A recovering girl in her late 20’s struggles to find the truth about and the tortuous abuse she endured as a child and teenager, and redefine love.
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It took a half-lifetime of addiction, eating disorders, an ambitious self-immersion into intensive psychotherapy and the support of several twelve-step programs to realize how thoroughly shattered I had been from infancy until now…
Today, I saw a mother and toddler, an adorable, terrified little boy, on the train. The boy was in a horrendous fit of rage; screaming as if he was being violated; tortured. The cries pierced my ears: in an instant of recognition, my own voice, my own unheard cries surfaced. Trauma I suffered, under tortuous strain, inflicted on my siblings and I from a very young age by oblivious and blinded parents, all came right into my center. I could feel every part of the anger heard in the boy’s cries.
I studied the mother closely. She offered no love, no comfort or understanding to her little child. She too had anger in her eyes, as if this little human had deserved every bit of the panic and confusion he exhibited – natural human reactions to being a victim of senseless aggression bestowed on a child, by the one person that is to represent all conception of trust and security in a child’s unsure world.
The mother snapped; grabbed the child and shook him like a violently, like a rag doll. I wanted to kill her; beat her with my bare hands. I pictured smacking her in the face, watching her fly to the ground. I remembered that I once had no freedom to imagine such a thing, as this poor child had no ability to defend himself against her cruelty. His screams went to levels intolerable. She snatched him out of his stroller and into her lap. Completely agonized, the boy went from seeking refuge in his mother’s arms to smacking her in the chest. My own anger nearly prompted me to let loose on her and I recognized a tragic truth: his world is shattered.
I spent my whole life denying the severity, the criminality and the consequence of my upbringing, because after all, my parents did love me. But I now know a truth that it took years to admit. I was savagely beaten and tormented nearly everyday of my life and in my case, in the name of God. I was to believe that this was not only acceptable but also deserved somehow. My siblings remain in denial and defense of the crime. My parents dare not say a word. The consequences are insurmountable. I have trudged much of my adulthood through a human hell, trying desperately learn my rights as a human on this earth; to define and find love.
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