The day after being freed from the leech of fear, memories of my dad’s sexual abuse began to come to the forefront of my mind. These did not come as previous memories had; I was not observing theatrical vignettes from afar, detached from events with little emotion and sense of experience. This time I was there, the suffering of my two-six year old child, the assault on her senses, the violence …her fear…were all mine. That is all you need to know, dear reader, except that God protected me through it. As a muffler protects our ears from the raw explosions of a running car’s engine, so my God absorbed much of the unbridled physical force and suffocating weight of my dad’s unmitigated, self-absorbed, maltreatment of his daughter.
What purpose was served by reliving such horror? Again, I found the purpose was to forgive. (Forgiveness seems to be one of the objectives of this tunnel journey.) Because my experiences were beyond that which I could bear, my battered child coped by disassociating and forgetting…my first eight years were a blank in my mind; what I knew was information given to me by others…people who had their own biases, their own interpretations, their own agendas for the past. I needed to rediscover my experiences, my reactions and how it all affected me to expose those unknowns from long ago which still controlled my present. To recognize my own pain and hatred was the only way to reach the point of being able to truly forgive. .
After these difficult days passed and I reached the end of this leg of my journey (which was the place of forgiveness), I awoke the next morning noticeably more relaxed with my arms and legs feeling a bit like cooked spaghetti (al dente, of course…). Bodily tension has generally been part of my mode for sleep; my arms are tightly curled with my legs and back taut as though anticipating the night’s suffering. Tension still is with me in the morning; my short, quick anxious breaths give lie to an inner turmoil. Surprised enjoyment followed that morning’s waking freedom…what luxurious relief for my stressed body! Light and peace also came to my soul and spirit providing re-creation for my being, a mini vacation from the strain of my internal travels. Two nights and a day of tranquility undisturbed by stirred memories…two nights and a day of blue skies with no heavy clouds…ah, bliss! Thank You God for R & R in the battle for healing…thank You for a time of restoration and revitalization. Thank You God for the pause that refreshes, for bringing me to a bright spacious place before I again enter the dark, narrow valley. You are so good…all of the time…You are good.