I sat quietly and closed my eyes. So much pain today with my family as I watched violence acted out once again. I could blame it on my father and yes part of that is true. However, we all have choices today to do it differently.
Dad: You’ve done well on your journey, Mary Lynn. Do you want it to end this way? Dig down deep and look for my spirit?
I didn’t have the energy to dig down deep. I was too enmeshed in the other’s pain. I feel it all and find it difficult to separate. The emotional turmoil of my family is great. It saps my energy and to do this work energy I need. I am shut down from spirit and love and wanting to find my way back there. Keep seeing him in human form and I was stuck there. Today, the music kicked in and found my way back to spirit.
Me: Dad, I am back. It has been tough but I found my way back. I want to know you and figure all this out. Today it came to me that you and I are spiritual partners and we have a lot of work to do. We screwed it up in our human form. I don’t want to blame anyone right now. I just want to know you and to know where you need to be set free and understand our journey together. I’ve been told that there is no understanding of it as child sexual abuse is beyond understanding. I agreed at one time, but I always sought to understand anyway. I want to know you.
Dad: Welcome back. It had to be your choice. I took your choices away as a child and won’t do it to you now. We are spiritual partners. Always have been. In human form it looked as though that all got screwed up. Actually, it went according to plan. I didn’t want to hurt you. I didn’t want you to suffer. I understand suffering so much. I want you to find your own way to those answers. I just wanted you to know.
Me: I looked at your pictures again as a child. It is hard to comprehend that you would grow up and do me great harm. I want to understand your life to understand mine. The human journey is done for us. So now we enter the spiritual dimension.
Where to now. I don’t want to make this about me and my suffering and I feel I am going in that direction. Parts are afraid of becoming irrelevant and their pain forgotten. I reassure them that all is well and they are relevant.
It is so easy to get caught up in suffering and wearing it as a cloak and then the pride that I feel in overcoming. It is my identity: I suffered much, I fought hard and I overcame the paralyzing effects of childhood sexual abuse. There is more, much more. I am now ready to grow through it spiritually and finish my earthly journey strong.
Me: Dad, I always loved you even when you were abusing me. I wanted so much for you to love me and the only way that happened was when you abused me. I wanted to please you and have you love me and I never got it right. I always felt I did something wrong. I’m beginning to understand that you did not have a clue how to express love healthfully and felt scared of people leaving you. I was a child and incapable of leaving you and you felt safe. You never dealt with the loss of your mother.
Dad: You are right. When humans fail to deal with the pain in their lives it is acted out and passed down creating pain and disaster. When humans face their fear, their weakest moments, their pain, there is an opportunity for peace and joy. You are there, my sweet daughter.
Me: I actually feel very far away. I am just trying to make sense of it all.
Dad: If you try to make sense of it all, you won’t find it. Look within. Use your intuition.
Me: I feel your presence around me a lot. I don’t feel frightened by it. There is so much I want to know about you, about us. My intuition is that we continue talking about your human journey before I entered into the experience.
Dad: After a year of living with my grandparents, my father found another wife – Ethel. She is the one you knew as grandmother. She was to be my new mom.
Me: How did you feel about her becoming your mom?
I know this woman and she isn’t very nice, but pretends to be. He had told me a story once. I am very interested.
Dad: I told my dad she wasn’t my mom. I was angry. He told me that she was my mom and I had better be good to her or she would leave.
Me: There it is – gotta be good or someone would leave. I so much get that because you preached at me about that all my life. How did you feel when he said that?
Dad: I was angry. I pouted in my room. I guess my choices were taken from me much like I took them from you. It didn’t matter what I wanted or thought. I loved my mom. I didn’t want a new mom. Then I was told when I met her I was to call her mom. I didn’t think it was fair to my mom.
Dad: You know Mary Lynn, I had to go through my human experiences to create for you your human experience. I had to suffer so you could suffer and overcome the suffering and find the truth. We agreed to it before my incarnation.
