HAPPY DAY

Spending a good part of the day puttering in the kitchen readying for today’s brunch with Shane and the kids felt so satisfying. Zucchini from the garden made for wonderful muffins with cinnamon and raisins. My famous quiche awaits digging into, along with ‘Pig’s in a Blanket’ easily made with dough from the bread machine.

Quiche is a term loosely used as it’s eggs, milk, cheese, rice and whatever else is thrown in with it but usually kept simple so that the kids will eat it. The kitchen was a’whirling! My happy putter place. 

Bushels of apples were given away, with the top third of the tree still full because Samuel’s ladder doesn’t go up that far.. I whittled away at the last bushel using only half for buckets of applesauce, most of it to go to Shane’s house. Apples unused sit sadly in the hallway waiting for compost or nibbling rabbits. 

Fond memories floated up of son’s coming home from school gobbling up huge bowls of home-made applesauce. The added bonus was knowing no sugar had been added, just plenty of fresh cinnamon.

Samuel was sent out later after the rains to grill garden veggies for dinner. His skills are superb!

 

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New York State Child Victim’s Act

Wednesday the NY State Child Victims Act was passed. Victims now have till age 55 to sue abusers, and with it a one year window for victims of any age to do so. I could sue Tom. I thought of it right away when I heard it on the news, and said it aloud.

Family members, three left really, would turn on me, though it wouldn’t matter as I don’t have much to do with them anyway. They are closer to my abuser. Would they be if he had done it to them? 

No one seems to think about that, or think about me, not really. And only if I stay within the parameters they set, which is of course—no talking about it.. But I choose to believe that deep down they do care. But because nothing is spoken the divide remains complete. 

Mostly on this clip they talk about bringing those to court from the Boy Scouts, the Catholic church and schools. Nothing was said about families, though if the abuser was of age as Tom was, they can be sued.

In my case there is no evidence, just his word against mine. My guess is that in many families there would be no corroborating evidence. But there would be in more public arenas, hence more success at going forward with prosecution or civil suits. 

He is a slippery eel with a silver tongue. It is not worth it. Though he has begun to lose him memory, and with it probably a lot of his slickness. Bringing the suit might be enough. Just having papers served with a possible settlement. There it is in black and white. Done. Finally.

The truth he evades spoken. The truth he is afraid of, keeping me down because of it causing great damage to my psyche, out in the open where other family members no longer can save him. For once take it.  

Walking the meadow these thoughts came. While nuts fell from the hickory’s in the hedgerow, my sneakers crunching on their shells. Leaves wafting down signaling the early beginnings of fall, as the lush scents of the forest filled me.

It isn’t money, it is an apology that will never come. It is the others getting their heads out of their asses seeing me as I am… unafraid to speak the truth about the trauma of abuse.

Not brushing me under a rug. This is me, not the me you force me to be so that you will be comfortable and unashamed. I am not shameful, though you treat me so. The duality of living a lie for others is shattering.  

The knowledge that I could sue is empowering. Doing so in actuality would not be a healthy road for me, so I know I won’t. But the freedom to do what is right? Means everything.

No apology ever came from that man. He once approached it by only saying how young he was. That is all. He acted like the victim because I wouldn’t interact with him.

And it worked. With Mom, Seth— his best buddy, and Don who also buddy-upped with him, especially during Mom’s decline, leaving me out in the cold because of disagreements about her care. That hasn’t changed much in the ten years since her passing. 

They cling together pretending to be nice to me, but I am an embarrassment. A blemish. A memory not to be remembered. But I remember as if it were yesterday. All he took.

Never saying, “I’m sorry.”

No one stands testament to me, or my story. I had to find it elsewhere. With my husband, children and friends. Blood does not make family. I am happy, content. My belief is that Tom is sorry even if he wouldn’t say it. I have a cordial relationship with the other three. That is enough, it will have to be.. 

 

SAFE LOVE

Two friends of late, on separate occasions, said, “I love you.”

Stymied, the best I could offer was, “I have a hard time expressing my feelings, but I’m feeling it!”

I am loved. Why can’t I feel it? I can feel it with my animals, the present one, my cat. I can feel it with my grand-children, and my sons when they were children.

Grown? I know the love is there, very deep love, but. well, they are adults with lives of their own, boundaries, and the ability to deal with me on a different level, one I must find threatening at times.

So that love though there, doesn’t flow as freely as with grand-children. Even there things change as the child grows, and that must also feel more threatening.

It is only with my cat where love flows freely— always. (except when her meowing starts up without end)

A therapist once implied I was incapable of love. He wasn’t such an oaf that he came out and said it, just rearranged a saying replacing the word love with compassion.

Or maybe it was my negative over-thinking mind which decided he meant that. I should have asked him. I’ve been trying to prove him wrong ever since, but whether he implied it or not, I don’t believe love flows easily for me. .

I can love my cat. I can love on-line. I can love from afar. But even on a phone call when a friend says she loves me, I freeze and am caught off guard.

It is understandable considering a past where family members took almost all I had except one tiny kernel of hope kept alive by the army of guards around it. Adding to it is that the girl attacked, attacked herself, and grew into a woman who is still learning to love herself. That lonely ‘bad’ little girl inside needs so much love yet is abandoned over and over again. 

It is in coming ‘home’ to my core, really going deeply, accepting what is there. Not running away, but running to. It is wrapping my arms around what is there, like my child running to me enfolding her with love. It is there that love blooms and grows. 

CARE

There is almost always the good with the challenging. Yes, peace, but then… well what then. Then are nights when sleep won’t come, and at 2:30 in the morning a double dose of medication is needed.

That is followed by a morning where tears fall due to the pitiful fact of being me.

And yes, there is embarrassment at saying that. With all the beauty that surrounds me? But it is what is inside that haunts, and what is evaded. A girl crying for love, protection, and all things different than what she endured.

And that will never come. But what is coming, albeit excruciatingly slowly, is an adult to be trusted who will finally love ‘her.’ — me.

But I abandon her over and over again, feeling bereft, cold, lonely, and empty as a shell. It is in remembering that strength is gained, clarity comes as to why each day is so hard, and why I feel so different than everybody else.

Because I am.

No one around me that I know suffered similar traumas. I’m sure they are there, I just don’t know them. The friends that did know because they too suffered sexual crimes against them as children, and were so close, are gone. One died, one moved away. 

No one around me has the same challenges. Mine are unique, except with the community on-line with other women survivors of child sexual abuse. Only these sisters know. Men too, but I’m not able to relate to men on that level, and that’s OK.

Everyone has loss, and change, and grief. But it is important to address mine which go deep, are real, and need care.

PEACE UNFOUNDED

photo by Patricia

A lull. A peace unfounded. Gratitude for what is. The first cup of rich, dark, freshly ground coffee is so much more relished when sitting in silence… not doing. Not writing, reading, or busying myself.

Just sitting. The first feeling is escape. Go do something. Yet an insistence arises that encourages my being to just be still. Something bigger than problems occurs, peace and presence.

The yellow birds come to the finch feeder. A rooster crows in the distance, sounding closer in the early morning dew that must amplify it.

My mind quiets as the warmth of the sun soothes muscles while chasing away the foggy puffs above the meadow now filled with the lace of queens.

As the sun comes over the trees, the patch of meadow filled with its glory lights up like jewels, a treasure stolen if my spirit hadn’t paused to absorb the new day.

Fall is coming, days shorten, and become cooler. But for now, mornings belong to the sun. I will soak it in until darker days come.