May We Dance Upon Their Graves

Incest Survivors, Spirituality and Ceremonies of Justice – the story of a woman living a rich, fulfilling life while waiting to dance on her sociopath father's grave.

Buying the sword to dance on my abusers grave.

Why am I publishing such personal information on the web? My therapist thinks that my process might be of value to others, and I’m proud of defying the silence that supported my abuser and unfortunately still supports the abusers that are raping children today. If incest and rape is taboo to talk about, it reinforces the shame that survivors don’t deserve and helps no-one but the perpetrators.

I’ve spent about 20 years actively healing from being abused by my father, and now he’s dying. I don’t know how fast he’s dying. He’s got cancer, and this is his second bout of it, and he’s old. All of that says to me that he’s dying.

He’s a lifelong smoker and heavy drinker. It’s surprising to me that he hasn’t died yet. I’ve often wondered why the Gods would keep him alive. Surely he deserves to be dead. Now I think it’s because I hadn’t yet prepared for his death. When your mortal enemy dies, it is a rite of passage. When a pagan person’s ancestor dies, they normally become part of their community of dead, to be venerated and remembered yearly at Samhain. My father needs to have this right formally revoked. I have disowned him in life, and this ceremony will disown him in death. I am asking my grandmothers and maternal grandfather, who are all dead, to assist me in making this happen.

This past weekend I bought a sword to dance over. The sword will represent my strength. It will represent the watery emotional and psychic battle I have waged with him (the sword is a tai chi sword and feels watery, somehow). As a sword, in my Wiccan faith tradition it represents boundaries and intellect, another way I have fought with my father. The iron represents my inner iron, the crisp and sharp strength I have exercised throughout my life.

The sword dance was traditionally performed on the death of an enemy, on the battlefield. The warrior’s sword and that of the enemy are crossed, and a dance that faces the four directions is danced over the crossed swords. I think it was originally a dance of celebration, but also a dance of banishing an enemy spirit from following the warrior off the battlefield. Cancer can kill my father for me, but I will celebrate his death and bind and banish his ghost with this ceremony.

I will cross my sword with a wand representing my father’s strength that was used against me. The stick will be freshly cut, and a thickness slightly larger than my father’s thumb.

The common phrase “rule of thumb” refers to the regulation in British Common Law that controlled the diameter of the stick a man was allowed to beat his wife, his human property, with. If the diameter was larger than his thumb, beating his human chattel was illegal. It refers to what allowed and supported my father in raping me – our culture’s tacit granting of ownership of women’s bodies to the men they designate as their masters.

By this dance I renounce the custom of formal or informal ownership of women and children by men.

Now, people will say, that may have been true a century ago, but no man owns a child or woman. I say, you have not seen what I’ve seen. If a man can rape you and no-one steps in to help, because he has a specific legal relationship to you, because he’s your father or husband, then how is that different from ownership?

Then of course there are all the jokes equating one’s ‘big stick’ with the weapon my father used to torture me. It is an appropriate fit to represent his power.

After the dance, I will break his stick.

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3 comments on “Buying the sword to dance on my abusers grave.

  1. kate1975
    April 12, 2009

    How exciting that you have a sword. I have been thinking about getting a sword the last ocuple of days. I would really love to have one.

    I agree with you. Women and children are still owned. There are laws that protects them and not us. It is best to say the truth about this situation. It is uncomfortable and disconcerting, but true.

    The video was very nice. Thank you for including it. The only thing that I could think about was how due to health issues I could not do the dance as performed. But there are two abusers that I would like to cance on their graves. I guess I will have to continue working at my health and fitness and improving them both.

    I encourage you in this process of dancing on your abuser’s grave and cutting him off from you. I think that you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself by doing this. Good for you.

    I don’t know what kind of instrument I would pick for a representative of the abuser. Guess I will have to think about that for a while.

    I like the idea of breaking the stick afterwards. Very powerful.

    Kate

    • sworddancewarrior
      January 29, 2011

      I think it would be great if you danced on your abusers graves. It wouldn’t have to be this dance, it could be any dance. If there is a way I can support you in doing that, let me know.

  2. Pingback: Healthy, Safe, Loved, Connected | May We Dance Upon Their Graves

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This entry was posted on December 7, 2008 by in Sexual Abuse and tagged , , , .

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