Me: I feel guilty for you doing that. I don’t get it all. I can’t believe I caused suffering for my own gain.
Dad: You didn’t cause anything. We were both spirits and you have evolved many times. You had many experiences. You desired to understand suffering through suffering yourself. You desired to learn compassion through suffering. You desired to love through suffering. You wanted to know about how people suffered and survived. You wanted to participate in healing the world. You wanted to be One with the universe in suffering and joy and the only way you could get there was through deep suffering. From having your very soul and essence ripped apart and shattered and then to find your way back again.
I find this all hard to comprehend as I try to analyze it – one of my greatest defense mechanisms to keep me from pain. I’m staring at the pond of water looking deep within it searching for the truth. I keep staring as if staring will change all this. What are the implications if this is all true?
Dad: There are no implications – it just is. I am not minimizing your suffering. I caused you great suffering. Think about how much you know and experience because of what happened.
ME: That doesn’t make it right. You ripped me apart and broke my heart and tore it all to pieces. You emotionally isolated me from everyone. You created different parts for me. It has affected every part of myself and my life and look what it has done to my daughter and her family. What right do you have to sit there and said you did your job? How crazy are you?
I’m seeing him in human form and remembering the suffering and the pain and the loss and the anger and the loneliness and the heartache and the fear and it is rushing in and I feel overwhelmed. I want to strike out at him and hurt him. I don’t want to hear this shit and rationalization. Spoken like a true victim.
Me. Somehow you think you can sit there and tell me this was some great plan for my benefit and I will buy into that and that absolves you of any guilt or responsibility and I must continue carrying it all myself again. You arrogant, self-righteous bastard.
I want to be protected from this man. I want someone to hold me and keep me safe. I don’t want to do this anymore.
Dad: You don’t need protection – you need to see the truth. By seeing the truth you will find your freedom and your purpose.
I am silent. Yes another one of my defense mechanisms. Can’t hurt me if I don’t speak – if I just disappear from him.
I feel a presence and it is an angel who has appeared next to him. Of course, he would get the angel and not me. Oh my, that sounds like victimization. The angel says nothing but white light and love is pouring out to both of us. There are spirits all around – light. No one speaking – just love emanating. The love is so powerful and it begins to permeate through me. The love is strong. I look up and see my dad’s spirit even brighter. I don’t feel bright. I feel broken. The light and love continue to grow stronger.
Dad: It is for you to choose to receive. We are all here for you. I want you to stay and seek your higher truth. It is here for you to find. We are here for you. You can get lost in the human experience or transcend and stay a while.
I stay, and still cannot speak. I don’t know what to say. The truth of what he said is filtering through me. What higher truth is there. How did we get from talking about his growing up years to being here right now.
These phrases are floating through my fine. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Be the change you want to be. Seek first to understand. Truth is the core of me – It is the plumb line of my life and that which gives me strength and courage. I am a seeker of truth through experience and yes perhaps there is truth to my choosing to endure severe near catastrophic suffering to be able to enter my temple of truth to receive the pearl of great price – great wisdom and knowledge. This temple is beautiful a whiteness and purity that I never seen. I am centered and all aligned with truth. There is wisdom and age. A sage. A sage must truly understand truth and wisdom to guide along the path, I am with an older soul in the form of a man with long white hair. We are sitting and talking and I am seeking a higher truth – a transcendent truth and I am being told that it is something I had to work for = experience. I see my dad’s spirit there. He is humbled to be there. He was my teacher in earth school. He gave selflessly to me so that I might have all that I desired to be in truth and wisdom.
Me: Dad, no one is going to understand this. This is way out there.
Dad: Those who need it will understand it. You’ve only completed the first part of your journey. Now it is the transformation of your life experiences that complete your life.
I am feeling connected to him again and it is okay. There is still much I want to know about his life. So much more to hear. For now, I am tired and have a lot to process.
I’ve had a painful day today. I’ve felt annoyed with any human or noise interaction. I just want solitude and not to have anyone around me. I don’t want to hear anything. I’m tired – so much going on.
