Compassion or Rage?

Time and again attacked. Coming up for air as if almost drowned, gasping for breath, even if figuratively, that was my childhood. Interspersed were moments of great joy, galloping my horse down the meadow path, long hair flying back, sweat glistening on my brow, and the horse’s skin… life became black or white, joyful or terror filled.

Where is the love others freely feel and give? Hidden away to preserve what is left. Yet compassion? Rage sometimes directed my behavior. Tempering that rage took great resolve. But something else. It took compassion. Not for myself, it was for others.

The attacking siblings did not rip that well of compassion from me. My essence is made of compassion. Compassion kept me whole inside my brokenness. When it matters, warmth overrides aloofness dissolving my chilly armor. 




photo by Patricia

A decision to concentrate on gratefulness lasted a few hours, until not long after Samuel got up.

“Gas in the garage, an open container?” I exclaim coming out of the studio in surprise. Usually he is overly careful about details.

With great disgust and a few choice words he goes into the garage returning to mutter, “It has evaporated.”

The snow-blower stopped working when we went out to clear the drive, me with a shovel while he puttered on the machine with no luck. Finally he shoveled too. The machine has been in the garage while he works on it, so far without success. The gas needed to be drained to check the lines. Maybe my worries were unfounded but he is no fun to be around and need not take it out on me.

Going in to mediate the anger melts away and what really lies beneath it is hurt from his disgust with me. When the half-hour is over a spitting anger gurgles back up, fury at being jabbed at. From gratefulness to barely contained rage in 60 seconds.

Errands gave a break from Samuel but it wasn’t easy to return. While driving memories of so much rage at my brothers and my mother erupts. My body was never mine. Nothing was. My attitude after returning home was quiet and reserved. Thanks for ruining my day Samuel went my thoughts yet the whisper behind them knows better.

My emotions ran the day and I was victim to them. Past rage can still ignite when hurt. All my self-talk didn’t seem to stop the internal storm of wanting to hurt back. He lived with a raging wife and he has a right for anger too. Get over it. It took a while, all day really.

Lock Ness

Forgive: When a person decides to satisfy their lust using a child’s body, their actions are not forgivable. If one does not forgive the unforgivable how do you move on? By unclenching the clawed, hairy fist of the beast from my heart, squeezing it so tight I could hardly breathe or function. Rage, hate and anxiety ruled my life.

It took years to release the grip of each finger, blood flowing smoother until each sticky claw was off. The beast slipped back into the murky black depths of the scum topped lake. My precious heart was free and once again able to gently pump blood to the extremities, pure, clear and at peace.

Yet the beast rears it’s ugly head at times. In present day scenarios hurts occur. Some run deep reminiscent of wounds unhealed that never will. My heart becomes grasped by hate, anger and resentment.

Help me to forgive. Release me from this. The call to the source within that universally connects us all to each other helps set me on the path to peace. So easily my heart is disrupted needing to be soothed.

Compassion and kindness erupt while walking the yellowy meadow. Tears fall for the child held down, the child despised by the adult me.. 


photos by Patricia

Freedom is an odd word. My thoughts are a powerful prison. Negative thoughts flow like an endless march. The taste of freedom when positivity arises makes me yearn for more. It does not come naturally.

Bounded by invisible chains of silence that protects the family unit caged me. Separating from the family of origin did not release the cement block of silence which stifled my being gagging all parts except hate, bitterness, revenge and rage.

Freedom from repetitive negative thoughts about myself began to occur once my truth was spoken. Freedom, that’s freedom. Childhood beliefs about my core badness were questioned deep down where it counts. The judge and jury ruled that harshness was to be overruled and the innocent shall go free with kindness and compassion.

The binding chains of my childhood wrapped my thoughts about life, living, being and who I am into twisted rope that I hung myself on. There was no way out. Attempts to flee were discouraged. The horrors were unleashed one by one because once tasting freedom, real freedom, I wanted more. The origin family rejects the truth discarding me with it.

Pulling up courage like armor strong yet warm, moments of extraordinary peace settled in my core radiating outward. Freedom, to breath, to be in the moment…safe. To allow myself the freedom to belong just as everyone else does. Others take this human right for granted. There are those who never had it.

Buried in concrete my shame became me. Freedom to speak allowed escape into a life worth living, a real person who had a right to be here with special traits, talents, thoughts and feelings. The path to my heart, body and soul was illuminated.

No one holds me hostage now.

