This is the hardest page I’ve had to write but if you’re going to trust me with your Shadows, you must first meet mine.
My Dad died twice in 4 days. First, when my children confessed that he had been grooming them; preparing them for abuse that he had allegedly perpetrated on many others throughout the years.
3 days later, he killed himself in the living room of his and my mother’s trailer: adding salt to the wound and robbing us all of dignity, pride, and much needed answers/justice.
So much happened before, during and after those dark days that I have not revealed. Those things will be spoken in time; in small pieces throughout my writings, speakings and healings of others.
That is why we’re here. That and many other stories I have to tell. Stories of Generational Cycles of abuse. Stories of survival and strength and sickness.
I write to break the chains around the necks of my grandmothers and to restore the pride of my grandfathers…and in my personal healing–the healing of the collective.On Why I tell My Story
A too Common Story
I will never forget the sobs of my daughters in the back seat of the car. I will never forget their explanation when we asked why they had not spoken up sooner.
“We didn’t think you would believe us”
I wondered how many people have said or thought those words throughout the years. I wondered what would have happened had I not taught them that it was okay to speak up; that their bodies were more valuable than the secrets of man.
I wondered about all the children who don’t have anyone to believe them or to teach them what is right and wrong. The ones who speak and are silenced, who try to run only to be pulled back with promises of change or vows of family loyalty.
I think of my own Father and the family history I’m coming to know. I think of how he was allegedly abused and how he is not the only of his patriarchal who were alleged to have abused others.
I think of how this is a poison handed from generation to generation and I know that’s not unique to my bloodline. I know it is a story that is all too common.
I sit in a room every week with others like myself. Others who have felt the pain of a child’s confession; who have been brought to their knees by the guilt and pain; by the helplessness that surrounds the discovery of abuse.
Many of us are survivors ourselves.
And so I write for all of us.
As a blanket disclaimer, my abusers were never carried into court. They have not been convicted of any crimes and therefore any abuse described herein is ‘alleged’.
When the Abused Become the Abusers
In my Father’s final words; his confession of deeds, he disclosed his own alleged abuse. He used it as an excuse and to minimize the things he had allegedly done to my daughters.
I think about that a lot. I wonder if he had ever spoken those words before? I wonder if it as a cry to help or a ploy to escape the consequences of his actions.
I wonder if I will ever remember the abuse he confessed to have allegedly performed on me in my adolescence.
I wonder if he would still be alive had the police kept him post-confession or if they had listened when we told them to remove the guns from the house or to send him to a facility for safety.
I wonder if he would have found healing.
I wonder if I could have trusted him again.
I wonder if I could have loved him again.
But most of all, I wonder why he chose to pass the poison on.
What separates the survivors who abuse from the survivors who heal?
Why I don’t Hate Him
My Father was seemingly a good man and words spoken following his death by people who never saw the darkness bear witness to that fact.
I don’t know how much of that was truth and how much of it was a mask. Maybe I’ll never know. Maybe I’ll string enough words together to one day glimpse the answer.
Maybe one day, I’ll find the beauty in an ancestry that bears both the light and the dark; each shade in an equal intensity.
Maybe one day I’ll find the anaswers and restore pride to us all.
My mouth was sewn shut before I learned to talk. I grew up a culture afraid of the secrets that spill from the mouths of babes.
On Finding my Voice