Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Scarlet Letter ~ Hurting Hearts

Tears fall and I am unable to stop them. They blur the screen in front of me, but I am determined to try and make sense of all this.  Taking a child's innocence and squishing the joy they have for life is tragic. It is senseless to me as I look around.  No smile on their little faces.  A distance in their eyes that reminds me of my pain, pain that I suffered as I grew to understand the world is not an oyster, pretty and shiny mother of pearlness that attracts all to its beauty within.  Each of us have the capacity to open our hearts with unconditional love and yet, so few do.  So few share a child-like feeling that everyone has joy in their heart.  I still have that desire to live life with an open heart, but others will not allow that joy and happiness to enter their own.  I want to share love that can penetrate any pain and restore a sense of peace to these damaged pieces that lie within each of us.  
How is that possible, I ask myself?  Does caring about another human being mean so little these days?  So it seems.  Moments when people do or say things they tell us they won't, occur far too often.  My inner being is wounded and I feel the hurt and suffering from disappointment.  Disrespect of me and trampling on my feelings happens, sadly, almost every day including thoughtless comments about deficiencies one sees in me. Often the Irrational statements or responses damage my soul without a second thought to long-lasting effects. 
Tears continue to fall as I search for an answer.  I reach for my answer with a prayer. I feel God nudge me toward your desire. I place my hands upon His book and turn the pages in search of the truth. What am I to do?  How do I survive this tremendous trepidation that children today are not being handled delicately and being showered with love they so richly deserve? I dive into reading and know he will share with me some understanding. He does not fail me. Never has. Never will. He comforts me to know that I am living as He would have me live.  By my example, others may be influenced and infected with the love that we all should feel and share in our relationships with each other.  I feel his spirit come over me and know that through me, some will see my passion for life and joy for living and take it on their person too.  
All I can think is to say, 'Thank you, God'!

Monday, April 1, 2013

21 Gun Salute ~ Honored by Country

The 21 gun salute represents our nation's salute to a soldier, men revered by society, admired  by boys for bravery and courage for God and our country. Upon this fallen soldier was bestowed  the highest honor a nation rendered, including burial on honorable ground as a final resting place.  Isn't it ironic, no one ever questioned what lie beneath the glorified  service uniform that adorned my father's lifeless shell.  His status provided him an unquestionable position of authority as a parent, add as a soldier and his authority seemed (appeared) endless.    
Most individuals find difficulty trying to understand how I could love a person so despicable and monstrous.  Some have suggested how crazy I am to have any feelings toward him at all.  But, the understanding of those emotions is paramount to recovery.  He was my dad, once. I admired him because he laid his life on the line for me... love and loyalty to country. He served 20 years in military service, the first 18 years of my life spanned the last years of his service.  I served almost as long as he did.  I grew up inspired by his commitment to family and country.  We stood together, no matter what, because we were family. That bond, that constant reinforcement of obligation, made me strong. I thought I would always be able to count on what he said. 
Until I disagreed with him. I defied him with countless arguments about what he was doing and that it had to stop.  Threatening to run away only prompted him to challenge me with 'if you run away, I'll just come and get you. And then it will be worse.' Worse than what? What I was already putting up with?  I waited for the day I turned 18.  
I dreamed of escaping.  When the time came I would packed enough clothes so that there was no need for me to return. I had no intention of returning home for a long time.  Unbeknownst to me, I also carried a number of coping mechanisms that are pretty standard for survivors with not an idea that these survival methods were self-destructive.  These habits did not take up any space, literally.  They did, however, bear harshly in my mind, lurking.  
Years later as I fought for my life during my psychiatric sabbatical, he called to reinforce his ever echoing verbiage "if you let this secret out, it will kill your grandmother".  My eyes closed and I imagined my words striking his mother dead.  His words revealed the power he maintained over me even after years of separation.  My response was forcefully instantaneous for the first time in my life, 'I can't promise I will keep the secret this time'.  I found myself hanging up the phone amid his last threats.  Shaking all over, I kept thinking he couldn't get to me here. I made sure his name was removed from the visitor list. 
The nation recognized the hero in my dad and that is what I loved. I wanted to remember him that way too.  But there was no doubt in my mind that he would go to any lengths to keep me quiet.