Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beginning of the Introduction

I got an emptiness deep inside,
and I tried -- but it won't let me go.
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
but I never cared for the sound of bein' alone.

My only shred of hope lay in these words to Neil Diamond's song. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't escape that feeling. "But others felt it too!" whispered in the back of my mind, "others felt it too!" Somewhere there must be an answer.

My search to fill that emptiness led me to therapy. I struggled for ten long years trying to tear down the walls that protected me from my secrets. I learned many valuable skills. I was responsible for my feelings. It was not fair for me to expect others to know how I was feeling or what I needed. It was my responsibility to tell them. I could say “No.” The list went on and on. But the more I learned, the more I realized how depressed I really was. That emptiness inside me was beginning to look more like an abyss whose blackness was swallowing me up. My secrets were still well protected but the walls holding my feelings in were beginning to topple. I wasn’t prepared for the intensity or the self-hatred of those feelings. What was this about? After all, I had come from a typical, average American home, hadn’t I?

In 1984 Something about Amelia aired on ABC-TV. At 2:00 AM in the morning I hysterically disclosed to my husband what my older brother had done to me so many years ago. Two weeks later, again in the middle of the night and again hysterical, I disclosed that I had “killed” my father when I was twelve. (He died from cancer of the liver.) Little did I know that these were only the first tiny pieces to my puzzle.

Within a year and a half of these disclosures, I began looking for an agency that specialized in treating sexual abuse. I started group therapy and soon after bean individual appointments with the therapist from group. Together we embarked on the next stage of my journey.

I bought my first journal. It was covered in a Victorian looking print with pink hearts. On the front was a picture of a cat studying a butterfly. My first journal entry, dated October 17, 1985 reads:

“The cover of this book reflects not where I have been but where I hope to go. The contents will most likely be recollections of those persons and incidents that have influenced who I am. If the cover were to reflect the contents, it would be black but somehow complicated and intertwined……..maybe a seething mass of snakes, a picture of the soul I thought was mine. I’m slowly learning it is not my soul at all but indeed the tangled combined souls of persons in my past. Them, I will learn to forgive, myself – I never could.

Now I must discover a view of myself I can live with. A perception not distorted by the bleakness I have lived. A perception based on reality and free of the judgements of the wounded child that has ruled me. That child was a victim. What does that make me?“


Lady Of Chaos said...

Thank you for the phone call today! I really really appreciated it. It made me feel soooo much better. A different way of looking at it all and it made me feel so much better. Thank you!

Frazzled Farm Wife said... many of us just do not know or understand alot about sexual abuse.

Kahless said...

You are a you.
A beautiful soul.

Ethereal Highway said...

It's so sad that you thought you killed your father. This is what happens when small children have abusers who convince them that they are awful little people and that everything is their fault. It's sad and sometimes it's angering as well.

jumpinginpuddles said...

ya know what its funni cause they wrote a blot tonite bote accpetin their abuse an heres ya blog bout goin thru yas, fairduinkum wacky that.
But ta ya blog journeyin inta memories aint fa the fainherted but i know ya know that an i always reckoned ya was brave an we preciate ya sharin

Rising Rainbow said...

LOC, you're welcome. I could tell from your blog post you needed a friend.

Frazzled Farm Wife, Yes, sexual abuse is devestating to the victims. I think if people really understood the damage it does, they might be more aware of what was going on around them and maybe kids would get help sooner instead of growing up carrying the burden of someone else's guilt.

Kahless, Yes, I think you are right about me being me.

It's kind of strange to look back at this "old feelings" of mine. I know they felt dark at the time but somehow looking back at them they seem even darker to me (if it is possible to be darker) Maybe it's because at the time those feelings were so they are a distant memory...Thanks Goodness!

Lynn, Yes, it was sad I thought I was responsible for my father's death. That one was a real surprise to of those subconscious secrets the conscious mind doesn't know about. I was clearly convince that I was a vile person. I can't even explain how freeing it feels to be out from under that cloud.....although I do still carry a lot of anger about it.

JIP, we do seem to have an unknown sense of timing going on. A friend of mine would call it "grace."

Enola said...

What does it make you? A survivor - and an awesom one at that.

Rising Rainbow said...

Thanks, Enola, I am a survivor, that's for sure but I sure didn't know that when I wrote this stuff.

Wanda's Wings said...

Your story brings tears to my eyes,because it triggers what I want to forget. You are really brave. You have been working so long, I think it is wonderful.