Monday, April 16, 2007

I did nothing yesterday. I sprawled on the couch and read the entire day. It felt good to release myself from any responsibilities for the day. I was supposed to help my father-in-law with something, but David went without me. A friend of ours had a birthday party, but since we'd gone to dinner with him the night before, I didn't feel too guilty about not going. Nothing is not something I often give myself the privilege of doing.
Today, I got my hair cut. It's short and fun. It really needed a trim after the recent bleach cotastrophe.
Lately, I find myself dealing with a lot of things from my childhood. Things that I thought I had moved beyond. In reality, I pushed myself past them without ever really dealing with them. The two books I've read (She's Come Undone and The Kindness of Strangers) in the last couple of weeks have stirred up memories that I'd rather forget, but know I need to remember. I've been thinking about how our lives are shaped from our childhood with little control from us. I've been thinking about my older sister and how I wish that everyone could have known her before the man my mom lived with put his hands on her. She was the same age as Erin. When I made that connection last night, my heart broke. I was so young when it happened that I had no idea what was going on. Now, twenty years later, the signs seems so obvious and I wonder how my mom didn't know. How she could let one daughter leave and keep two in the same house with that man. I can see how my sister has allowed the anger to grow inside her and changer her. She may never be able to admit it, but every choice she has made has been colored by his actions.
This morning just before I woke up, I had a dream that my entire body was tilled like the rich dark soil from my grandma's garden. Things that had been covered were brought to the surface. I remember thinking "This is going to hurt." and it does.


aola said...

My problem is not knowing what to do with the pain when I do allow it to come to the surface.

Good for you for thinking of yourself first for a change!! We all need a day of nothing once in a while.

Sandra said...

I think we have to feel the pain. We have to acknowledge it and let ourselves morn over the part of us that was hurt, lost, or changed by the cause of the pain.
A few weeks ago I read "The Prophet". From "On Pain",
"And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief."

A world in which joy and pain spring from the same root seems contrary to everything I think life should be, but when I read this a part of me understand that it's true.

Kristen said...

It's interesting how we play dual roles in all that. I mean, we watch ourselves go through grief. One part of us is grieving and hurting, and the other is watching and waiting and knowing that it is somehow good to walk through it. I read a book a few months ago that brought up some hard things for me, too. Much love to you in this time.

Unknown said...

A huge part of dealing with childhood abuse is allowing yourself to feel the emotions that you were not allowed to feel as a child.

It took me years to ever feel the emotion of 'anger'. I was never allowed to be angry as a child. No matter what was going on, if I ever showed any emotion slightly resembling anger, I was severely punished. So all of my anger turned inward and became guilt. I also ate my anger. Food and guilt became my comfort when pain and suffering were my lot in life.

I am astounded now as an adult to look back and see how this emotional perversion evolved, and how it was necessary for my survival.

The first time (after 18 months of therapy) that I ever experienced 'anger' at my mother it was more like 'ticked off'. But it was a huge step. That was probably the first real step toward my eventual healing as an adult and my forgiveness of her (she has sought my forgiveness with all her heart and spends a great deal of time on child abuse prevention causes).

The funny thing was, I didn't start therapy to deal with the years of abuse from my mother, I started going because of Post Traumatic Stress from a home invasion rapist when I was 10.

So much pain. One of the 'hot new books' is "The Secret" and the basic jist is to be grateful for every experience in your life because it made you who you are now and brought you where you are now.

I can truly say that I am grateful for every experience in my life. Even these. My childhood traumas gave me insight into my husband, and I understand him like nobody else. He is thunderstruck sometimes by how much I understand him and how alike we are.

All of my best wishes for the continued healing for you and your sister.

Anonymous said...

i think it is a mercy, a grace, that your mind is trying to help you "till" yourself... so something new and good can really take root in you... you have to purge your soil before that can really happen.
it is an opportunity to have an opposite experience than the one you describe in your sister... where nothing in the future shows the ruin in the past.
grace and peace, sandy.

Sandra said...