The Ceremonial Fire

photo by Patricia (back meadow)

A box of journals came with us to this plot of land 13 years ago. Writing saved me. My journey expanded from rage deepening beyond into love, acceptance and a joyful peace. Flipping through the words it was page after page of mistrust and rage. Throwing the anguish onto the pages allowed day to day life to limp on.

A new life emerged, one where rage fizzled into nothingness. No need for sons to find these when I’m gone. Carrying the box full of books to the slope in the meadow where the old rusted can sat for burning garbage the pages were torn out and thrown in.

Striking the wooden match and tossing it into the pile, the rage flamed high then sputtered to ash; much like my feelings where blessed peace has been found like a candle not a fiery pyre. Flames licked the wounds as the last red ember was spent and fullness expanded as long easy breaths relaxed my entire being.  

My legacy will not be rage. Writing almost daily was a necessary outlet to vent and survive. But what the heck was I doing? All those feelings, thoughts, and possibly important memories might be needed for the book I was about to write. But they mostly contained the spewing of anger and how every-day simple things enraged and explosively frustrated me. My inability to trust was at the root of it along with being silenced over horrific childhood traumas that imploded for far too long.

Now was to begin a new process of writing. What lay beneath the smoldering rage was unfathomable pain and repeated traumas; unyielding pain buried so deep along with memories that had been forced into a child’s being and kept there till mid-life. It buried everything claiming my life…all warmth, softness and safety. My gut began to release the horrors not mine to keep. 

My son Cory helped with the technical parts of writing a book. One day he said, “I always remember you writing. All those journals will come in handy.”

My stomach lurched, what had I done? I didn’t mention the curative fire. A calm came. What was coming up came from another part of me that was speaking the truth. I had connected to something other than my head. In my gut, my soul, the hora, I knew the stories and had suffered with their malignancy as they spewed and spread tainting all that was good, pure and made life worth living. 

It is where my authentic self was buried by force and silence. It was as if from the age of eight I didn’t exist. I became a shell of a person playing a role. As the horrors erupted chapter by chapter so did a life of peace and love.

The Grace of Acceptance

photos by patricia

I’ve fought my past as if by doing so it would magically change and I could morph into another family where the little girl is loved, cherished and protected.  My past cannot change no matter how much fighting, drinking, running, eating, or raging. No amount of escape routes take away the pain of my past.

I was born to a family who would attack rather than love me. Once that inescapable truth was accepted the intensely burdensome, heavy load was lightened and settled within where it always had been.

Siblings used my body as if I didn’t matter which became my belief, a view so ingrained vestiges linger on. Their actions and choices caused a life of struggles that made wishes of having no life prevalent.

Acceptance with a voice detailing the brutal acts committed against my child’s body and mind have led to a fuller understanding of just what it took to get here. Rooms open within that offer repose, richness, and depths of quiet joy.

Accepting the truth and the horrific reality of my childhood instead of running is a daily practice. Stay, sit and just be. Work on the grooved pattern that says “I’m no good.” Don’t accept it. 

The Silence That Kills

The silence demanded from a child after she is sexually attacked by someone within the family system is where the most harm comes, not from the sexual attacks. A child can recuperate from those with love, help and protection from any further attacks.

It is the silence most children are forced to bear to keep the family safe from shame which kills, figuratively and literally. The family’s shame is too great, greater than the survival of the child. This mistaken belief, that all must be kept quiet to keep the family’s name and unit together needs to radically change to save our children.

Society would not approve, and that must reverse. We as a society must face that this crime occurs and occurs at an alarming rate within families; one of every four girls and one in every six boys.

Forced into silence at an early age, containing horrors that traumatize, a child grows into adulthood mute only knowing how to please others. She is sensitized to the feelings of others not knowing her own or even if she has a right to have them.

It is a constant effort to go down deep and access what is really there because it is still very much a mystery to me. I remind myself daily that I have the freedom and the right to have my own thoughts, views and feelings.

I could have healed and moved on from the sexual attacks when a child. My belief is that an entire family can heal and move on. But only if the attacks are brought to light along with one(s) committing them.

The child should never be alone with the attacker again. All in the family have the freedom to talk about it and to show anger toward the attacker but compassion for the child. Family and individual therapy must be provided.

Compassion for the child must supersede all else. Others are taught to love her even more and protect her from further damage. Then they are taught to work to forgive the attacker(s) but to never forget and always remain vigilant. 

It was the silence demanded that took away everything I had. My body was taken, and from that I could recuperate, it was the silence that took everything else.

Note: I name all childhood sexual abuse as attacks even though the crimes are usually committed manipulatively and quietly. Each one is a heinous, serious assault on a child’s mind, body and spirit.