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.
Last night I watched a show called ‘the listener’ where the hero is this paramedic with the ability to listen to people’s thoughts. Often this leads to him helping people. The episode I watched, he hears/sees in the brain of a street kid about a young girl being held captive in a steel box and begging to be released. The girl looks a lot like I did as a young girl, same hair and everything.
I wasn’t particularly scared during the episode, my wife was there, and it worked out well in the end, with the girl being released and the guy who captured her committing suicide by cop. However, you know that she’s been assaulted by this guy all this time, and she’s just frantic to get out of that box. I had that suspense feeling, waiting for her to be rescued (I was pretty sure she would be, it’s that kind of show, thankfully.) which normally I try to avoid. I’ve been trying to learn to tolerate and invite anxiety lately (I read something fairly convincing that avoidance reinforces the anxiety and by ‘welcoming’ anxiety, I could dial it down), and it was manageable and once I started watching it I had to keep watching till she was all right.
Anyhow, so at 5 this morning (I normally wake around 9, so that’s early for me) I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Maybe it was the green tea I had last night too, but regardless, here I am, wide awake. For once my wife is asleep (she has menopause sleeping problems), so I couldn’t really get comforted by her without waking her, and I wasn’t distressed enough to feel okay about doing that.
And I get to thinking about my mom and how I should probably confront her about the scars on my vulva/vagina, and hear her explanation about how she didn’t know her 5 year old girl had torn her perineum. Or hire a lawyer to coerce my father into confessing or sue him. Now that I’ve got my aunt as witness that he tried to assault her too, it kind of makes sense.
Wait a minute.
My aunt is quite a bit younger than my mom. Like 8 years or so. My mom married my dad when she was 21 and the assault happened when they were still living in Winnipeg, which was when my older brother was very little. My aunt could have been as young as 14 when he ‘got fresh’ with her. I think of my aunt as an adult, but she wasn’t then. I need to ask her. It’s amazing I didn’t think of that before. More validation. I wonder if my grandfather knew. My mom said once that he’d have killed my dad/abuser if he’d known about the rapes.
If I sue my dad and my aunt was as young as I think she was, she could witness for me. I bet my other aunt that he insulted would too.
I skipped last week at the boxing gym, and am going to try and go this week. This morning I feel like it would feel good to hit something. Now that I’ve given my self permission not to hit ‘Bob‘ or do the ‘lay on your back and kick your attacker in the small of the back’ exercises it should be better. I also found a ‘sea band’ that presses an acupressure point to suppress nausea. Last time I almost threw up after exercising. My friend who also works out at the gym says she sometimes gets nauseous too and she’s in way better shape than I am. It’s kind of crazy really, that we pay money to do this stuff.
Tonight I’m going to the first rehearsal of a choir a friend is in. It’s supposed to be a nice choir, so I’ll see. I’m not a choir person exactly any more, but I thought it would be social and help me get my voice going a bit.
My wife is doing a bit better. She’s on hormones for the menopause thing, and has been more attentive. We’ve been doing a lot better this week, and yesterday was particularly good. I keep forgetting my promise not to nag her about her health, but after my therapist reminded me, I’ve been able to stay off her about it for about a week. I made a promise I’d leave her to do her health stuff without nagging until March, and I’m going to keep it. In March, if things are still rocky between us, I’ll push hard for couples therapy, but perhaps we won’t need it by then. One can hope.
You know, I was looking at my categories, and realize that I don’t talk about spirituality and sexual abuse much any more. Faith has always been my main antidote for fear and anxiety. I was talking to a friend yesterday about spells. She’s feeling hopeless about her love life and I suggested a love spell. I was explaining how spells work. When casting a spell properly, you focus on the one essential thing about what you need to happen. It’s like a lever. You have to apply the small amount of energy to a specific point to change the course of something. Or it’s like sailing a boat, you need to take into account the winds and water of reality, and even if they’re blowing against you, if you set your wind and tiller right you can still go where you want if you are clear and firm about it.
I had a student once who got frustrated with me because she had wanted me to teach her how to cast prosperity spells. She said she kept trying and it wasn’t working. When I tried to tell her what was wrong, she wouldn’t listen. She wanted exactly what she wanted in lots of detail, against considerable real world obstacles. This was the equivalent of trying to steer your boat into a headwind. She wasn’t willing to tack. I said, focus on the one small thing that is the core of what you want. You don’t really want a million dollars, you want to feel safe. Or you don’t want a tall, brown- haired woman who speaks another language and owns her own house, you want someone perfect for you. By leaving open all the variables that don’t really matter and letting go of the need to control how it happens, you can get what you need. It’s like the rolling stones song.
So if I approach the situation with my father that way, what is the core of it? What do I really want to happen?
I want my experience to have meaning – I want what happened to me to be part of the Goddess’ plan for making the world a better place.
That’s not quite it.
I want to be happy.
I want justice.
I want to reclaim my power from him. (This one is closer to core, I think)
I want to not be afraid of him any more. (this is also close)
I want social support. I want allies. (so I am safe from betrayal by his collaborators)
I want to walk tall in my own space.
I want the body feeling of being strong and assertive and unafraid more of the time. I want to stop being controlled by PTSD anxiety.(this is also more like it)
I want to push back against the abusers, to feel my strength there and make them afraid.(this too)
I want a public sex offenders registry in Canada so parents can vett the people who have access to their children. I want the justice system to lock anyone they can’t cure up for life. (this would satisfy my meaning making)
I want meaning and justice.
I want wholeness.