Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, and forgiveness

Caution: This post does not start out as a positive one, it contains details of my childhood. Please feel free to not read it, and move on.

Last Friday was one of the those days, the kind where you would just as soon crawl under the covers and sleep a day or two to forget. I wrote of Lighting a Candle, and of saving a life. That day my own past wrapped it's cold fingers around my neck, and I couldn't stop it. Once I see something like that site, it never fails. All day memories, in every shade of sadness, plagued me. I tried to release them buy writing a positive post, but they refused to go.

Memories of my birth father (not the man I loved so dear as my real father, my step-dad)... and yes, memories of my older brother. Though he never actually followed through physically, the intent was there. He came close to ruining me several times, the way that my father did.

I have struggled with the memories for a long time, but as an early teen, I told my parents what he had done and had almost done to me. My mother (whom is a victim of incest by her father also) immediately took his side and called me a liar. i was forced to apologize to him, but I refused. My brother sat there and watched as my mother tried to beat me into submission, but I still refused. Eventually she grew tired and left me there, cowering beside our washing machine... and after a few weeks it was forgotten and never spoken of again.

A little added history...A year or two later, I would finally tell my mother- in a moment I had thought to be an honest and open one- that I had something horrible in common with her. I finally told her after 11-12 years of living with the deep, dark secret that I had suffered by the hands of my own father. We cried together, and clung to each other...Despite having been mentally and physically abused by my mentally ill mother for years, I had thought that that single moment would bind us together. She finally felt love and compassion for me. It took every fiber of my being to admit that secret to her. But that memory would soon be tainted with the new one of my family sitting me down and saying they had prayed about it. In their opinion I was sick and needed help, God had told them I was a liar.

Anyway, as far as my brother... Since becoming an adult, probably in my early twenties- I realized that my brother had probably been sexually abused. My mother's father, her grandfather, or my father could be to blame. He had all the classic signs and symptoms. In a way I understood it and tried my best to forgive him, and on some days, just overlook it.

We will never know, because he refuses to get help for himself, and refuses to talk about the past. My brother has never apologized to me, had never even acknowledged any of it. He saw me battered and bruised as a child because he couldn't admit it.

To this day, it remains a huge cinder block wall between us, and stumbling block to me. He would rather have that wall then to actually have a relationship with me. We talk maybe once a year, it's been that way for a long time. I get it, and I have come to terms with the fact that our relationship score will always be in the negative (You Sims players will know what i am talking about). OK, I have come to terms with that. And just when I start to feel OK with the fact that i will never have a relationship with him because of that wall... and each time my birthday passes without word from him... Two weeks later he calls and craps all over my progress.

I want to move on! I don't want a relationship with him anymore, it's too painful. I wish he would just leave me alone. I start to forgive him, and enjoy the absence of a relationship (and the absence of his resentment, anger, and sabotage), then BINGO! He is calling me and leaving a cryptic and gloomy message on my machine.

So to sum it up, Friday I signed a petition to stop Internet child abuse,had my past haunt me, then had one of those people from my haunting past call me and leave yet another cryptic message, saying how he was sorry for missing my birthday. AGAIN.

Oh yes, then I have my MIL telling me I have to cheer up.

It is still affecting me a little today, so I thought I would work it out for myself in the form of prose (again)- such as it is.
I have to forgive him, for me. I have to let it go. I don't want him in my life, but I can at least forgive.

The book of our past is stained and worn,
The letters smudged, unreadable.
Pages tattered and torn.

Though I haven't read the book in years,
It sits disintegrating on my shelves.
My eyes burn, but no tears.

The subject matter, I want to forget.
And with each passing day
comes sadness and regret.

Why wont you let me be, let me go?
You can't let me live in peace,
it's something you don't know.

This crackled book is bound with shame.
It's dull cover made with sorrow.
You're the Author, you're to blame.

I will burn this dreaded book in effigy.
Let the Flames destroy, devour
The past of you and me.

Curled edges burn, then turn to fly
It's end a sweet embrace,
My heart gives it's goodbye.

I am reborn in the glowing comfort of the flame.
I will write a new book,
This time it will bear my name.


Holly said...

Wow Mert what an incredible post. And incredible timing as my Sunday lesson with my class of 7 year olds yesterday was on forgiveness! I'm so sorry for your past and your hurt but so proud of you for your strength and not letting it control you. No matter where we've been we all have the power to decide where we're going. Thanks for sharing with everyone how powerful recognizing that decision truly is.

Holly's Corner

Stephanie said...

You are an incredibly brave woman to post your story. Good for you.

Tracie said...

May I just say that I am a poetry dunce. Yes, it is true. Generally I just don't get it.....I think that I am supposed to find deep meaning-but it never comes.

But......what you wrote touched me deeply. I understood it....I felt was powerful.

I have had that on and off relationship with my dad. It is hard-for me it has been almost a year since we have spoken, but he still tries to send me messages through other people sometimes-or wellmeaning people (who don't know the situation) will ask about him and it never ceases to put me in a funk. (to say the least) It is like something that is always there in the back of my mind just waiting for a chance to show itself and get involved in my life again.

Anyway......enough about me!! :)
Thank you for being so open adn honest with your feelings and your life. Your poetry touched my heart.

kailani said...

I knew from your previous posts that you had a rough childhood. I just didn't know how bad it was!

It's easy for people to tell you what you should do if they haven't gone through it themselves. Only you know what's right for you. If you choose to move on without them in your life, it's totally understandable.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mert said...

Holly, want to know something funny? I read your post Teaching Truths, and this hit me : You do teach others how to treat you. And you are green as long as you’re growing.

I have been letting my brother treat me porly for a long time. I have to forgive him, but I don't have to let him hurt me anymore. After I read your post, I wondered to myself if I am really still green or have I started to ripen a bit. :O) Believe it or not, i wrote my post right after reading yours.:O)

Stephanie, thanks for your kind words. I am hoping that by being real, I might help someone else along the way.

Tracie, I wouldn't have had the the inkling to even braoch this if I hadn't seen the link to Light A Candle on your site. Going there made me go to a place that I try to keep locked and barracaded in my mind. Something good came of it, though. I especially hope that more people sign the petition, and that something good comes of that, too. So... thank you for sharing your life too. I am glad that my peotry meant something to you.

Kailani, buddy... what can I say that I haven't said before? Your words are always a comfort to me, I Thank you. :O)

Mert said...

Gah, must find the Typo Fairy and kick her little fairy butt, LOL!

Oh, alright...My brain thinks slower than I type, I think. ;O)