Just to let you know, I do not celebrate Lent. I do respect the principle of the observance as well as those who do celebrate Lent. I do celebrate Easter as a sacred Holy Day as well as the fun of the season. This is the time of year where life begins anew. When we can give up the negative things in our lives and refocus on our true purpose.
Preparing For My Journey
As I begin my journey of personal healing and renewal I have to write down the traumatic events that have caused me such pain. This has been challenging, painful and exhausting. After writing the memory I am required to ask myself the following questions:
- What precipitated the memory?
- How disturbing is in now?
- What is the primary emotion now?
- Where do I physically carry the emotion?
- What negative thought(s) about myself result from this experience?
I don’t always answer all the questions, but I do my best. The biggest challenge is defining what precipitated the memory. Most times I cannot say. There are a couple of things that happened that really hit me hard and they were easy to identify. Most times it seems like a random thought that was plucked out of my subconscious with no identifier attached.
Fear and Trepidation
I have spent 16 years trying to be so busy that it would all just go away. In the beginning I couldn’t deal with these events because they were too painful and I was in no position to do so. Then I just didn’t want to. It is overwhelming. I am painfully ashamed of many of the things that happened even though they were the result of other people’s actions.
I am scared that this journey back through the darkness is more than I can handle. It has killed me once and came close several other times. I know it has to be done if I am to move forward and so I take the first step hoping that I am brave enough and strong enough to take the next.
Guilt and Shame
I was unable to protect my children from the heart ache, emotional pain and fear cause by this trauma. I put myself between them and what was happening for as long as I could, but eventually I could no longer do so. I was forced to watch my young children face the full force of the storm knowing that they would be forever scarred. The guilt and shame felt by a parent who is unable to protect their child from harm is overwhelming.
Anger and Retribution
When the harm is done to your children is by someone who loves them and should have known better anger boils up from the depths of your soul. My “mama bear” instinct went on overdrive. I wanted to make them pay. I wanted them to hurt as much as my children and I hurt. I wanted to destroy them. I wanted retribution.
Loss and Sorrow
Everything was taken from me. I lost my home, my life, my self-respect, and my children. I even lost everything that I owned including furniture, dishes, movies, books, all of it. The hardest things to lose were the heirlooms, jewelry and keepsakes.
The loss of all my things was painful, but the loss of my children all but destroyed me. They were taken illegally. Without due process. Without legal recourse. They were forced to choose between parents. I lost. How do you recover from that? I don’t think you do.
Why I Make The Journey
I do not make this journey for my children. I do not make it for my grandchildren. I make this journey for me. I have spent the last 30 years living for others. Many of which have treated me terribly. I have endured censure, hatred, abandonment, want, and loneliness. I have given all to those I love.
I am making this journey for myself. It is my turn to have a life. It is my turn to be free of the past and do those things I have been waiting to do someday.
I feel that this is an appropriate time of year to begin this journey. A time of introspection, renewal and healing. While I am frightened, I know that there are those who love me and that God will walk with me through this darkness. It is my turn. This is for me.