Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Year can be an Eternity

I wrote this email to my lover almost a year ago to the date from getting a quasi-confession from dear old dad.  He pointed his crooked, disjointed finger at me and said, "I went into her. I put it in her. And she was my favorite." My father doesn't speak many sentences anymore. He doesn't often recognize me more than just knowing that he loved me once.  Sometimes he knows I am his daughter or he pretends to know. It's difficult to tell what is going on his mind - it's not easy. Did he know it was me when he said what he said - me - his daughter? Or did he think I was one of his many lovers - but maybe I was both, daughter and lover. Uck...
I can't really get my head around this one. Dr. B tells me to only think about it when I can embody the emotions.  I told her that when I heard those word dribble out of my father's mouth, I felt as though I had gotten suckered punched in the gut and almost instantly I left. I felt myself disembody and leave. For a moment I thought I was going to faint and then I was okay and we continued on our walk. As I write this now, I struggle to stay attached -- there is a feeling of flight in my head.  Stay...

So, here's what I wrote a year ago on my father's birthday:

I awoke thinking about sexual abuse. My sister called me last night and she mentioned to me that it is our father's birthday this week. I started to wonder what would make a father sexually abuse his daughter. What would make my father sexually abuse me? He's an intelligent, educated man -- he knows better. But that's why it's a secret -- he does know better. And why would he want to hurt me and debase me? I mean I was his loving, devoted daughter. I admired my father. I clearly loved him. He took my love and hurt me, devastated me, destroyed me. A little girl who looks to her father with trust and hope and he crushes her.

Why would a man want to do that to his own flesh and blood? He created me. Without him I wouldn't exist. I carry his genes. It sickens me and I'm not even certain if this is what it is but still the idea, the probability that is real, is almost impossible to imagine. Not to me. Not to me. Why would he do this to me, his daughter? And then he tossed me aside. He was finished with me. I wonder if he ever felt guilty. I'm certain he did. He couldn't look at me anymore. He pretended I didn't exist. I became invisible.

I thought about sending a birthday card -- I never have - maybe when I was really little I made him one. I don't remember. I don't know if he remembers who I am now. I thought maybe he would read the card and ask his wife, now, who is this person? And she would tell him that I was his oldest daughter. Maybe he would cry because there would be a spark of memory in his alzheimer-riddled mind that flashes back to the awful things I image he did to me. Maybe he would just say, oh, she sounds like a lovely person. And that would be it. A lovely person who is learning to overcome the pain he dumped on me. Only he won't ever know what a miserable wretched path he set me off on. He won't ever know the hardships I had to overcome. He won't ever know the pain he's caused my children. He won't ever know the pain he's caused you.

And if it isn't my father and it happens to be a relative or friend of the families, then why didn't he protect me? Is that why he got angry at me -- because someone else defiled his precious little girl? Did he know and toss me aside because he blamed me -- a child? Was I an eight year old seductress? I don't think so.

I remember the smell of my father. It made me want to vomit. He reeked of alcohol and garlic. He reeked of disgusting male, alcohol-permeated sweat. He would snot and spit in the bathroom and I would dry heave hearing him. His smell would stay behind in every room he passed through. I don't know how my mother slept with him on those nights when he was soaked in gin and tonic...when he drove his car into the front steps in a drunken stupor or drove his car off the bridge.

I think I have said enough.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What I learned in the last 12 months

Oh, it's a doozie.  I am left with that anxious knot in my solar plexus.  The same knot that I comfort with sugary and fatty foods because ironically it feels like hunger.  It helps to keep me plump and plumper still. I'm going to indulge my knot with a mug of decaf cafe momentarily. I took myself for a walk with the pup early this morning while the sun was just rising. It was peaceful.

Let me see if I can enumerate in short concise thoughts what I discovered: 
  1. My mother confessed a family secret involving incest
  2. My numerous illness are related to my own trauma
  3. My ex-husband beat me
  4. There is a history of chronic abuse (physical, sexual), violence, mental illness on both sides of the family for generations
  5.  I passed my legacy of trauma & abuse on to all three of my children (proof positive)
  6. My father confessed to sexual abuse (of me!)
  7. Cruelty, sarcasm, denial, detachment ran rampant in my family
  8. All of this uncovering has made the LOML angry and upset and helpless and frustrated and sick
No wonder she suffers with anxiety. Therapy can't work quickly enough and unfortunately, it doesn't work quickly at all.