Me: I’m back and I am not doing well emotionally. I want to fight. I am remembering the beatings and I wish it would just happen and be over with. That is my experience. Beat me and be done with it.
Dad: No more beatings. You don’t deserve beatings.
Me: You didn’t seem to think so when I was a child. You wanted to hurt me. You wanted to take my very life and squeeze it out of me. You want it – take it.
Dad is silent. I want to beat him on the chest as if that would change anything. I want him to hold me as if he could or that would change anything. Nothing about it can change. It is what it was.
Dad: You are treating yourself as a victim.
Me: You would say that. You are a perpetrator.
Dad: I did abuse you. I hurt you in so many ways. I can’t change it. In human terms I betrayed you, I left you, I raped you, I beat you and I ripped your life apart and you had NO ONE. Yes, I did that. I can’t undo it for you or create for you a different experience than you had. How are you going to move on.
Me: You talk about moving on. You are not living with the pain and discord. I am. I was fine until we started talking and everything is all in awry now.
Dad: So what do you want to do about it? Sit there and feel the pain or move through the pain and embrace your higher truth? It is your choice. I am here. You choose.
Me. I don’t know what I want. I have a head ache.
Dad: Close your eyes and find me in spirit. I am here with you and you are safe whether you choose to believe that. I know it is hard for you to comprehend that you are as safe with me today as you were unsafe with me in human form. I love you. Please find me in spirit.
I am back to the place of righteous indignation. I feel I want to fight all this unexpressed energy inside of me. I want to be beaten so it gets out of me. I want to cut and release it. I want it out of me and I need to hurt for it to be gone.
Me: I don’t need your love and I do not want your love. I hate you so much and you keep sitting there.
Dad: You have every right to feel anger and hatred to me. Keeping it going won’t change a thing. Your anger and hatred don’t hurt me – they hurt you. Why do you want to continue hurting yourself? It is finished. The abuse is finished. This part of your experience is finished.
Me: It is finished for you. You are dead. I am here still stuck on earth with the memories and the pain and the body. You get to move on.
Dad: The body died a horrible death. My suffering was intense. My body was consumed by pain. My fear of dying was so powerful that I could only lash out at anyone who came close to me. Do you remember my last couple hours? I hit anyone who tried to come close to me or comfort me. I raged and they called 911 to take me away. Do you remember that night? Who did I want there with me? Who did I ask them to call?
Dad: That is right because I knew you would fight for me and allow me to stay in my own home. They were afraid of my pain and suffering. You showed me great compassion that night and you fought for me in spite of how they all felt towards you. You did that for me. Remember earlier coming to visit me.
Me: I remember. The other family said you wouldn’t remember me and to just be prepared. I wasn’t expecting much. If you couldn’t remember the names of those you loved, how could you ever remember me. But you did.
Dad: I did remember you. I knew YOU. You knew me. The body was in the process of dying and there you sat calmly in my favorite chair. I asked you to kiss me. You held back. Eventually you did. You kissed my forehead so gently and I began experiencing some release. You did that 3 times. That meant the world to me. You might not have wanted to do it, but you moved in spirit to do it. I just wanted you to know I loved you and I wanted you to love me. You released me and gave me some peace. You allowed yourself to show compassion and love to someone who destroyed you and that is tremendous. You have, through all of your suffering, a great ability to love and show compassion beyond human imaginations. Those are gifts you received through your suffering. Most people could not have done that. They would have said “let him suffer”. You didn’t. You loved.
Me: I remember that night always. I remember how I hesitated to show you any kindness and mercy. It wasn’t in me to watch you suffer. I had suffered so much and even towards you who was the reason for my suffering I could not let you suffer. You knew me and I knew you. We were so connected. I wish you could have lived so we could have worked it out to have a good relationship.
