Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Be Careful What You Ask For

    Before I fell asleep last night, I talked to the little ones again. As has become my custom, I thanked them for protecting me all these years and for enduring the pain so that I wouldn’t have to. I told them "It’s 2011 and We're all grown up. We live in a safe, loving home with people who love us and would never hurt us. We are big, strong and safe. We are loved now."
    I asked them to talk to each other and to me and share what happened when we were abused. I asked them to use all of my senses to get the information to me. I always ask them to let me: “know it, see it, hear it, smell it, taste it and feel it.” I need to know and since some of them don’t have words, I ask them to tell me in whatever way they can. I know it will take time for them to trust me enough now to share the very thing that I have needed them to keep secret for all these years.
    It really is a lot to ask of these wee ones and I’m trying to be patient and kind to them. They have seen what no one else has, and that’s TORTURE for me. Even though I know it’s not their fault, I sometimes feel embarrassed, frustrated and resentful towards them. Today, I’m feeling especially grateful to a brave little one I’ll call “Wednesday.” 
    I woke up and dozed off several times before I finally stayed awake. I was dreaming but I’d forget each dream as it was replaced by the next. I find that VERY frustrating. The last time I awoke, I realized that I was having a conversation with a little girl in my dream. The conversation carried over into my waking. I was lying in bed with my eyes closed but I was fully awake by now. This little girl looked like Wednesday Addams, the character from the old TV show, “The Addams Family.” I’d say she’s about seven and has long dark hair pulled to the sides in braids. She’s pale but very cute with a devilish little grin and big dark eyes. She was telling me how much she enjoys “playing jokes” on people. She was funny and engaging as she giggled mischievously, telling me how she likes to be silly, to trick people and make them laugh.    
    I don’t like practical jokes at all, so it really strikes me, how different we are; Wednesday and I. This is the first time I have ever been aware of her and I told her that I was glad she came. I thanked her for responding to my request last night by coming to meet me and telling me a bit about herself. I knew I had better not miss this opportunity to ask her about the abuse. God only knows when or if she’ll come back and I don’t want to miss the chance to hear from her. Cautiously and as gently as I could, I began to ask her about what she knows. “Can you tell me what was done to us?” “What did he do to our body?” Again I asked for the information in whatever way she could give it to me. She looked me in the eye and I leaned in, preparing to hear her response.  Just when I felt we were getting somewhere, I was zapped into an old episode of Law and Order, Special Victims Unit.
    “NOOOOO! Come on!”  Why would my mind wander to some TV show when I was so close to getting what I needed from Wednesday? The snippet of the scene that played in my mind was from an episode where detectives Benson and Stabler are interviewing a witness to a rape. This witness was from the Congo and she herself had been raped and tortured by soldiers there. In this scene, she bravely tells the detectives in her best broken English, “He put his gun in my sex.” That’s the snippet that popped into my head.
    “He put his gun in my sex.”  OH MY GOD! My eyes sprang open, I gasped, my heart raced and I realized that my mind hadn’t wandered at all. In the only way that she could, Wednesday had given me what I asked for. She answered my question, “What did he do to our body?” In an instant my mind was flooded with images and memories that, like random puzzle pieces, finally fit together.
Suddenly... I KNEW...
    Almost in a panic, I realized that I had forgotten Wednesday in the shock and confusion of this new information. I had to go back for her. She had trusted me. She had done what I asked of her and I ran away. I re focused and went back to look for her but it was empty and quiet. I called out to her but she hid in the shadows in the back of my head. I apologized and thanked her for giving me what I had asked for. “I’m sorry I ran away. I was just startled. I got scared but I’m OK. You did good sweetie, you did real good! Thank you for trusting me. I came back. I promise I will never forget you and I will try harder to stay here and not run away again. Please come back...” She never did and I am sorry about that.


  1. Your writing is amazing.. I have been wanting to write about my abuse but nothing seems to want to come out when I have pen and paper out! I have tried starting a blog but the thing happens there too. You are very amazing and inspiring, thank you for sharing your story.


  2. Your drawings tell a story all of their own...and agree with above about your writing. Putting down your feeling into words is a powerful way to solidify all that happened to you and to process....keep up the hard work! You are amazing and strong and of course loved! take care,

  3. Thanks so much for blogging about the process of memory retrieval! This is exactly how I was thinking the "reveal" would go, but it soooo helps to read of your experience. Thank you again! I'm so glad I found your blog. :)