It’s not your fault

A secret, we all keep it a secret; to protect a family, to protect ourselves, to hide our shame.  I remember telling one person when I was six.  We had got wet from the snow, in the school yard and we were sent in to the classroom, to put on the dry clothes the teacher kept for just this occasion.  I don’t remember exactly what I said to her, my play ground friend, but I will forever remember the look on her face.  I didn’t tell anyone else for twelve more years.

My abuser was eventually arrested.  He decided to come clean to a counselor, which is the bit of credit I give him and probably the only reason I can teeter totter back and forth with forgiveness (I know! that word again!!).  When the arrest occurred I very slowly began to come out more and more, with the facts of my abuse.

Talking about “it” was and is still interesting, rape, molestation, pedophilia….. Let’s sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about those subjects! It’s a little different than sharing golf scores or recipes! 🙂  The positives were that several times when I talked about “it”, someone would say to me, “Something similar happened to me too.”  It was eye opening.  It’s not just me!  It’s not just my family affected! You can google statistics and probably already have; It’s not just you, it’s us..

I need to share this story with you because some of you may identify with it.  I was in a Homemakers group sponsored by an Extension Office.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they are, or at least were popular in rural areas, I think as a resource for wives to exchange ideas and have a chance for a social life.  We often had speakers who showed us a craft idea, how to bake something, or to maybe speak about growing a garden or planning a flower bed.  I was the youngest in the group, with many of the members, in their fifties.  One day we were discussing possible subjects for the coming year, speakers we could invite, and/or talents we could share.  I suggested we have a speaker talk to us about the affect and statistics of sexual abuse.  I laugh now, because you could of heard a pin drop.  I looked at them and the subject was changed, and the conversation went on.  Looking back, I recall the look on their faces; some had the “what in the heck are you thinking look”, but there were a couple whose eyes showed fear.  I was not going to open the lid on that box.  I won’t open the lid on your box, it’s yours….but it’s not your fault.

Peace

Catharsis

There is a book I would like to recommend to you.  The title is “The Courage to Heal.” There is a workbook as well, but I read the book and feel like it was very beneficial.  One of the methods they suggested was writing about your abuse.  It’s a tough challenge and one you have to kind of prepare yourself for.  I don’t know if you are like me, but I tend to let things roll around in my head, tormenting me until I can be rid of them one way or another.  I use meditation and prayer to help, also talking about things helps, although it took me a long time to be willing to do that.  🙂

I remember, distinctly remember, the night I wrote in my navy blue journal, with the pink and white flowers.  The children were with their Dad, and that night was the night I had set aside.  It was about 10:00, when I finally sat down in the orange rocking chair, that I had nursed all three children in, my safe chair.  I opened the journal and begin to write.  The tears ran down my cheeks so freely, I couldn’t have stopped them as they dripped on the pages.  Words smeared as I wrote.  I tear up now remembering.  I wrote about four pages, closed the book and sighed.  I was better.  It sounds bizarre and simplistic, but I was better.  It was my beginning.

Catharsis (according to Wikipedia):  “is the purification and purgation of emotions-especially pity and fear-through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.

Through out the years I have used and suggested similar exercises.  I taught a middle school writing course and one of our activities was a type of catharsis.  We wrote down things we had done wrong, or things that were done to us, and burned them in a coffee can, behind the school.  No one, not even me!, knew what was written.  We stood around the can and watched the paper turn to ash, poured water on it, and went inside and celebrated with S’mores made in the microwave.

I had a very good friend who witnessed the end result of his mother’s death.  He was plagued with the memory and pictures he couldn’t get out of his head.  I suggested catharsis to him.  He told me a couple of years later, that he had found the pictures he had drawn in the back of his closet.  He seemed to think it helped.

I have my journal; it’s in a box, in a closet.  If for some reason, I need to recount something, I could find it and read it, but if that never happens I am allowed to let it fade into something that doesn’t haunt me as much and I move forward in the renewal and restoration of my soul.  🙂

Peace

Enjoy the Road

I have long identified with this poem by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sometimes we were given a choice which road to take and sometimes we were encouraged or darn right pushed down a road, so what do we do now?  We can survive and thrive begrudgingly, or with joy.  Regardless of the road we are traveling it helps to breathe the air, look at the stones, the leaves, hear the birds and the other sounds of life.  Enjoy your road; it’s your choice, and it’s now your road, regardless of how you got here.

Peace

Forgiveness; slow but sure

I know right?  Hit you with this?  I had just separated from my children’s father, when a church brochure came in the mail.  The Bible verse was Mathew 6:14.  There are many versions of Bible interpretations, but the gist of it is this, “For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”   I stared at it for minutes… I thought, ” Why am I getting this reminder now, and how will I ever be able to forgive?  How?”   I knew, however, that I have my own sin; I have had to ask for forgiveness and when you are in that position you hope you are forgiven.  Selfishly I knew I had to try, for my own sake, so that I could be forgiven.

If you are familiar with Budha at all, there is a story where Budha asks, “What’s next.”  It is a story about forgiveness, so I am asking you, “What’s next?”

Here’s what I want you to know: forgiveness isn’t for the abuser, it’s for the survivor.  Forgiveness takes a piece of dark energy away from you; it helps you.

My forgiveness has been a process, for years it was something I thought about.  No, I didn’t just jump on the forgiveness bandwagon, I didn’t think I could and even today I feel like I have, but there are days when I fall back.  The reason I’m bringing it up now, at the beginning of our blog relationship, is so you have time to think about it, to let your soul speak to you, but you hopefully understand that this is your journey.  Yours…..

Peace

 

Why you? Why me?

This is the post excerpt.

Most of my life I have wondered why I was molested as a child.  As I have grown older, there is an acceptance that I will never know or understand, but I do know and understand this:  I have survived and I can support you in your growth and survival as well.  I want you to know that if you have been sexually assaulted in any way, by anyone, and if you are a survivor, you have found a home on this page.  If you are male, female, African American, Native American, Norwegian, gay, straight, Catholic or Muslim and have been sexually assaulted, you have found a home on this page.  Welcome fellow Survivor!!

It’s important for you to know that I’m not a victim.  I don’t have a big chip on my shoulder and I do my darndest to make sure I don’t treat anyone else as a victim or victimize others by bullying, judging etc.  I will not become my abuser.  I will not….  This blog is not for judgement.  I think those things are left to a higher power, who I call God.  I understand that your higher power may have another name, or maybe your life experiences have led you to believe you don’t have a named higher power; it’s ok for us to be different, to embrace our differences!  You have a home on this site.

I’m not perfect; I will make writing errors, I will have opinions different than yours, and I may say something inadvertently that is hurtful.  Always come back to this statement, “I only want to support the survivor in you.”  Anyone not supporting each other as a survivor will not be allowed on the site.  The plan is to provide research and insight into ways to grow stronger!

Peace..

 

 

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