Thank you all for your wide words. I know this has to happen and so I am trying to experience it rather than push it way as I have in the past. I wasn't ready before, but I think I am ready now.
Kristen, you bring up an interesting point. Maybe the us that is watching and knowing we'll make it through is there so we don't lose sight and think we are drowing in it.
CV, I'm glad that you've healed and are able to use all that has happened to you in a possitive way.
I'm not entirely sure I agree with the idea of being gratefull for every experience in your life idea. I think that we can chose to turn negatives into positivies in our lives but I don't think that always means the negative thing had to happen and it doesn't always mean that we end up in a good place. My sisters life was ruined by that man. I love her, but when I look at where she is, it makes me sad and I can't help but wonder who she would have been without being sexually abused. It's so much hurt with no reason. I guess that's my point. We're always so busy trying to give everything a meaning or a purpose. What I have to come to terms with is that sometimes there is no reason or meaning. I used to believe everything was part of God's plan, but I don't want to believe in a god like that anymore. He hurts when we hurt and our pain could never be part of any plan he has made. My sister has gotten through her pain and has made pretty huges steps, but asking her to be greatful for the what happened to her seems crazy to me.
Erica, wise words.

Unknown said...

Well, I have to be able to go on with my life. Don't get me wrong, I wish that I would have had a normal, happy childhood. I wish that I had not had the bad experiences that I had to endure, and then the years of acting out and dangerous behaviors that followed as a result.

But, There is a point where coping has to stop and living has to start. That's where the gratitude part comes in.

Now the sticky part. I have no idea whom I am grateful to, as in this whole process I have become agnostic. I can't believe in a god that would allow so much suffering either by design or by indifference.

This was my answer, and it surely can't be the answer for everyone.

Sandra said...


I completely get what you are saying. I believe that from where I am, I can look back and say that I am grateful for all of the experiences because I've ended up in a place where I am happy and my life has turned out well. I'm just searching for what causes a person to take those things that are bad in life and make them good anyway because so many people don't. I guess I'm look for a bridge that gets you there. I feel like I've been unfair to my sister because I found it easy to take the bad and make it good while it was never that easy for her.
Like you said, it can't be the answer for everyone. Is there even an answer for everyone? Some people die in their mysery. It just doesn't seem fair.
I'm glad that you've found your way and that you can look back with gratitude. I think you should directe that towards yourself and the survivor inside of you that wouldn't allow the bad things in your life to determine your outcome. :)

Unknown said...

I have not read the book "The Secret", as I just have a huge problem going out and buying Oprahs buzzbook of the week, but I did listen to some of the audience members and it seemed like that book helped them find their bridge.

One other thing that did help me - - it sounds silly but it did help. Was hypnosis. I had PTSD from the home invasion, I couldn't get away from it and in hypnosis I was allowed to kind of 'package up the pain and make it be in the past where it belongs'.

I hope that your sister finds healing. I hope that you and she never stop trying.

Anonymous said...

The healing is all in the forgivness.... There is nothing man made or man written that will heal the heart,,,,,, Forgivness brings healing to your heart and the act of forgiving releases the power of God to move in the person you are forgiving,,,,,,, When we hold those things,, we tie the hand of God and He sits patiently waiting for us ,,,,,,,,,

I am creating my Samaritan Women web site instead of the blogg and the devotional on there right now is Forgivness...... Give me a day or two and it will be open,,,,,

Love you and your mother and your sisters,,,,,, and I always pray,, even though there is a barrier between us,,,,,,,,,,,

Love ad

Anonymous said...

I found you through your recent comment on my blog... and now that I've found you, I plan to come back to visit often. I know something of what you're going through (at first, I wrote "growing" through accidently, then erased it, but I do hope you grow through this.) Be gentle with yourself.

Katt said...

Unfortunatley I read this entry at work. I read it once, then I read it again and then I embarrassed myself by crying. It broke my heart and awakened things in me that have been silent for a long time. I to look at my oldest daughters life and it hurts so much. I to wonder what she would have been, the wonderful things she would have done had those things not happened.
I to look back and question myself as to how I could not have seen the clues, how I could have not know. I dont have answers for that,, or answers that I feel would satisfy most people.
We all have dead and buried bones that need to be dug up and dealt with... You my darling daughter have always had the courage and the insight.. you have become an amazing woman...
I love you