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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How quickly we forget

I'm now in my third week of feeling that my life is normal once again. I read some of what I posted on my super-secret blog (which basically consists of me screaming because I felt like I was losing my mind), and I wonder why I felt that way. I can't imagine me as the insecure, clinging, weak idiot who wrote those words--but I know I was. Part of me is simply mystified that I could ever feel such needs, be so weak, worry that someone might not love me. Part of me understands that many of those feelings and impulses are left over from when I was a pre-teen, and I pushed them aside so that I could cope with the unusual situations in which I found myself. Now that I'm older, stronger, and my support system is much better, I believe I allowed myself to finally work through those feelings.

I suppose, in my heart, I still ache a little because the "situations" happened in the first place. There is a part of me that fights against complete acceptance--a part that says it wasn't right or fair in any sense of those words, and that I deserved better, not because I'm special, but simply because children should not have to deal with rape and abuse--ever. I will believe that until I die.

But there is also a sense of calm that tells me I'm okay. I don't have to accept all of it. It shouldn't have happened. But I can mourn the acts and continue forward. I spoke with a friend at the outset of my decision to seek counseling a couple of years ago. She said she had experienced some abuse in her life and that she felt completely healed. There were no scars. For a long time, I hoped that would be my outcome. At this point I have to acknowledge that her experience was not mine--and I may never feel, as she does today, that it is as if it never happened. As I would never wish others to compare their experiences with mine for the purpose of progress or judgment, neither should I compare my experiences with others. My life is my own.

If you have followed my writing for the past couple of years, I hope you have recognized that when I was weak, I was simply tired. It's exhausting to feel emotions that have been simmering for many years. It's daunting to recognize that one's past really was frightening and horrible. It's miserable to have to live through the reality, and then repeatedly flash back through the memories, years later. I'm not sure I was ready for all the nastiness I encountered. I am so grateful I did not have to walk alone as I worked through everything.

If there have been times when I seemed disappointed or discouraged at trivialities--when I gave in to coping habits that did not help me--when I wasn't brave or strong or courageous, I hope anyone who loves me will understand that this is who I am. I'm human. I'm often overwhelmed by things I don't understand, I have never been brave, there will always be times when my choices are not the best.

I am also one who seeks out beauty. I always have. I'm entranced by the color of a flower, the majestic strength of a thunderstorm, the smell of something wonderful baking, ice crystals in the air... but more than that, I am often speechless as I consider the beauty and strength I find in my spouse, children, and wonderful friends. To see inside--to really know someone--to feel humbled because they have allowed me to come close enough to look--that is true beauty.

After all is said and done, when I have forgotten the pain of experience and memory, there will still be beauty, and, with luck, love for me.


  1. You are wonderful, Sam. And you are loved.

  2. This was beautiful, Sam. I'm really happy for you.