Dad: That never would have happened. I hurt you too deeply. You would never get past my human form. That is why I keep wanting you to find me in spirit so we can talk through this and you can find release. Your suffering tonight is like my suffering the night I died. You are lashing out at anyone and feel disconnected from everyone. I want to fight for you tonight to release. I know it is what you want. You get that while still in the human body. You get to experience release and healing. It is still up to you to choose.
Me. I hurt so much in every fiber of my being. My soul, my body, my emotions. I feel this rage inside and just want to lash out at everyone and the one person who gets that, who truly gets that is you, the one who created the suffering. That is so weird.
Dad: You are such a powerful being. You’ve no idea how powerful you are. You have to release the human judgment and disappointment.
Me: Dad, I am still human if you didn’t notice. The body is still here and kicking so yes I am prone to my human experience.
Dad: Yes you are and now you have the opportunity to move into spirit with the experience. You come and go. Can you tell the difference within you?
Me: Yes. It is hard.
Dad: I know. Remember the last night with me as I left my body and my body raged and fought. I didn’t want to die and I was afraid.
Me: It hurts so much.
Dad: Remember the pain. You wanted to find love and peace and compassion through your pain. Your pain is the road map. Honor your pain. Don’t let the pain be the end all. It will stop your journey.
How do I move past this? I thought it was all behind me. What value is there to feeling it all over again? I want everyone to stay away from me.
Dad: You are strong and courageous. You have moved past so much in your lifetime. Look at you. Choose to move forward. Come sit with me by the pond.
Me: I feel confused about what I want. I guess I want all the benefits, but not all the pain. I didn’t expect the pain. I really just wanted to know you more and not focus on me.
Dad: What is holding you back? What are the chains?
Me: I don’t want to lose me or lose all that I have accomplished that give me identity.
Dad: It isn’t your identity. You need to see that. It is only a cloak. Your pain and your rage and your self-righteousness is only a cloak. Can you remove the cloak?
I didn’t realize I was living in the cloak. Thought I was way past it. The question is can I remove the cloak in the presence of my father. Can I be transparent and heal in the present of my father.
I wear a cloak My protective armor Opening and closing at will Embracing me Safe and protected Releasing the cloak Releasing the fear
This has been another painful day. I wanted to fight so much with someone. I wanted to be beaten by someone. Just wanting to release. I am so tired and I hurt and I remember and I don’t understand. I remember the beatings with the belt. I want to take off the cloak. First I want to ask my father some questions and then maybe I will take off the cloak.
Me: I don’t understand fully about you and I having some kind of agreement for you to abuse me in all the ways you did. I don’t understand that if that is true why I even have issues around it. So, for now I am tabling that. What I want to know is why did you beat me until I cried and beat me until I stopped?
Dad: I was wrong to do it. I thought I was punishing you for being bad. Your mom would tell me how bad you were and it was my job to punish you.
Me: Why so much? What purpose was it to continue to hit me – a little girl who was so small? Why did you hate me that much?
Dad: Once I started hitting it was hard for me to stop. I guess I wanted you to know I had the power and you didn’t and there was nothing you could do to change it.
Me: So if you wanted to have the power then you must have felt powerless.
Dad: I was angry with your mother for having me to do this to you. I was angry with you for being bad. This was the way to get my power back and be seen as the head of the household.
Me: Wow. How powerful you were to beat a little girl. Big man!
Dad: I hated to do it.
Me: You never said so.
Dad: I couldn’t tell you so because then I wouldn’t have the power. Remember the night I came in to beat you and I didn’t.
Me: yes. You told me if I would just scream and cry you wouldn’t hurt me but I had to pretend you were so mother would think you were hitting me.
Dad: That is right. I couldn’t do it. I just didn’t have it in me to continue doing that and it wasn’t helping.
Me: Why couldn’t you just stand up to her and tell her no? Why did you have to pretend to beat me? That is weird to me.
Dad: Standing up to your mom meant disrespecting her and living with her constant nagging.
Me: Amazing. You would beat me so you didn’t have to be nagged. Bull shit!
