in the meadow...
Compromises are made when choosing a partner. Mine wasn’t made consciously because confronting what my brothers had done hadn’t yet occurred when I met Samuel. He fit in with what I knew. But I didn’t realize that till many, many years later.
I interacted with his brother with the same closeness as my own, open and warmly, until the hollowness inside scraped at my gut so intensely it drove me to keep at therapy with more consistency. Therapy— someone to talk to, a survival necessity like air and water that was searched out since the age of 18 when leaving home for college.
It took several of them over the course of years before ever mentioning ‘brothers,’ and the horrific sexual abuse inflicted upon me. At about age thirty there was no hiding. The group found said it all, Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. It included group and individual therapy. It was then that being near brothers, including Samuel’s, became intolerable. He too raped his sister.
Being married to a man with a similar family, a mother raising her children on her own, though his mother divorced, mine lost her husband from a heart attack, and the eldest abusing a younger sibling… these things create a certain atmosphere, a certain way of coping, thinking and interacting.
It is not one of honesty or blunt truth. But I am both honest and blunt. This man I married does not talk about the things I care about. He barely talks at all. I crave to discuss the inner workings of other’s minds; motives, feelings and desires. He only becomes animated by electrical or mechanical issues. I pretend interest while tuning out.
Yet two years ago during a 4 day stay at the hospital, other than my son for a few hours, it was this man who sat all day, every day, by my bedside. Loyalty has been a high priority for us both and it has seen us through the very worst times.
But becoming invisible to keep the peace, to stay cocooned to please, stresses my heart. To grow I need space, not games concocted to keep me quiet. Even in marriage there are two people…not one. I wonder what would happen, how I’d grow, if I ever felt my power and my worth.