make me meek, to quell her daughter’s natural instinct to speak out against wrongs. They bind me still. So much so, I more often do not know how I really feel. It’s out on my walks or during meditation that I go beyond and below the early chastising to find and feel what is really there.
And yes, there is a part of me that feels safer with them dead. I didn’t kill them. I stopped raging and hating. I hate what they did because I still suffer the effects and always will. They suffered too.
As much as I hate what they did, I feel compassion. To act out as each did on their little sister meant they felt unloved attacking the only girl child who may have seemed loved. That’s my take on it. It wasn’t personal. Yet it was all personal for me.
Freedom. I don’t usually know what it is because the chains of silence still bind me even long after my mother’s death, seven years now. She did her job well, silencing her daughter. I want to stand at the podium and say this happened to me. And maybe I will someday. Maybe that is my destiny if destiny is going to my center and leads me there. I feel compelled to move forward in whatever way feels right. Speaking out about the truth feels like where freedom lay dormant waiting.