Saturday, February 14, 2009

Home Movies

In trying to do the right thing for my family at this point, I find my grief compounded by watching my daughter search out her childhood. It's a common thing for victims of molestation to go through, searching out photos, family movies, anything that can jar their memory of their own past. After denying their emotions for so long, after convincing themselves that it wasn't so bad, that it wasn't so wrong, that they can continue to live life with this blackest of seeds at the center of their soul, they take that first step toward questioning everything that they have used to keep themselves safe all these years.

It's not something overt. In fact, it's disarmingly subtle. As a parent, if I didn't know it was normal in situations such as this, I would just pass it off as another weird phase that teenagers go through. But I know what it's like to be haunted by the things in childhood that brought comfort. Cartoons, stories, old photos; they all become street signs leading the survivor down a very long road.

You have to learn about the childhood that was stolen before you can know the child. You have to learn about the child before you can admit that what was done to the child was wrong. You have to admit that it was wrong before you can point a finger at the perpetrator and say "You were wrong". You have to say "You were wrong" before you can take the shattered pieces of your childhood and begin to assemble them once more.

But you can't let on to your child that you know what is going on. They'll just roll their eyes and tell you that you over analyze things, that you think too deeply.

And then they'll go back to digging through your closet, looking for that family movie. The one when they were a child and mom and dad were there and everything, for just a moment, looked safe.


Anonymous said...

Please keep writing, narrating this journey through this storm in your life.

You are able to state truth so concisely here and describe and give voice to those that can no longer speak. You bring strength and clarity to the table and it makes one hopeful that all is not lost and one is not alone in the world after all.

Thank you for sharing the unspeakable. It is hard to heal in secret, but it is even harder to live with daily shaming for something one never consented to in the first place.

Thank you.

amyroz said...

My crystal ball predicts you will write a book someday - or will it be Marina who writes it??