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
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.
Oh, how I loved Mr. Rogers. He was trustworthy, kind and gentle. What a lovely man. Watch a video from the tag above and see if you can keep from crying.
Okay, so I am not yet the poster child for mental health. But I and my therapist have slayed a few of my inner dragons during my oh-so-many years of therapy. I used to feel dirty to put it mildly. Being around my therapist made me feel ashamed because I felt so disgusting. I didn’t understand how he could be in the same room as me. He seemed so clean and lovely while I was something hideous. I would cringe from my shame. But now, I feel clean too. That was a huge dragon.
I used to feel that the abuse was somehow my fault. The guilt was toxic. Now that’s no longer an issue. They did wrong, I was just a child. And not just a child — but a lovely, beautiful good child. Another dragon slain.
I need to remember these battles fought and won as I grow weary from my latest battles. I am in a difficult place right now. I am surrounded by fears. Fears of leaving the house, fears of the future, and fear that I will get no better and never be released from depression and anxiety. But these are just new dragons. Dragons do not go down in battle easily or even in one battle.
And so, I will take up the sword of hope. I will remember won battles. And dragons lying in smoldering heaps.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Imaginary Friend.”
My imaginary friend refused to grow up. She is still five years old. She is still trying to have the childhood she never had. Severely abused, but safe now, she wants a life of bright colors and laughter. Tears of relief are okay too. Her name is simply Little One. She plays with her own dolls that are no longer taken from her. They have tea parties with sugared tea and many smiles. Watercolors, her own watercolors, are taped upon every wall. These pictures that she has painted of her dolls, stuffed animals and her new Mom adorn the room. I am her Mom and I love Little One with all my heart. I do my best to try to make up for her years of sadness and hurt. She is sad less and less and even dances sometimes. Can you see her spinning about with her dress twirling as she laughs?
Her imaginary room has a bay window with long, soft curtains that move in the breeze from the open window. Sitting there, Little One basks in the feeling of being safe. Safe to be. Safe to be little.
Image from Bing
Source: Things that make us happy…
I thought this an important post for sufferers of PTSD since bad memories often plague us. To challenge ourselves to have a cache of good memories and sweet moments too would be healing and helpful. One memory that comes to my mind is a few hours spent at a quiet beach with my adult son sitting on the warm sand just soaking up the bright sun, listening to the waves pulsing, and collecting small shells. I am going through tough times right now and feel that my life is just awful. But my life is not just about now, or the parts of the past that were terrible. It has included good times too. Even great times. That time at the beach was less than a year ago. I am going to find a pretty tin or handsome box and then write about wonderful times on slips of paper and put them inside. My story is about more than abuse, more than trauma. I just need some help remembering that. I hope you have many sweet times to put in your memory box should you decide to keep one too.
Please click on the above site for more ideas to uplift your life.
Image from Bing