THANKSGIVING

Writing here the past several years has offered great personal growth. But also camaraderie along with support that goes much deeper than other relationships.

For a survivor of childhood sexual abuse it is the perfect way to be close, feel close, and not really be physically close. Hence safe. At the same time my mind envisions a party where everyone meets. Here is where there is more family than ever before. What a great party that would be.

In America we celebrate Thanksgiving today and my thoughts go to fellow bloggers with thankfulness and gratitude. May peace come to all even amidst the noise…

Advertisements

The Cruelest Abuse

Families are more interested in their reputation than the child sexually attacked. Be quiet and love your attacker.

To expect a child to swallow all that terrifying trauma and go on instead of intervening and assisting the child to process it causes life-long injury. At 64, my highly reactive startle reflex has not improved along with many other things. Some challenges increase as years pass. One does not ‘get over it,’ heal, or move on because no one came to help. All that trauma went inside causing more damage. The bleeding never stops.

Sexual attacks to a child are as horrific as being hit by a locomotive. In that case all come to help. She is allowed to talk about it as long as she needs to with incoming sympathy, compassion and condolences. Processing trauma helps heal the brain and all other systems. Without that processing the brain is injured and she is affected on all levels, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

But a child is hushed up because of the fear of how their reputations will be affected. The pretense of caring is put forth but no real care is given. People hurdle together to protect themselves.

Will one person stand up, bear witness, possess character and say this is wrong, and put a protective arm around her shoulder? The attacker needs to repent and beg forgiveness with true sorrow. That is what the family needs to focus on, not hushing her up.

Going along with the pretense of family in order to have one kept me from myself where home has been found, and truth resides with authenticity. 

 

shattered yet whole

photo by Patricia

The days remain warm heating my shoulders as walking rounds in the meadow accumulate, feet crunching on hickory nuts in the path along the hedgerow. Soon the squirrels will have them all buried. The studio beckons as sun rays splash a golden yellow swath on the work table inviting me to return to the newest project sitting unfinished for months.

The deep peace felt is not that the world outside is calm and reposed, it is forthcoming because it comes from within. When one lives a life in line with their values, beliefs and morals, peace comes even if whirlwinds blow outside. The search for it since childhood has escaped me. And that is because the parts flew unconnected. How could they not?

Telling my story was the beginning of wholeness. Then telling those one thought would care but do not, caused a rift filled grief that catapulted me into acceptance once the painful tornado worked through. Then peace came. The work is done,  come what may.   

In the Moment

I feel such peace and stillness. There has not been a time when I’ve felt such calm nor connectedness within my being. I cherish this reprieve, this period of quiet happiness.

The unusual heat was swept away with the wind as leaves swirled. The walk near the creek crunches heavily as the thick carpet of newly fallen leaves crackles under the weight of my feet. Capris are replaced by sweat pants as the temperature dips from 90 to 60 and the change brings relief even though the clouds hide the sun.

The air is full of sweet earthy composting as the fruits of summer decay, the scent going straight to my core. Snapping back to Now, my eyes feast on the rusts, golds, and yellows as the lush greens wither and die. Soon the trees will be bare but there are other delights to be enjoyed as each season brings its unique smorgasbord of treats if one is aware enough to take it in.

Often during the day my tendency to be ahead of where I am causes me to internally speak, slow down. Be with what you are doing in this moment. Because I’m always rushing ahead of where I am to the destination, but then there is another. Now is the destination. What you are doing at this moment is where you need to be.

SERENITY

photos by Patricia

Sleep comes night after night and the days feel so much more satisfying and happy. This tranquil period is cherished. Walking early before the unusual 90 degree heat descends, the stillness feels like a dream world. The only sounds are locusts and crickets, the chorus heightening as each day becomes hotter.

The fullness of being with such peace is cherished. The only intrusions are my negative thoughts but that is looked on as a lesson in self-discipline. Some are dissuaded but others just run through and out.

Each morning a thick pink fog burns off as the cool night warms with the morning sun. After the red ball rises and warmth trickles in, all windows are shut tight to the hot day. At suppertime they are opened and box fans suck in the chilly night air. By morning the thick quilt has been pulled up to our noses.

The once yellowy meadow dried and purple erupted in clumps. By the creek vast stillness sinks in deep as a long breath escapes while leaning back in the chair. Two enormous carp vie for the sweet grass where the water has overflowed due the beaver’s business at readying for winter by reinforcing the dam.

This sweet reprise can’t last, but while here is wholly appreciated.

 

The Hole

Help from others in the past brought solace. Leaning on others when the empty hole yawned like an endless cavern threatening to devour my sanity eased me through difficulty. It did not sustain adequately as the empty hole to run from remained. Others were asked for input on how I felt and what I thought because connection internally had not occurred. I was perpetually lost.

How to find that place when trauma kept me from it, when resting in the nectar of the soul is impossible because it is on fire not freshly swelling with honey? The lessons learned in childhood were that I was unlovable, unworthy and not capable. I yearned to belong and fit in. Help from the origin family came with conditions. Eventually those conditions were not possible. 

The pull to the clan is a basic instinct. To be rejected from the tribe means sure death. Once connections began within myself the origin family became poison. They are poisonous still. 

Everything that I knew as a child was stripped away, shattered and stolen. When sexually attacked by those I loved and trusted much was taken, much was lost— trust, innocence, the ownership of my own body, the feeling of belonging, the feeling I even had a right to be here, a sense of self, my sexuality…the list goes on. Challenges intensified as years passed and life’s responsibilities increased.     

The child that was disappeared. Who she became changed. Sadness permeated my being once the running stopped and acceptance came for what was done. The craving for acceptance into the fold kept me returning repeatedly with hope. There comes a time to stop looking for what will never come.

There are many paths to that place within that is home. Fleeing from it throughout life was the norm. With spirit, determination, and a dogged persistence it becomes possible to stay with what is. Instead of a dark scary place the hole became a bright lively room with doors to more rooms. Eventually the rooms open to each other. With excitement the exploration goes on.  

At times panic sets in but a voice, perhaps god speaks. She says, “You have everything that you need.” 

The panic abates. Peace soothes as answers come. It is imperative to connect to ones being. Yet it is only late in life that this miracle has opened up such possibilities. Expansion occurs each new day. The gaping painful hole became home. 

 

ACCEPTANCE

photo by patricia

I fought it, raged against it, but there it was, I was abused. No amount of wishing changing it. Look at her, I want to be her, happy, trusting, loved. The pain, the cruel pain of not wanting to be me followed me everywhere, every minute.

I fanaticized what being ‘her’ was like. And ‘her’ was any girl, adolescent, or woman who looked free of burden. Why me? And the burden became heavier every time I asked.

How could I slow down enough to settle into what is if I couldn’t talk about IT? Familial sexual abuse isn’t light-hearted banter. You can say, “I was mugged on the street and my purse was taken!” And receive comfort and sympathy in return. But you can’t say, “I was raped in my bedroom by my brother!” (or father, uncle, family friend, etc.)

I wrote my book and each word, each chapter, lifted the burden out of a space so deep it was hard to find. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. I told my story, I spoke my truth. I am not hiding. And during that process I accepted what is. I was born to a family who hurt me so completely it changed me. I no longer run from that or wish for something else.

At times I’m still wistful when I watch a young woman full of trust and many friends and wonder what that’s like. But it’s not all consuming or constant like it once was. Having many friends does not mean they are close friends. And you only need one. And the one friend I’m learning to check in the most with… is me.