Waking from dreams where time is spent with brothers who I don’t spend time with, causes questions while sipping morning coffee. Will I go to my grave with regrets of not reconciling, not forgiving, for having boundaries? Regrets that gnaw at tender flesh from inwards outwards? The kind of regrets that eat away one’s very soul?
A quiet counter voice tries to soothe, that voice arising many times each day to challenge the harsh voice; you came from such dysfunction, cruelty, and havoc. You cannot expect deep relationships with anyone, even those that didn’t attack. Because even the ‘innocents’ who stood by, are part of the group that pretends. Do not blame you.
Yet I do. If I did this, or that, or all the times the eldest followed me around in hospitals during adulthood when our mother was sick; the only times he tried to get close, like a creeping shadow, just like when he crept in the night to attack me.
Why can’t abusers sit down, write a letter, and mean it? Why does it have to be their way? To do it, if at all, in a cowardly way. To do it in a way that I don’t want because bodily closeness feels terribly threatening to me.
How do I forgive someone who never voiced true remorse? Only excuses and reasons. How do I forgive someone who continued a pattern of exclusion due to their wanting to be let off the hook without doing the work?
Exclusion accompanied by sneering put-downs slickly delivered, and the others quiet tolerance of it set up a life pattern that damaged more that the attacks. That slow, ever present malevolence eroded my self-image more than all the rest of which there was much.
Maybe I will go to my death wishing for what never was after that first wrong touch, a loving, trustworthy family. My work is to die with peace that I gave it all I could.
I must learn to know that even after, I continued to try to love. But others must meet at least half-way. In spite of my rage, you must tell me you are sorry. No one ever did. Not one of 7. Not the abusers. Not the ones who stood by continuing brotherly friendships with the abusers.
You have made a family of friends, sons, and grandchildren. It is enough. It has to be, in spite of the yearnings in my dreams…
Mosaics in Progress for the Gardens