TWO ROADS

This article may seem all over the place with thoughts and questions but its typical of the thought processes of a childhood trauma survivor. I worded this article in this way to show the trauma experience from a survivors emotions and perspective.

I use to think that I was so strong to have survived my ordeal of the past. Placing blame on no one person now will help erase the scars so deeply woven into the fabric of my being. However, my strength seems to be short lived and blown away by strong feelings that I do not understand. I can’t put a name on these feeling because there are no words to express them. That is why I wear them on my sleeve. I used to have this magical way of thinking that people would just look and me and know my suffering. However, I was always wrong and left to feel empty and uncared about by anyone. It’s not really true that no one cared. It is just raw emotions with no thought process.

Our very existence as humans can be so fractured by one another with or without the knowledge of the consequences of that action. Then is it fair to lay blame? Was my father aware or even in control of his actions or was he completely cut off from the obvious.? That what he was doing was crushing a newly born spirit until it could not breathe normal breathe. Did my Mom further damage an already broken child by withholding  comfort and protection? Did she know? Perhaps she was just caught up in her own cage longing to be freed and yet fearing the results of that freedom? Did she make the right choices with regard to my care? My instincts tell me that she was just lost inside of herself with no proper key to escape my father’s prison. At least in time I was able to escape.  I was taught a different way by watching a lot of tv and seeing life from other perspectives. I saw that not all families were like my own. It allowed me a chance at a better life when I grew up. I held on to that hope during those difficult trying times.  It gave me strength to survive what ever came my way. At the very least, I had this small thin string of hope to carry me into my adult life. What did my mother have. She could not get away from my father. She felt no escape but to turn inward for safety. I have pictures of my Mom when she was a little girl. I cannot imagine a more pure face staring at me from a photo so old and blackened with age. She did not deserve such a disappointing life.

I cannot say that my whole life is disappointing. By the grace of God I have an amazing man for a husband and four beautiful and remarkable daughters. It is partly because of them that I now live from day-to-day with hope for a brighter future. Then maybe the injustices of the a past and its gross impact will fade with time and my damaged personality will find room to breathe normal for once in my life. I still to this day feel that I am holding my breathe to long in fear of memories of long ago and hoping to make a better example for my own children and live free from mistakes that my parents made on me.

Hindsight does not always make us change our direction.  Sometimes things happen anyway far beyond or limited human understanding. However, at the very least we can try for the sake of future generations not to fall in the same traps that our parents did.

I did for my part see, as Robert Frost had so beautifully put it, “two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference”.

Linda Booth


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