There is love within a group of people a child is born unto, it has to be in order to survive. Yet that same group attacked me over and over. Still there was love, now twisted with devotion, loyalty and fear. Fear of more, fear of abandonment, terror living life because now all people spell danger.

As the decades passed, it became imperative to my survival to speak out against the horrors survived as a little girl. Yet that was going against the one person who loved me- my mother. Her love was contingent on my silence, because she loved all her children no matter what they did. Silenced, but bursting with rage holding it in. It didn’t make the relationship easy.

With no love for myself, flickers of it from her was all there was. Love for myself did not begin to grow until after her death ten years ago. That is when the chapters came, week after week, rising out of me. Tears, coffee, and words. Those mornings are cherished as for the very first time authenticity was experienced.

Anguish certainly, but also joy. When one is repressed so is the other. It all flowed out in its time. After the well emptied a book appeared, it was that easy, though time, money, and effort went in to it. To hone the craft of my writing, classes were taken in the city, a small group reading our work, and I didn’t hold back. On-line classes also helped. 

Childhood sexual abuse is still a taboo topic, yet I ventured forth… afraid, yet doing it anyway, almost hearing gasps as I read aloud. With shaky hands and a quiet voice, my writing improved. Hiring an editor to tweak it here and there, it was ready for print. Cory, my son, did the on-line work of navigating through the technical know-how of self-publishing, and designed the cover.

“Are you sure you want blood-drops dripping off the title?” he asked quizzically.

Without hesitation, I answered, “Yes,” remembering just what was taken.

This was the first time the word ‘healing’ became more than a word. The facts, the details, scoured out from the tender flesh inside my belly. What they did blackened my soul, my life, my every move and word.

It was only then that all the other parts besides my physical body began to grow.  The  three left who attempt to make ‘family,’ finally including me, are like flies to flick off.

Paradoxically, Tom, who made it impossible to feel part of the group, has moved to the other side of the country, making it seem easy to interact these three, the only three who didn’t touch me. Yet I cannot. It feels dangerous, as if I might lose whatever has been gained through extremely hard work, perseverance, and courage. 

Getting too close only wounds me further. I have tried, it  hurts more. And it doesn’t matter. I can love them from afar, and bestow love on those that are here with me, my sons, grand-children, Samuel, and friends.

The doors to that ‘family’ are closed, not locked, but better left closed. I am open to meeting half-way, but no longer care to travel the whole way on my own. You have to give too.

Breaking free from old patterns can be done, but not when others stuff me back into the box of compliancy, back under their control, captors called ‘family’ who require the same silence that my mother did.  

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