Letting go and moving on
Friday, May 01, 2015
Today's thank you is for being able to let go.
The process began in my early forties, when I finally revealed my deepest secret, a night of utter horror that had been inflicted upon me when I was only six years old. The egregiousness of it was magnified, because my attacker's wife terrorized me into an almost four decades long silence. Little girls who tell stories like that get locked up far away with the crazy people, and they never see their parents again, she told me. And so I built a wall around that damaged part of myself, and let no one in. In many ways, that little girl resided in that place of pain and fear, behind those very walls, for most of her life.
Fear and I were on intimite terms. It did not help that my father was prone to rages and violence, and it helped even less that those episodes were completely unpredictable. I grew accustomed to walking on eggshells. And, when I grew up and moved out, the tormentedness accompanied me.
I wish I could tell you that the decisions I made were not influenced by these early experiences. Without question, they were. I became a pleaser. I became an accommodator. I compromised myself and my values oh so many times, just to finally be good enough. And underneath it all, I was angry, and resentful, and mistrusting. It damned near destroyed me.
I'm still muddling my way through what forgiveness means. If I were ever granted the gift of being able to confront my abusers, that is exactly what I would do, preferably publicly. Would I harm them? No. I am better than they ever were. And most of my anger against my father has burned itself out over the years since he's died. I say most, not all. It still invades my dreams sometimes, although not nearly as often since I learned the art of lucid dreaming and was finally able to stand my ground and draw a line in the sand.
Odd, that this should be a gratitude post. But it is. Sharing my past, bringing the hidden things to light, has shown them not to be insignificant, but certainly less threatening than I thought them to be for so many years. They cannot hurt me now. And I have nothing to atone for. I will not pay the price for the sins of others, and God willing, neither will anyone else in my life, ever again.
I'm a little bit battered and a little bit singed around the edges, but I'm alright. I can laugh. I can love. And my past has faded into the shadows so very long ago.