Dad: It was easier to beat you then to have conflict with your mom. You know how she is.
Me: You beat me because you wanted to beat me to have the power, to feel powerful, and to be perceived as powerful. Screw you.
Dad: I am sorry I hurt you.
Me: Sorry is empty right now. I am blown away by you.
Dad: I know.
Me: You beat me at times while I was completely naked. You would have me strip down to nothing. I felt so ashamed and ugly standing naked in front of you. I wanted to hide my body. Having me strip down – was that for your sexual pleasure?
Dad: Just more power. You would know how much control I had over you and you wouldn’t talk.
Me: Power, control over a little girl. Bastard.
Me: I am too tired to go on.
Dad: That is good. It means you are releasing some of the energy.
Me: Dad, I hurt so much inside. I felt so afraid of you. I felt so confused. Beatings and sexual interactions and mean words. I felt there was something wrong with me. It was crazy making.
Dad: I know.
Me: My body right now is full of pain. The fear is gone. I feel very sad. So sad. I feel so sad for me. I endured so much at your hands and all the time I love you. How sad is that for you? I had so much to give you and you chose to hurt me. I was vulnerable and you took advantage of that.
Dad: Yes I did. It wasn’t your fault. I could have shown you love of a father rather than the abusive side. I loved you the most.
Me: You loved me the most. You beat me. You called me horrible names and you raped me. Please don’t love me so much.
Dad: You were special and I couldn’t reach you.
Me: I was a little girl – asshole. Do you know what it was like to be ripped apart and hurt and denied and set aside?
Dad: I do know what it is like to have indefinable pain and to hurt and be abused. My new mother beat me. She would lock me outside in the dark because I didn’t remember to bring in firewood before the dark. I know what it is like to be scared and alone.
Me: You took it out on me. You acted it out on me.
Dad: yes I did. I am so sorry.
Me. You laid on me and I remember your smell. The smell of whiskey and sweat.
Dad: I used alcohol to numb the pain.
Me: You gave me alcohol sometimes thinking I wouldn’t remember. I did. It took me a long time to remember, but I remembered.
Dad: You did.
Me. Why did you sexually abuse me?
Dad: Because you were there and I loved you.
Dad: Yes. You hurt so much and thought I could comfort you.
Me: You mean comfort yourself.
Me: Maybe my ass
Me. How can you find comfort in a child.
Dad: I don’t know except a child loves unconditionally. A child wants to be loved. A child can’t hurt you.
Me: It wasn’t about love. It was about sex. You had a weird turn on with kids.
Me: You confused the crap out of me,
I feel so heartbroken and I don’t ever recall feeling heartbroken. I feel like I could just cry and cry. It is so different feeling this. I feel like there is absolutely nothing I could have done to change it. I was so alone.
Me: I feel so heartbroken. You left me so alone and isolated and hurt.
Dad: I am sorry.
Me: Are you sorry? I just don’t know if I buy it.
Dad: That is okay. I am not going to try and convince you.
Me: I don’t know what to say. You finally spoke and it was honest. Maybe that is where I am feeling heartbroken
Me: I would lie in my room alone at night in the dark. I was so afraid of the dark and the shadows in the room. I would curl up tight. I would hear your footsteps lightly coming down the hall. Ever so quietly. I tensed up waiting to see if you were coming in. You would stop briefly and stare at me. I would pretend to be asleep. You would leave and I would breathe again. Dozing off to sleep only to be awakened abruptly as you slowly pulled the covers off of me. I was afraid to move thinking if I pretended to be asleep you would leave me. You wouldn’t. So I left as far away in my mind as possible as you took care of yourself. Daddy – my daddy,
Dad: I was drunk.
Me: No excuse. Own up to it. Be a man for once.
Dad: I felt unloved and you felt unloved. Your mother seemed to hate us both.
Me: You are blaming again – no good. My mother hated me and I didn’t hurt anyone else. No, the failure lies within yourself.
Me: How did you feel when you knew mother was pregnant with me?
