Interlaced with who I have become, is how I began.
When life takes some very distinct turns there are often reasons that are founded in the past, I am no exception.
Before I begin I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I am a believer in the premise that our lives are one seamless and continual thread. By that I mean we cannot separate certain time-periods or instances from our lives and say that their impact isn’t part of what makes us who we are. It is ludicrous to think that traumatic events we have experienced are somehow able to be swept aside without longterm effects. You may not become an addict, but you are afraid to trust, jumpy and frightened at an unexpected noise, or one or more of many other reactions and beliefs about yourself and others, trauma’s legacy is one that changes people.
I was thinking this morning about what I would write concerning my past, particularly the distant past, my childhood if you will. I came to the realization that there is very little concise memory from those years right up until my late 20’s. A smattering of images and activities are spread over the span of a quarter century, nothing remains of day-to-day life, just the horrific abuse and a few other unrelated things.
It was while watching the movie “SPOTLIGHT” with my wife last night (movie trailer here) that I realized something was missing from my previous writings. I have always spoken in general terms, using words like childhood sexual abuse, telling of a generic adult who committed these crimes. I was unwilling to expound on what had happened and who had done these things, in other words to be specific. At one point in the movie a reporter tells one of the victims of sexual abuse that they must give details of what they experienced. If it is left in simple terms people don’t understand or fathom the events that have taken place. I broke through slightly with this post which I wrote on another of my blogs a while ago.
As I evolved in my process of understanding and dealing with the sexual abuse I endured, I mistakenly looked for support and understanding from the people I had known within the church. Sure, there were the occasional understanding souls but for the most part I got rebuttal, anger, rejection, all things that I had already been feeling but had cloaked and set aside as I pursued my place of belonging and value within the church. People want you to “get over it” and “move on” they do not want you to understand, just “get busy” doing things and you won’t be consumed by the stuff that has happened to you. The church has its own set of issues that I will not get into at this time as I have written about these experiences at my other blog, the rip[ple] effect.
I am in therapy, and joining Celebrate Recovery along with my wife, as we search for understanding and healing. I live this out a day at a time, a mountain of mistakes and little personal lasting peace have accompanied me on this journey, but I have not given up. Maybe I should have thrown in the towel long ago and given myself over to the nagging depression, the voices inside that confirm the futility of rising above the filth, the desire to end my own life; I just haven’t reached that point.
I write to learn, to find hope, to cleanse, and to connect with those who have experienced similar pain. I also write to stay sane, to process my feelings, to seek justice, and to remain alive. I will tell my complete and unabridged story in the coming posts.
Stay strong my friend, there is hope.