Friday, August 17, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Sacrificed Amid Proof ~ Part II

She informed me she had not ever listened to the tape.  I asked her if she would send it to me, and she said she would.  How in the hell did my Mom end up with this proof, confirmation of the trauma I had endured?

And a much bigger question came to mind after I tried to recall the events surrounding the making of this damning evidence.  She had the tape all these years and never listened to it.  Why not?

I spent a great deal of time trying to decide my next move once I received the cassette.  I could listen to an audio event of un-recallable minutes in my past as soon as I received it, but the eeriness at the thought overtook my curiosity and Idecided against reliving the memory at that time.  My gut instinct was starting to function and thank goodness I yielded against. 

Bill and I discussed this very decision at my next therapy appointment.  His suggestion insisted I have someone present when I listened to my own voice defending myself from this violence and trying to escape the abuse.

I dubbed the original before sliding the proof into my purse.  This artifact had another destination.  I patiently awaited my scheduled appointment with a civil attorney.  What was my next move; what was the question before me?

Disturbing emotional feelings burst forth during our first conference.  I shared my remembrances of being petrified of my parents; my shock for her believing his words and siding with him when he was sexually assaulting me.  He said it would never happen again.  
She gave him so many second chances.  

And today, in my hand I hold the proof of my sacrifice.  I haven't ever listened to the tape.  Maybe one day I will recognize the strength and courage I showed when I setup the recorder and flipped it over to get even more proof of the atrocity of abuse.  I was brave then, and didn't even know it.  

Now is the time to take ownership of my courage! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Sacrificed Amid Proof

Uncovering a fourth journal was beyond my expectations. I was stunned when the hard-backed bright blue abstract journal fell before me while I spent time cleaning out closets and packed boxes that hadn't been touched in years.  Discovery of the fourth journal happened in the garage in an old rusty file cabinet that hadn't been opened since I moved in.  I wanted to get the area purged of useless items and the file cabinet was on the list.  Imagine my shock when all of the drawers were not empty.  Rather than take the time to sort through the cabinet contents file by file, I dumped all the files into a cardboard box and retained the journal to inspect as I truly have no recollection of its existence. 

Against my better judgement, I thought, just peek and see what is there, if anything. This is what I discovered.

Journal entry 2+ years into therapy:
"There's a tape!" I exclaimed with astonishment.
Bill looked at me quite strangely and asked, "what?"
I repeated "there's a tape.  A conversation between me and my Dad."
But that is all I had.  And one brief flashback... the pastel pink, yellow and green daisy-like flowers dotted the dust ruffle of the bedspread as it fell in place over the cassette recorder.  My index finger slid from the record button at the same moment and the tape guides began to spin.

Bill and I finished the session and I headed home where I began to search immediately for the remnant of a memory, a plain sony tape with a red and white label.  

I visualize the tape in my memory again. I sit in the floor of my room and reach over to look under the bed. I spot the old burnt orange tape storage case and pull it out. I open the latch and start fumbling through the tapes inside. I remove each cassette with hope of seeing and finding a validation of my truth. 

The phone rings and jolts me from my search. 

I answer to hear my mother's voice say, "What are you doing? Are you busy?"
"No, not really," I responded and then continued, "I'm just looking for a tape that I remember making with Dad admitting what he did."
There's a long silence, then I heard meekly "I have it."
I blinked at the words, and questioned her, "you have it?"
She said, "yes."
"How did you get it?"
"You gave it to me."
"The next day."
"What do you mean, the next day? The day after I made it?"
"Yes," she said
I was stunned and silent for seconds. 
Was it true that she knew about my evidence of abuse and didn't do anything in defense of me except get a divorce?  Yes.
I know now I was sacrificed for the sake of the rest of our family.