Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Little History

I haven't always been into horses. Most of my life I didn't even know I loved horses. Most of my life I only knew what it was "safe" for me to know. I only did what it was "safe" for me to do. Obviously, I didn't know that I was living my life based on someone else's rules, all I knew was that my life was out of control.

By my late twenties I had been married twice and had two small children, one by each husband. Both men had been batterers and later I would find out they were child molesters as well.

I hadn't left either of these relationships to save myself. I had left to save my children. Down deep inside I didn't believe that I was worth saving. These feelings were buried deeply enough that I had no knowledge of them, just as I had no knowledge of how much I loved horses. So while I had no clue about the forces that drove me, I still wondered what it was about me that caused me to pick such destructive relationships.

I was determined to find the answers so that I could protect my children from making the same mistakes that I had made. I could embark on this journey for their sake but would never have been able to do if for mine. I was completely controlled by self loathing and hatred, programmed to self-destruct before even a single secret was disclosed.

In the beginning of my quest I had no idea what I was seeking or where to go to find it, all I knew was that I picked "bad" men. I didn't even know where to go to get help and information was limited. But like everything else I've ever done in my life, I was driven. Driven to get it right, be the best, learn it all when I didn't even know what I wanted to get right, be best at or know.

Before I even got involved in another relationship, I began therapy. I wasn't going to make another mistake. I wasn't going to put my children at risk again. And when the day came I considered another relationship, I insisted he, too, go to therapy. I was determined to not fall again.

My days in therapy didn't start off with the answers I sought. Heck, at that point I didn't even know I had questions. I spent years in therapy with a woman who reminded my of my mother and treated me much the same but I had no reason to worry about the similarities, after all, this was about me not my mother.

While I did learn some useful things like active listening skills and how to be assertive from Maria, I still had no idea of how controlling and manipulating my family environment had been. I was not even a single step closer to finding my way out of the tangled web that lead to my dungeon.

Dave and I did get married after a couple of year. We had two children after I was permanently injured in an auto accident. Through all of this we still went to therapy.

We were struggling and the children were struggling. My oldest daughter began acting out and the family was in shambles but I still held out hope for answers. By now I knew I was depressed.....deeply depressed but I held on believing that somewhere there were answers to why I was so troubled.

When I think back to those days I am grateful. Grateful for talk shows like Oprah and others who began to speak openly and frankly about childhood abuses. Grateful for a society that was open to discussing childhood abuse and family secrets. Grateful for the questions those all put into my head.

And, strangely enough, thankful for Neil Diamond. The words of a song, I Am, I Said somehow seemed to be written for me. For the first time in my life I believed maybe, just maybe, I had a right to be alive! The desire to kill myself could be controlled with the words to that song.

For the first time in my journey there was hope. Finally I had enough information to begin the serious work of unlocking the secrets of my past. With my childhood memories limited to just a couple of events before I began school and not much but school after that, there was reason to be believe that secrets were the reason for my memory lapses.

Had I known the quest would lead me down a road so twisted and perverted that even today many would say it just couldn't have happened, would I have taken on this journey? God only knows the answer to that question but the facts are these. I did take the Road Less Travelled and even though it lead me through clouds and storms of epic proportions, it led me to acceptance of myself as a human being.

A Little More History

1 comment:

Donna said...

Thank you for these words.