Dad: Scared. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out with money. I was finishing up college. Two kids was a lot of responsibility. Scott wasn’t very old and there you were.
Me: Did you and mother argue a lot during my pregnancy?
Dad: she cried a lot. She didn’t know how she could manage two small children.
Me: Sounds like mother. Fall apart for any reason.
Me: Did you want me?
Dad: No. We weren’t ready to increase our family.
Me: It wasn’t my fault. I always felt guilty for being alive for breathing.
Dad: Parents don’t always think about how their words and feelings affect their children especially during that time period.
Me: Your not wanting me = is that the reason why it was so easy for you to abuse me?
Dad: I don’t know that. Perhaps in an odd way. The stress and all.
Me: How did you feel when I was born my being the first girl and all.
Dad: I was a proud dad.
Dad: Of course. All dads have this pride about their kids. You were a baby.
Me: Did you hold me?
Dad: Not much. Women’s work to raise the kids.
Me: Mother told me I was a bad baby.
Dad: You cried all the time. It was irritating.
Me: Did you scream at me when I was crying?
Dad: I wasn’t around much. Your mom would. She just wanted you to be quiet.
Me: I was a baby. Babies cry. Perhaps if there had been love and kindness expressed, I wouldn’t have screamed so much.
Dad: Maybe. You were challenging. Guess you were preparing for the rest of your life.
Me: I want to believe you held me and loved me and cooed at me.
Dad: I didn’t do it. I held you sometimes.
Me: Is that when you started molesting me?
There is silence. Dead silence. I see him running his finger across my private area.
Me: Why don’t you want to answer the question? Did you or did you not? Yes or no would suffice.
Me: Bastard. Yes, you were preparing me for the challenges of the rest of my life. Well said Father.
Dad: I was wrong.
Dad: I don’t know why I did it. Maybe because you were there.
Me: Window of opportunity?
Me: Did you beat me as a baby too?
Dad: No I would have killed you. I wasn’t around much. Finished up college and then off to the Philippines.
Me: I am very angry with you and there is nothing I can do about it. You’re dead.
Dad: Only in body. I can’t undo it for you. I can’t change it. It is what it is.
Me: Is that all you can say.
Dad: what do you want me to say>
Me: Tell me I am wrong. Tell me you are sorry for creating such pain for me.
Dad: I have and it doesn’t change for you. Only you can change your life.
Me: You always told me that you never promised me a rose garden. That was so encouraging.
Dad: What do you want?
Me: I want it different. I want to have been loved by you in a healthy manner. I want memories of you and me being happy. I want you to not have done this.
Dad: I can’t change it Mary Lynn. I do love you and I expressed it in a way that was damaging to you. You were my favorite.
Me: No I wasn’t your favorite. You never treated me that way. Why not? Why did you hide that from mother?
Dad: I didn’t hide it from her. She just didn’t see it. I couldn’t let her see what was going on.
Me: She knew. She had to know. Mothers know. I was her sacrificial lamb. She let you hurt me so she could protect my sister.
Me: I remember clearly when mother had to go the hospital to give birth to her. You came home and that night you had me climb into your bed with you. I was 3 years old. Then remember taking a shower with you the next morning. Daddy’s special little girl.
Dad: I had been drinking and you were scared.
Me: You wrapped your naked body around me. You slipped your hand under my nighty. Now I know why mother would not allow me to wear underwear to be at night. She wanted you to have easy access.
It was all confusing. The next day he would act like it never happened. Eventually, I learned to disappear at night. Then I wouldn’t remember either. He used to call my privates gee-cock. I remember talking about it to someone once when I was real small. He took me to the bedroom and shook me so hard for saying that. I remember him hurting me and telling me never to say those words to anyone again – that was our secret.
Me: You used to tell me that if mother went away or died, it would be my fault. Another control tactic. It worked. I still feel responsible for the world today. Good job, Dad!
