“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me,’
look what happens with a love like that, it lights the Whole Sky.”
I’ve wanted to write about my father for a long while now. But, for some reason I always stop myself, fearing this might be too dark or sad to share. But the truth is, this is a story with a very beautiful ending. And, like all things on this planet, sometimes we have to first go through the dark to get to the light. So, if you’ll permit me, I will offer you the story of me and my dad; the dark, the light and the transformation.
I think it’s fair to say my father loved me and my brother very deeply. He showed us this my whole life. When he wasn’t traveling for work, he would make our lunches for school and draw pictures on our lunch bags. I loved it but I think my older brother was secretly embarrassed by the lunch bag art. When I was sick he’d say, “Aw, give me a hug and give me the cold, I’ll take it and you go back to bed.” He loved to brag about how great a swimmer I was and he kept every article from the newspaper with my name in it all his life. We found all of the newspaper clippings after he died. I know all of this and more about his generosity and caring nature towards me and my brother. I also know I would never sit on his lap. Even at the age of 6, my mom would try to get me to sit with him so she could take our picture and I would simply refuse and run away. As I got older he began to fixate on me. In my teenage years, I became uncomfortable with his stares. He seemed to be unable to look into my eyes but instead stared constantly at my breasts. My friends would comment about this and I found it incredibly embarrassing. I know I was angry with him for years and years and I could never explain why. I know what all my therapists insinuated. And I know what my fellow psychics have seen. For my part, I think it’s fair to say that I was 4 years old when “the events” I remember of my sexual abuse truly occurred. I won’t go into the details here. The years since his death have clarified a few memories for me. For the longest time I didn’t have a play by play memory of any of this. For years there were no black and white memories of the abuse for me to hold onto. I only had the threat of these events lingering in my space. I think that’s the worst part of sexual abuse. When the receiver has to puncture through the “illusion” created by both themselves and those around them. It’s like no one wants to talk about sexual abuse, not now, not ever. I never felt I could approach my mom with any of this. She had her own stuff and I wasn’t willing to risk upsetting her. Like many women and men, I was alone with both the illusion and the threat of my childhood sexual abuse for 30 years.
What I do know now is how much shame my father carried around all of this. He felt guilt and shame where I was concerned and he tried so very hard to make up for it; so hard in fact that he pushed me away. I was, after all, suspicious of him and his motives but could never really pinpoint why. Growing up, my friends loved my dad. He was a good looking man. He was tall and extremely dark skinned with striking blue eyes. He used humor to mask his uncertainty in life. And, where he was concerned, I could do no wrong. But, I was never truly able receive his love. I could never seem to discern the difference between his love and his demons. There was so much unspoken, unexplained energy where my dad and I were concerned. It was like there was a river between us with me standing on one bank and him standing on the other bank and no bridge in sight. The outer world saw a doting father and a “daddy’s girl”. But my inner world was growing more and more distant as I grew older. The last time I saw my father was in 2002. He came to Key West to visit me and my girlfriend at the time. It was an awkward visit with so much left unsaid. After that visit, I kept our relationship to telephone conversations. Somehow the miles between us and the inability for him to lay his eyes on me, made me feel safe. He died in 2006, just before my 41st birthday. He never met Abby. He never really got to know me. I remember after his death I felt like an above the ground swimming pool had collapsed and all of the once, well contained water began to rush out. There was no container holding any of this for him anymore. I was left with it; finally and completely.
I’m 49 now and it’s been 8 years since his death. I’ve had a lot of revelations over these past 8 years. I had him on a pedestal and in the dog house at the same time, if that’s even possible. I had so much outer attention on him and me and what happened, I never took time to look at the truth; my truth. He was, after all the guy who taught me how to swim, how to ride a horse and told me it was O.K. when I didn’t want to ride the horse by explaining, “I don’t think the horse wants me to ride it.” He never pushed me, even in swimming. He taught me how to win and loose graciously and he taught me how to survive my mother. He was the best father he could be given the plate full of karma he had with me. But he had demons that went unchecked his whole life. He was afraid and felt better with a gun and a badge than with his heart open. Ironically he died of heart disease. I remember calling him every day he was in the hospital at the end. He told me he was scared to die. I told him I loved him and that he was safe. He left this world the next day. And I was left with this. Thats my point. My father is gone and I’m the only one left holding this pain; this unspoken energy. I’ve seen him recently in some meditations. He’s come to me saying he’s still here, in spirit, waiting for me to release this abuse. He said he’d wait as long as I needed. Even if it was for the rest of this life and into another life, he said he’d hold space for me while I held onto this “thing” between us. It was clear to me that day that he signed on in this life to be the abuser and I signed on in this life to be the victim. And, we both signed on to carry the shame.
Once I had this information, I could no longer, in any way, agree to hang onto any of these memories or energies of abuse. How do you let this type of thing go? Well, for my part, after many years of varying types of therapy, one day I finally just screamed. I screamed and screamed until my screams became a roar. I felt a bolt of energy go through me and my roar became the sound of this earth; steady and true and absolutely impenetrable; safe, once and for all. I learned that day, during that “vision” that no thing or series of events can affect my true nature, my true self. I learned the real me is, in fact, impenetrable. And, as all this was happening, as I was screaming, crying, roaring and releasing, I saw both my mother and my father’s spirits above my head. They were so loving and present, holding space for me to let this out, finally and forever; to find and to have my voice. They were no longer holding any of this. They are long since gone from this earth. I was the only one keeping any of this alive. And it was clear to me, through their loving encouragement that it was time. My time. Time to stop holding. Time to start healing it all; for me, for them, for everyone.
I was keeping my own abuse alive by continuing to identify with it. It’s not as if it never happened but what did happen was in the past. And my present can’t be controlled by my past unless I choose that. That was what my roar was about. It was about bringing all of me into the present and letting go of the pain, my pain that no longer serves me. And, this is about forgiveness for someone who loved me dearly, demons and all. Was it O.K.? Hell no! But it did happen and I believe, on some level, that we both signed on for it to heal through. I’m getting the opportunity to heal this while I’m still in my physical form. Dad wasn’t so lucky. But I believe he’ll work this out in his own way in his next incarnation. I wish for him a higher rebirth. One that allows for him to let this shame and pain go. It serves no one for either of us to hold this. You see, I finally understand, it isn’t in the holding but in the letting go that we transform.
The love I felt from my mother and father’s spirit that day in my meditation / vision was the love I had longed for this whole life; pure, unstained love. This love was not dependent on any thing, it was simply present. And, I believe it was always there. That my parent’s pure love was hiding under their dark clouds of untransformed energy. Think of a cloudy day. The sun is still up there, shinning like the star that it is, we just can’t see it or feel it. But we know it to be so. This is the same steady, warm love my parent’s have for me. This helps me to heal my inner child. This helps my adult self let go of the pain. The memory of this unwavering love and support reminds me I’m the only one doubting and encourages me to remember the truth. Love, solely and forever.
Many of you have a similar story of abuse or know someone close to you who does. Perhaps this will help in some small way. When we can remember to ask our hearts the truth, and not our minds, we find the first and final step to freedom.
May all beings benefit!