A Conversation with my 14 Year Old Self

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A Conversation with my 14 Year-Old Self

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

I’ve got good news and bad news for you kiddo.  Pimples aren’t forever is the good news.  Tough times will continue but the abuse will end.  You will cut the ties with your awful parents. The other good news is that you get to have a great kid.  Just the one, but he’s enough.  That’s right — a son.  He is funny and smart and loving and you have all kinds of joys raising him.  Your husband?  Oh… well…you’ve had two so far.  You’re not exactly lucky in love.  Sorry about that.  But you have good friends — some you even know right now!  No, I’m not telling who, I want it to be a surprise.  Your sister and you are still close and she has a daughter who grows up to be a published poet.  Yeah, really.  You? You become a reading tutor and also teach in preschools.  You adore children and love your work.  All that playing school years ago becomes your passion.  When do the pimples go away?  Ha!  – in a couple of years.  But you get to have some nice boyfriends with pimples so its okay.  No, you don’t marry any of your junior high or high-school sweethearts.  No, you never date Jimmy B. who you roped and kissed in kindergarten.  You are boy-crazy, aren’t you?

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Phoenix Rising

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A phoenix rises from the ashes born again.  I always find the phoenix to be a hopeful symbol.  The hope that survivors of abuse can rise from the ashes of their past and live new vibrant lives.  To not just survive but to thrive.  

Children: To Hit or Not to Hit? (spoiler: NOT!)

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Hitting children is abusive.  It is taking advantage of adult power over children and should not be tolerated in our society. Please read this thought-provoking blog.

Barking Back

The text in this image can be found at the bottom of the post. Children Learn What They Live poem by Dorothy Law Nolte from http://www.docstoc.com/docs/158159649/Children-Learn-What-They-Live

Another facebook friend is advocating hitting children. In the wake of another local bullying incident, my news feed is once again spattered with variations on the meme of “If there was more of THIS {image of a child being spanked}, there’d be less of THIS {image of young criminals*}.”

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Favorite Childhood Books

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One of my favorites was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  This was in the late 60’s before it became so popular or was made into movies.   I remember first finding it in my grade school library.  I would peruse shelves of books, just looking at titles and covers one by one. Suddenly, I stopped.  I saw a picture of a dwarf holding a flask (older copy of book).  Hmmm.. this looks interesting…I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up as my excitement built.   I took hold of the book feeling it’s promise in my hands.   I think this is the best way to find a book — to feel it calling you.  And to find it on your own — not on a best seller list, or as a present. It seems more personal, as if it is a secret shared between you and the author.

I’d like to hear about other people’s favorite childhood books, so please write in the comment box if you feel like sharing.

Shadows of Betrayal (Part 8)

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This will probably be the hardest post I’ll ever write. Its about my father.  My father whom I loved and trusted.  The voice in the attic had been warning me, preparing me. “Good daddies don’t do that” it had said.  Then the flashbacks started.  First it was just my father walking into my darkened bedroom wearing his untied rubber-soled shoes.  The sliding and clumping sounds they made were ominous.  The next flashbacks  were of him saying my pet name in the dark “Sander, Sander” as if to see if I was awake. But I wasn’t yet ready for more memories to surface.  I wasn’t even telling my therapist about my visits to the attic or the strange flash backs.  In the midst of this, I continued writing in my journal.  This had become strange.  Often I would access memories from the rapes when I would sit down to write and of the remarks they would say to me before and after raping me.  “You should be used to this by now” is one I remember now.  I cannot recall more now and I certainly won’t try.                                I hesitate to keep typing.  I’ll just take it one sentence at a time.  I need to tell, if only for the reason that more children will be believed…if you believe me.  I sat in a cranberry-colored velveteen recliner that afternoon.  It had become my safe place.  The pressure had been building within me for the past hour.  This pressure that was relieved by my writing in my growing number of notebooks. I picked up my pen and book and found the next clean pages.   I began writing, the words flowing out onto the page without any preceding thoughts.  It was almost as if I was taking dictation.  “It won’t be like it was with those boys”.  It was my father’s voice.  “They were bad and rough.  I will be gentle. You’ll be daddy’s special girl.  It’ll be our secret though.”  Suddenly, I threw the book from my lap and came out of this seemingly hypnotic state that was like a trance.  I became aware of my breathing and the sound of the cicadas outside the window.  I looked around me as if surprised at my surroundings and seeing them for the first time.  The hard wood floors reflecting the sunlight, the electric piano against the wall, the bookcase at my elbow all stood out in sharp relief as if I could feel them without touching them. I was relieved to be there.  The clock chimed three times.   It was nearly time to walk to the bus stop and pick up my son.  I took a deep breath and stiffly got up out of the chair.  For now, it was time to return to the present.