"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."~Albert Schweitzer
After my father's marriage was over, he started taking medication. This may have been a result of the arrest for child kidnapping (and whatever else). He did go through a period when we all had to regularly go to the emergency room with him because he thought he was having a heart attack. I'm talking twice a weekend, every weekend, at least. Sometimes more. I
t's possible that the Court made the suggestion that he seek psychiatric help. Otherwise, I can't imagine him even acknowledging he had a problem. The medication seemed to diminish his proclivity for violence, but we were engaged in a cold war. I had to spend time in the same room with my father, but I wasn't interested in engaging in any kind of dialog with him.
He had regularly scheduled visitation with his daughter. Of course, I was fearful that all of this contact might result in the return of his wife to my life. Fortunately, that didn't happen. Many years later, I learned that he'd given his daughter up for adoption to whatever man his ex-wife married. They moved toMinnesota, I think.
Backing up a bit, I started dating when i was a junior in high school. That year i went to various school dances, but never had a relationship of any sort with my dates. They were all in accelerated classes and, even though I might have found their minds interesting, I wasn't interested at all in their hearts or bodies. I didn't have any particular interest in relationships until around Christmas of my junior year when I just woke up one day and decided I was in love with someone who participated in the literary magazine. He was not interested. I pined away for him for the rest of the year.
Michael and I did get together at Christmas of my senior year and started dating as regularly as possible. He was attending college in another city about 5 hours away. The problem with Michael was that he was a lot more interested in my body than my mind. However, he was making a valiant stab at improving my mind, too, by sending me books to read. I was not charmed by that behavior. I knew that I was his intellectual equal, whether he knew it or not. also, I believe(d) that sort of relationship was inherently unequal. I'd had a pretty good look at unequal relationships in which one party believed themselves to be brighter than the other half and I had absolutely no intention of having that kind of relationship with Michael or anyone else.
Since he was away at school, I started hanging out with some guys who were also in my literary magazine meetings. I had something of a romantic relationship with one of them, but I think my motivation was simply to see if I could make someone fall in love with me. Thus began the practice of having two boyfriends, one in the city where I lived and one who lived somewhere else. It wasn't until just recently that I came to see the parallels to my father's relationships.
There were some profound differences, though. I only slept with one person at a time, usually the one who lived out of town. I didn't play them against each other and I was very open about the fact that I had a "serious" boyfriend with the person I was having a non-sexual relationship with. There was no violence in my relationships.
At the end of my senior year, I broke up with Michael. I could see that, the way things were going, we'd be having sex by the end of the summer. I was very aware of the possible ramifications from my sexual abuse. I was afraid that if we had sex, I would hate him. In the meantime, my other boyfriend had found greener pastures. I worked and prepared to leave for college in the fall.
I think I've now come full circle from where I started this history. I may continue to tell the tale a bit more, because my childhood never ends. It's a living part of my life even now and I suppose it would be silly for me to assume it would ever be otherwise. There are darker stories I haven't told yet; I have to find additional courage to speak those truths. That's for another day, though.
Since it's thanksgiving tomorrow, here are some of the things I'm grateful for today. I'm grateful for sunshine (it stopped raining finally yesterday). I'm grateful for all of the people who have loved me or been kind to me. I'm grateful for all of the opportunities I've had to love other people. I'm grateful for hitting the genetic jackpot and surviving my hellhole childhood. I'm grateful for being able to hang on to compassion. Probably enough for today.america held hostage day 1784
bushism of the day:
"Our nation must come together to unite."
website of the day; Disaster News Network