I am feeling really angry. I thought the anger was gone. I thought this was all gone. It isn’t. This has got to be the last step for me. Perhaps talking it out with him will help, although I didn’t realize any of this was still an issue. I really want to get on a different track, but I’ve waited all my life to talk with him. I am fully present, not dissociated and not trying to pretend all is well.
Me: I always had to be so strong. I could never just be a kid. I had to pretend I was okay. I had to protect every one. I had to be so strong and I didn’t want to be. I wanted to be taken care of and protected and I had to be so strong. You wouldn’t allow tears and made fun of me if I cried. I am crying now. You want to make fun of me now?
Me: I don’t know what was worse: the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, the emotional abuse or the verbal abuse. I wanted to feel safe and you took that from me and you would hurt me.
Dad: I was cruel to you and there is no excuse. The cruelty was more about me than it was about you.
Me: It wasn’t just you. It was the whole family. You all would point at me and sing “fatty, fatty two by four can’t get through the bathroom door”. I would scream at all of you to stop and you laughed and kept it up and kept it up and I ran to my bedroom and hid. I felt scared and humiliated. Why did you do that?
Dad: I don’t really know. We just did. Maybe we thought we were helping you. It didn’t. Maybe we all felt unified against you. Maybe subconsciously I had to strip you of any self-worth to keep you loyal to me and not tell.
I remember that song so much in my head and how ashamed I felt. I wasn’t that fat but not that skinny. The parents would start in and the kids would follow. It was so hurtful and they thought it was so funny. They didn’t take into consideration how that affected me at all. I felt crazy and it was crazy making.
Me: Yea. Stripping me of my self-worth worked. Still struggle with it today.
I am so cold. It is 80 degrees in here and I have chills. I am wrapped up in a sweater and finding it difficult to breathe. It is the remembering and the pain and the isolation and the loneliness all wrapped up in one. It is speaking to him out loud which I never did before. My body hurts, my soul feels barren and I am alone. Again alone. Where are the arms to hold me and wipe away my tears. I am left here with barrenness.
I am crying – not something I do much. I am a fighter and anger is so much more comfortable for me. I feel vulnerable and don’t want him to see it yet I am so tired of hiding and fighting. I am so tired of pretending and lying. I want to keep talking but it is hard. It would be so much easier emotionally to move away from this. I love myself too much to do that anymore. I deserve to speak and be heard. I am the voice for all of me.
Me: Do you remember that night at the dinner table and I disrespected you? I sarcastically told you no and didn’t add sir to it. Do you remember what you did?
Dad: Yes. I reached in and stuffed your throat and mouth full of cole slaw.
Me: You did. I couldn’t believe you would do that and I spit it out. You all laughed at me and thought it was funny. It wasn’t funny. It was humiliating and abusive.
Dad: Yes it was. We shouldn’t have laughed.
Me: Really you shouldn’t have laughed? You shouldn’t have stuffed food down my throat!!! I hated meal time at our house. I was always getting yelled at and made fun of all the time. Nothing ever seemed right.
Dad: I wish I had done it differently.
Me: sitting around a table and eating is hard for me. I can do it but I am always so relieved when it is done.
Sitting still is hard for me. Hard because of never knowing when the next shoe to fall would come and even what it is. I always had to outthink them so I was prepared. Always an edge of paranoia, but necessary to survive. God forbid if I weren’t prepared. Better to know what is coming then to be surprised. I am still that way. I can handle anything if I know what it is that I am handling.
Me: Remember those “family” meetings we had. The sole purpose was for the family to tell me what was wrong with me. I guess you thought that would be good for me so I could change. It didn’t work. I went away in my mind because it was so humiliating and not fun.
Dad: Yes I remember those meetings. I wanted to give you an opportunity to hear what others were thinking about you so you could change your behavior.
Me: My skin is beginning to itch. I itch all over. Hives. I used to get hives a lot. Doctors could never figure out why. It was caused by the stress I was under and no one knew how to help me.
