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Here I Sit

August 8, 2009

I woke up this morning dreaming of my father. He was objecting to my name change and saying something about my not having the right to change it. The details are fuzzy. I can’t remember what I was dreaming before that…but I think it, too, was either about him or about both of my parents. But I’m really not sure.

I would be willing to bet that this is being stirred up somewhat by that movie I watched recently.  I shared some of how the movie impacted me in the previous post Searching For Angela Shelton. It really got me thinking about my own father and I think that contributed to the dreams.

One of the things that struck me in the movie was how well her father lied. They always seem to be able to lie so smoothly. I remember that Angela asked her father if he had blocked it out. Of course, if he had…how would he know? But I really get the question, though.

When I met with my parents and my lay counselor to talk about the incest part of my abuse, I remember my mother ageeing that something had definitely happened…if only they knew who it was. My father said that he did not remember doing any of those things.  Man…even now it is SO hard to write about this. It is as if my mind wants to run anywhere but there. And I want to cry…or shut down…or something.

He did not remember doing any of those things. I remember the words hit me at the time. I did not say anything about it…but I asked the counselor afterward. She wondered if I had caught that. We talked about how a falsely accused father would react…or at least how we think he would. There would be shock…of course. I did not see any then…nor do I remember hearing any in his voice after he got my initial letter…the one that led to the meeting.

There would be concern. Why was I thinking these things? What I got was accusations against my counselor. She must have suggested the abuse. She pointed out to him that I had memories BEFORE I came to her. I went to her because of the memories I had. I did not take any psychotropic drugs and I was not hypnotized. In short order, the memories were pretty much spontaneous during a prayer session I had with a pastor. That prayer session had nothing to do with memories.

In the weeks that ensued, my father collected everything he could find on the so called False Memory Syndrome. Since I did not regain my memories through any non-spontaneous ways, his next assumption was that they had come from the pit of hell. Satan, himself, had obviously planted them in an effort to tear our famly apart. What a laugh…seeing as how my family was not close anyway. My sister was in hiding…literally, although they knew where she was. Sadly, she ran away to another cult family…but that is another story.

I did bring up a current (then) way that he was violating my boundaries. He actually admitted to it and my mother was floored. He admitted that he knew I was uncomfortable, so she asked him why he did not stop. He said that I was old enough to say something. She pointed out that my actions were saying something. She actually got angry that he had ignored my actions, refusing to stop unless I verbally said something. Her anger diffused rather quickly, though. For at least a few moments I had her actually defending me…sort of.

Verbally asking him to stop…what a joke! I was programmed to silence. Never speak. Never open up. Never share. Never reveal to anyone else but do reveal all to the parents.  I was programmed to tell them everything they wanted to know, while never revealing anything to anyone else. He knew I could never say “no” to him…on anything. He took advantage of me…even as an adult.

When Angela whispered “you lie” to her father while sitting next to him…I remember thinking how brave she was to say that to him. I also remember his words.  They were something along the lines of “Now I’m only going to say this once more…and then I am not going to say it again…I didn’t do it.” It was as if the finality of his “not going to say it again” was supposed to somehow make it official that he was innocent of these crimes. Bah!

I also love the way he repeatedly says things like “may heaven strike me…or take me now” or things along those lines. Yeah, right…like that is ever likely to happen. I mean…come on…how safe of a statement. You would have an awful lot of people getting struck if it worked that way. Nothing like a safe swearing of innocence.

I have wondered many times if my father truly does not remember. Even if he doesn’t…even if he has blocked it out somehow…there is enough other stuff about him that scares me…which makes me wonder…why on earth have I initiated email contact with my parents? Well…I have my reasons for that and it is the subject for some other post at some other time.

Way to go, Angela. Our stories are different…yet, they are not. Incest is a part of ritual abuse. Sadly, there is a whole lot of other stuff beyond the incest. But bravery…well, it comes in all shapes and sizes. I will celebrate wherever I can find it. I know the source of my bravery is Yahweh…plain and simple. I could not do life without having that heart connection with my Creator…just could not do it.

Bravery. I think you, Angela Shelton, are very brave…along with all the other Angela Sheltons you met. So many brave women. What a celebration of bravery that movie is.  How comforting it is to see other women pushing through…and finding victory and peace…and truth!

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2 comments

  1. It’s as if you wrote my story for me; it is shockingly close to the experience I had with my parents when I came forward almost 2 years ago. My father’s words were,” I do not recollect.” Again, my mother’s shock and alleged horrification. Her comment to me was,” I asked you when you were 16 if he had been doing anything to you and you denied it.” Yeah, right; like i was going to say anything? What and then get killed; like my brother almost did when he was about 3 yrs old and my Dad had him in chokehold against the kitchen wall?! I can still see the pattern of the walllpaper. I was about 6 yrs old and I believe that is when my brain decided to shut down and shut up or else I would die.
    I am almost 43 yrs old and began my journey of truth over 2 yrs ago. It has been difficult; heartwrenching. I have lost many family members and friends, but I have no choice. I can no longer live in the darkness. I am becoming more of a witness to my fear and with that awareness I am able to become stronger and braver; have more patience, less walls. Thanks so much for having teh courage to share your story; it helped bring a voice to mine.

    With gratitude,
    Corinne


  2. Corinne,
    You are one of the reasons I share online. I want others to know that they are not alone. It is horrifying to know that something happened and to have it denied. I pray that you can find comfort and healing. It can be a hard, long journey…but one well worth it.



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