Thursday, March 26, 2009


I walked a strange path yesterday evening. I met face to face with childhood memories and as strange as it may sound, I found myself in them. In the past, I have always viewed such pain as happening to someone else, not me. It was easier that way. But last night the lines blurred and I began to see my face on that small child.

She was dirty, battered, bloodied, bruised and broken. She had no eyes because she did not want to see. She did not want to see the horror bearing down on us. Neither did I. But I have eyes and I saw last night. Pushed to the forefront, I had no choice but to see her pain. And feel. I saw him too.

He climbed on top of her and I could smell his musky smell. I stepped aside and began to walk away. I heard her call out for our mother and that stopped me dead in my tracks. She sounded just like my daughter when she calls for me. I went back and he saw me. He stopped; and as scared as I was, I saw more fear on his face than I felt on my own.

In an instant he was gone and I was left alone with that little girl. She was still dirty, battered, bloodied, bruised and broken. I looked at my own self and so was I. Shame overcame me as I found myself in such a vulnerable place. I have been humiliated so much in my life that I cling to what dignity I have so that I can present myself to the world as a perfect and put together person. But there I was, alone with her, and in the exact same state as her. I hurt where she hurt and I could feel what she was feeling. She felt shame like me. But in looking at her, I saw nothing about her that was shameful. She was innocent.

I picked her up and held her like I hold my own daughter after she has a bad dream. I took her and cleaned her up, gave her clothes to wear, and combed her matted hair. She smiled as she looked up at me and in her eyes that I could see now, was love. An overwhelming calm washed over me and for the first time in a long time, we rested. She was especially exhausted as she was the one laying in bed awake, night after night, waiting for him.

Today, I am still tired but it is a good kind of tired; the kind that you feel after exercising. After a hard workout you might be tired, drained and even a little sore. However, you know that your workout was healthy, will make you stronger, and even motivate you to press on. That is where I am today... tired and sore but motivated to press on and find another piece of myself.


mtyler77 said...

Shattered--it sounds as though you made some healthy (albeit painful) progress. Your post brought me back to a time when I was having nightmares nearly every day--terrible dreams in which I had become a child again and then came face to face with that child when I was adult (in my dream). My dream would start out where I would hear a child (me) crying and not be able to get to her (me) in time to save her. It was like I would morph from being an adult to child to parent--all witnessing what had happened to me as a child but all powerless to stop it.

I confronted my father before he died--and it was the single most healthy thing I have ever done. It was truly freeing for me to look him in the eye and tell him, "I WON! I survived! I made it!" After that, the nightmares have almost stopped completely. I still have them--but not nearly as often as I used to.

Take care of yourself--and keep writing about your feelings. That's a healthy thing to do also.


English Rider said...

You express yourself very beautifully. Your words clearly show us your inner strength. No wonder you feel that you have had a work-out.

Annie Coe said...

I have been where you are. So many years ago that I have moved past those bad memories and into the light. Just know that there is relief, you are loved and what happened to you does NOT have to follow you around for the rest of your life. Many hugs.

Shattered said...

Melinda: Ugh... those nightmares. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to hear that your nightmares has almost completely stopped.

That was incredibly brave of you to confront your father. Given the chance, I don't know if I could do it, not face to face at least...

English Rider: Thank you for reading. Being able to write here has been a great experience so far. It is new avenue for me to express myself and it has been very satisfying.

Annie Coe: Thank you so much for sharing that you have been where I am. It is beyond encouraging to read that you have been able to move on.