I’m starting to feel a little crazy, just one email and a few lines of words have set me off. What are the words? “…sorry to say but dad is out of town….  Sparing the details why would these words bother me so much? Because they tell me what I’ve known but still struggle to come to grips with since I was a child that my father doesn’t know how to love me. That hurts to write but it’s the truth and I still don’t always know what to do about it or with it. It is the one damn thing in my life that I allow the power to turn me into a nervous wreck. But I’m aware of it. And at times I feel unable to do anything about it. In the past it has caused psychological challenges related to fear of abandonment, low self-worth, limited self-confidence and confusion over love of self.  

Follow over the fold

For all that the years have gifted me, there is still a child inside crying because she has been punched, slapped, yanked or whipped again, and doesn’t understand why the people who are supposed to cherish her the most are hurting her. She is a child who just wants to be held and loved by her parents. How do you get a child like that to understand that it will never ever, ever, ever, happen? You can’t and then what happens? Well she grows into a woman with a crying child inside who won’t stop hurting. So what’s the solution, let go let God, live and let live, turn it over, acceptance? Meditation? Prayer? Success? Counseling? Becoming a more loving parent? These do help, and the more they are practiced the more they help I know, but sometimes it seems not enough. The key is to accept this as it is, accept that the inner child will always hurt.  

I know that I can psychologically and spiritually hold her and tell her that I love her and that I’m proud of her but I also know that it will never be enough.  This is the direct result of feeling the pain, of not numbing the pain of allowing the pain to be what it is - painful, humiliating, and sometimes shameful.  

When the pain starts I just want to do something with it I want to sit it somewhere out of the way like a stack of boring paperwork, or dirty laundry, or dirty dishes, or garbage but with all of those tasks I eventually turn back to them and deal with them, I do the paperwork, I take care of the laundry, I wash the dishes, get rid of the garbage but I can’t get rid of the damn pain, I can’t wash it, clean it, pay it or dump it out no matter where I put it, it just sits there waiting for me to pick it up again. The pain, the child, and I work together, she picks it up when I’ve put it down, and the pain waits patiently knowing that I will try to deal with it for the umpteenth time. Each time it hurts a little less but its not going anywhere anytime soon.  

Some say "feel the pain", others say "don’t wallow in the pain", some say "accept the pain", some say "ignore the pain" and some say I have no pain.  Some days I feel the pain stronger than on others especially if it’s been triggered like today and sometimes I accept the pain and then sometimes I let go of it but I never numb the pain or pretend it’s something that it’s not and it always returns.  And maybe that’s part of the process too, allowing it to revisit, to be aware of it and to explore it, like now.  It gets easier to manage the pain with time, that’s my hope and my experience. I can only work on my own pain and change myself.  I can’t change anyone else, I can work on changing the way I think and spend time soothing the inner child in healthy ways when she needs it. It’s been many years now and I think it has gotten easier but then on a day like today I’m thrown for a loop again. At times the past tries to fool me into thinking that the abuse I experienced was not such a big deal. That all that was a long time ago, that it doesn’t matter anymore oh and worst of all, that maybe it wasn’t so bad.  NO! It was bad and sad. And sometimes I realize that years ago very briefly, disarmingly, unpredictably and frighteningly I was glad to be a child.  

Love your children hold them dear - you have amazing powers to influence their lives. I know.

If you know of a child that may be being abused please report it to your local child protective services and/or law enforcement agency. I wish that someone would have intervened on my behalf. If you are an adult and have been abused as a child, counseling will go a long way in helping to improve the quality of your life, it did for me.

I've started 501(c)(3) charity for women, including women veterans who suffer from chemical dependency and posttraumatic stress disorder in addition to other mental health disorders, if you would like to make a tax deductible donation or help please go to our website.


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