Tuesday, January 8, 2008


“Acknowledge, Understand, And Assimilate”

A mentor of mine, perhaps even the blogmeister that brought me to you said, “What is there to fear from truth?”

I am a survivor of childhood abuse. I’ll cut to the chase. So far, my memories are of my father, male relatives and a “friend” who took advantage of a naive teenager.

The “truth” of my abuse has not settled well with two of my sisters. What is there to fear? Well, for them, probably a slight amount of both guilt and oddly plausible, jealousy that I was the “chosen one.”

For my brother, the truth was perhaps accepted but in his alcoholic inheritance not fully comprehended. For a third sister, total acceptance of my memories based on her own vivid childhood observations.

Acknowledgment comes to us in many forms I would imagine. Mine began with body memories (forty years after some of the incidents), and then mini-movies played for me as I moved through remembering unhappy moments in my childhood. A support group of other incest survivors also helped to piece together many very black, forgotten moments from my childhood.

Can I understand why this happened to me? Yes. I have learned Daddy came from an abusive alcoholic background. He was a World War II survivor. I know Mommy had low self esteem and mistakenly blamed herself for her husband’s violent drunken beatings.

What is there to fear from truth? Absolutely nothing! Truth is what happened in my past. Truth is a memory. Can I assimilate this truth into my present? Can I break this chain of truth and leave the broken links in the gutter of negativity and heredity where they came from?

You’re damn right I can, and did. My father also gave me the gift of nurturing the land, caring for, pruning, recreating forms of plants and trees. I transferred that love of nurturing to the care of my beloved and understanding husband, my children, my gardens, and most recently to the love and education of my voice students.

Thanks Daddy for giving me the best of what you brought to the earth...rest in that peace.

- Parker


liz m said...

That freaked me out until I read "sisters" and realized this wasn't your story!

Darrel said...

As time passes, we begin to reconcile the debits and credits of our lives. We look at our hot buttons of reflexive reaction and our unique experiences that give us wisdom. We examine our experiences of abuse, evil and pain; we also acknowledge good things that we carry forward and give away as love.

All of this is who we are; it is what we are made of.

Sometimes when we look at our pain we are tempted to define ourselves as victims, not realizing that choosing that definition is also constructing an emotional prison.

We are much more than the sum of our debits and credits.

One of our God given gifts is our ability to understand that things that badly hurt us also make us stronger, more compassionate, and more loving. We learn that the evil we experience can make us more whole, more aware, even though it still hurts and mars parts our lives.

That evil should have never happened. No one should have to experience abuse and nothing can rationalize abuse. But when we experience abuse, we have a responsibility to make sure we do everything we can to prevent it for others.

That is why this story is so important. And we have to take the covers off of this “don’t talk subject” so that it is less likely to occur and more people can escape its corrosive grip.

Yin and Yang, we choose ways to fit our pain and our wisdom together. It is our choice how we live our lives. Each day work hard to find the opportunity in adversity, the growth from pain and to give that understanding away as love to others.

In so doing there is personal and spiritual transformation, a freedom from the past and a reconciliation of difficult parts of our lives.