It’s been about thirty three years since I told the secret that I had been carrying since age 4. A secret that caused me so much sadness and pain and confusion and anxiety-to just name a few. Thirty three years and for the first time last night, someone said to me, “We failed you. We should have been better. We should have saved you.” -and it was the very last person I would have ever expected it to come from.
Childhood trauma is an indescribable beast that shreds our innocence, but can also tear apart a family. How does a mother or father protect one child from another whos the aggressor? As a mom, I can’t imagine…but parents aren’t the only ones that have the rip down their heart over a tragedy within the home. All are effected and most probably just want to forget that they know anything about it. I was never upset with my sisters for not knowing, not suspecting, not rescuing me or saving me-I never told them and by the time it was out, honestly, it was forgotten just as quickly. I wish that had been the end of it all, but it wasn’t and as more memories resurface-I’m frightened to admit, things got worse. Still, nobody noticed. Nobody asked. Nobody wanted to have to choose who to love more. Me or him.
I accepted that my parents handled it wrong -even discovered that my step mother and father KNEW the whole time and did nothing-but I had to let it go, what was done was done and survivors really just want to move beyond it all. But last night, somebody validated that it happened. Somebody shed tears over not being able to save me-because she was battling her own trauma and nobody knew. Somebody reached into my soul, took the hand of my little spirit and said, “We should have been better for you.”
A relationship that has always been on the rocks due to circumstances that neither of us ever had any control over began anew last night. As the subject of my trauma and my book came up within in the first five minutes-I hesitated to even open up myself to the idea of a fresh start, but it took that unexpected turn and I have to admit, I feel lighter this morning. I feel seen.
I pulled two cards before sitting to write this morning, not sure what was going to come up and out. “Light it Up” and “Freedom” came to me and really couldn’t be more perfect. The two side by side remind me of my favorite lines from a song, “ Forgive everything that has ever happened. Life is a everything that we can imagine laid out in patterns of pain and passion-you can not imagine or control it so -keep your compassion.”
I never knew what my step sister was going through. I never knew that she was carrying this weight about my trauma while processing the illness that her own had been plaguing her with. I never knew that I might have resented anyone other than my parents for not paying attention, but it felt so good to tell her last night, “It’s not your fault-and it wasn’t your job to protect me.” That is still forgiveness. That was still letting a piece of the pain burn away.
Today I begin the day with a new understanding of the healing that we all must go through. There are parts of our trauma that we haven’t even discovered yet and IT’S OKAY. It all comes up and out when our Spirit knows we are ready to handle it. Peace comes when the wound has opened up and taken space to breathe and the messenger of that bit of peace may come from someone or somewhere we would never imagine.
If you are in pain, hold on-that light is coming for you.
It could even be these harmless little words on a page that shake a little something up.
If you were a victim of childhood trauma, it was NOT your fault. You did nothing wrong and someone SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER FOR YOU.
Healing will come.