Sisters

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A friend of mine just brought it to my attention that I more often than not call my sister “Sister” rather than using her name.  Perhaps it is because I cherish our sisterhood and the return to being close again.  My mother was not a mother; nor my father a father.  But my sister was very much a sister —  a confidant, a companion, a friend.  We were estranged for a number of years.  We were mad at each other for good reasons.  But the anger finally dissipated, leaving in it’s wake only the feelings of loss.  We were ready to reconcile.  Love won out.  How often does that happen?  Not often enough.  Now, I can have all the memories of she and I together without the sadness.  Oh, things aren’t  perfect.  She rarely lets me get a word in edgewise during our phone conversations.  But, now I am just glad to hear her voice after missing it during our years of estrangement. And so,  I write her letters about me and my life so I can feel heard and known.  I am sure she is accepting some foible of mine too.  There has been much loss in my life in recent years: my husband’s passing , the loss of our home and some of my sanity.  But, this Christmas, I can celebrate getting back something that was lost to me — my sister.  Maybe, there is a god, and maybe this was a miracle. I don’t know.  But it is definitely a blessing.   And I am grateful.

 

TRAUMA & RESTORING FAITH

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This post by a new blog that I am following really says where I am at right now in my faith.  Perhaps others can relate to this too.

Still Beloved

“Faith is not a belief. Faith is what is left when your beliefs have all been blown to hell.”
~ Ram Dass

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All who have survived trauma know well the feeling of the broken spirit. The loss of faith that comes with having your belief system ripped out from under you.

How can trauma survivors come to a place of restoring our faith? Our faith has been built over time as we live and construct in our minds the things we believe in. Trauma can shatter those beliefs in an instant.

In her amazing book, Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman, M.D. addresses the issue of faith. She states “(Traumatic events…) violate the victim’s faith in a natural or divine order and cast the victim into a state of existential crisis. “

In other words, we begin to question everything we have come to know.

Herman goes on to…

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Truth Serum for My Father

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Truth Serum for My Father

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Truth Serum.”

My heart was broken by my father.  My memories about my father had always been wonderful.  He was loving, kind, funny, and gentle.  I would remember how gentle he was when removing splinters from my hands. Although not one for physical affection, the look in his eyes when he looked at me was as good as any hug.  We laughed together often and usually it was at each other and ourselves.  Much time was spent together bicycle riding through the neighborhood and playing badminton in the back yard. Other special times together including art lessons using the John Gnagy Learn to Draw Kit.  Dad would also make his delicious ice cream shakes and sodas for me on hot summer days.  Oh, how I loved and adored my father.

But then, in my thirties, the flashbacks began.  First, they were about the newspaper boy and his friend who had sexually assaulted me repeatedly on my way home alone from school.   Then, they were about my father. How I had finally told him despite their insistence that no one would believe me or else would  blame me.  The attacks by the boys stopped after I told my father.  But, the flashbacks were not done.  They continued. Now, I would climb the stairs into the attic when I would feel myself having that strange trance feeling that would precede the flashbacks. And then I saw the unthinkable.  My father had sexually abused me.  And threatened me into silence.  My sweet, wonderful father was a part-time monster.  I fought so hard to not believe these flashbacks.  How could the man who so gently removed my splinters defile me? My father loved me, how could this be?  After several months of these returning memories I finally confronted my father over the phone.  He not only denied everything, but called me a lying slut.  His voice in that phone call was not that of the good father, but that of the bad, threatening father.  If I had had any doubts they were extinguished now.

We have never spoke or seen each other since.  I have never fully mourned my loss of him.  I have been struggling just to survive and function each day and raise my son.  But I have cried this morning as I have written this.  The prompt for today was “who would you give truth serum to?”  My answer would be to my father.  And its not to get him to admit to the abuse.  I don’t need that.  What I want to ask him is “Are you sorry you abused me?”  and “Do you miss me?”  I want to know that he has remorse.  That all my love was not completely misplaced.  Or, maybe that the love I perceived was not all a lie, but was real.  I know the abuse was real, but what about the love?

A Perfect Afternoon

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A Perfect Afternoon

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singin’ in the Rain.”

The rain has been persistent all day. It’s been dreary inside and out this morning, but I have finished all the chores and it is only one o’ clock.  I turn on the lamp by my overstuffed reading chair now.  It casts light on the window panes behind it. The rain is trickling down them.  A whole afternoon to myself.  Free to do anything I want.  I start by putting a record of Debussy’s music on the stereo. The Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun fills the room that is lined with books. Then,  to the fireplace.  Kneeling down on the hearth, I place a log and some kindling inside.  After opening the damper, I light the kindling and watch the bright flames flicker. My cheeks redden and warm from the heat.  The room has transformed from dreary to cozy. The light from the fire glows in the cut glass of the decanters on an old table.  “What a good idea.” I think and pour myself a sherry.  Grabbing my latest mystery novel, I sink into the chair and sip the sweet wine. Dinah, my tortoise shell cat, pads into the room and throws herself down on the braided rug in front of the fireplace. I sit, well content, and listen to the music.  After the last piece on the album has played, the silence and the sounds of the rain are all I want.  And, I have taken the precaution of taking the phone off the hook.  Neither the cat, nor I, will be disturbed on this fine, rainy afternoon.