I remember the red welts on my body and the itching. Allergy tests were inconclusive. I would get them a lot and always when mother would go away and take my little sister with her and leave me with my dad.
Me: You told me I was your wife, but it was our little secret.
Dad nods his head.
Me: I felt special. You had me take care of you.
I am feeling so tired. This work tires me and takes my energy. It is still early evening. Bed is a long time away. I am sensing compassion from my father. That is odd. He knows how hard this is for me. Is it possible that he truly is sorry for causing me so much pain?
Me: You didn’t have to hurt me. I would have done anything for you. I always felt bad for you.
Dad: It wasn’t about you doing for me it was about my having power over you and taking it all from you.
Dad: Because it was as it should be.
Me: I am tired and really just want a straight answer from you.
Me: I was so afraid of you. Your voice was so loud and threatening. I was afraid of your touch. Even now just remembering I feel the hair on the back of my neck and sick to my stomach.
Dad: I wanted you to be afraid of me. It was easier to control you that way.
I want cookies to eat. Cookies to make me feel better. Maybe go out for ice cream. Get away from this and eat and comfort myself. I am in need of comfort. I feel so comfortless. Alone and scared. Food to make it better. I know it won’t last and there has to be more food and more food. It is time to comfort myself. I probably shouldn’t drive. Felling disconnected and now remembering
Me: You threatened to drive both of us off the bridge. You pretended to do that and I screamed and you would laugh. You told me you would stop the car and throw me over the bridge and I was terrified. I still am scared to drive over bridges or high places. You were so cruel.
Dad: That is a true statement. I wanted you scared and wanted you to know I had the power to take your life if I wanted to. I wanted you never to talk. I wanted people to believe you were crazy.
Me: You did your job well. I was terrified of you. I dissociated and other parts of me managed life. I still don’t want to tell. Still afraid of what might happen to other people. I was scared to death. Remember my face looking at you with fear. I see it now as we talk. I see you smiling and once again we made it across the bridge without incident.
I have such a headache again. I hear a voice inside of me to stop and make it go away. It is the last thing we need right now. Right now I have to push forward knowing that talking is important for our freedom = feeling the pain as me. Taking it from the lost soul within. I am so tired.
Me: When mother would go away, I was so scared that she would never come back. You had me that frightened that I was responsible for her life. She would go and leave me and I would sob in the back seat of the car on the way home from the airport. You weren’t mean to me then. We’d get home and you would have me get ready for bed and brought me into your room. You would hold me close to you and just for a moment I wanted to feel safe. There you were naked and you brought me close to you and rubbed yourself against me. I would just lie there pretending not to notice. Not saying a word. I was covered in hives.
Dad: I really did feel sad for you.
Me: Did her leaving and my response remind you of when your mother died?
Dad: I didn’t think about it then, but now I can say yes. I remembered how much pain I had when she went to the hospital and then died. I felt abandoned and alone and that is what you were feeling. I really wanted to comfort you, but it couldn’t be just comfort. I couldn’t give that to you so I hurt you instead. No one ever gave it to me and I didn’t know how to do it for someone else. I know that sounds like a cop out to you, but it is the truth.
Me: Sadly it is probably the truth convoluted as it must be. I am tired. This is a painful journey for me. I never wanted nor expected to deal with this again, but you are here and it is an opportunity to talk to you about it all.
Dad: I am glad it is coming up. When we have the truth out there and we have talked then we can move on. You can’t live an illusion of well being when you are not.
Me: It wasn’t an illusion. I had come a long ways and just accepted this is my life. I understood my limitations and was willing to choose to move past them.
Dad: For you, this is the process for you moving on. We have much to deal with it. It isn’t over
Me: I don’t know if I can talk about it. It hurts so much to think about.
Dad: How much more can it hurt than anything else has hurt.
Me: Because I haven’t really worked through this and feels so raw to me and you are the last person I want to process it with.
Dad: I am the best person for you to process it with.
Me: I am not ready it. I want more time. There are other things I want to talk about.