Category Archives: Family

MRS. CUNNINGHAM

To all intents and purposes she was the epitome of a genteel lady, good breeding and cultured. There she sat in the fading light of a late winter’s eve. Her cane at her side and her book placed gently on her lap she looked up at the others in the room from time to time as they wandered through on their way to god knows where.

Mrs. Cunningham patted her white hair and pushed a fallen strand back into place and smoothed out her flowered skirt, fussing a bit at a spot on the seam. Probably left over from lunchtime. She pulled her hand crocheted shawl around her shoulders shivering a bit so close to the windows.

Opening her little white pocket book that lay on the table before her, she withdrew a tube of hand lotion. Jergen’s almond scent. Never used any other. With care she opened it and squeezed out a tiny amount which she massaged diligently into the age spots on her long piano playing fingers.

All that was missing from this tableau was her glass of red wine. When her husband had been alive this had been their ritual. One glass before dinner, never more. Just enough in polite society. She never asked for it anymore. Maybe she was resigned to her newer rituals minus her husband and her wine faded into the past.

The clock on the wall signaled five o’clock. The lights came on and the music began to play softly out of the speaker above her. She sighed, stood up and started to the exit. Her steps were unsure and she seemed to use her cane more than normal. She paused, straightened her posture, gathered her resolve and continued across the room.

Mabel, her nurse for the evening, came up from behind her and took her arm to steady her. “Umm… Mrs. Cunningham, did you dress yourself today,” she asked quietly.

“Oh yes,” Mrs. Cunningham replied happily.

Mabel bent down and gently lifted her skirt to reveal pantyhose rolled down her legs to just above her knees, like the stockings of Mrs. Cunningham’s day, virtually hog-tying the poor woman.

“Come with me my dear and we’ll fix you up in no time at all. And then you’ll be ready for dinner. It’s pot roast tonight and apple crisp your favouites.”

Out Mastering the Masters

I guess I had always known. If I had to rely on killing to survive, I would become a vegetarian. Oh I might learn how to fish but that would be the extent of my foraging of wildlife as a food source.

So like many thousands before me, it was no surprise that I was immediately drawn to GREY OWL, the tall, braided, handsome, gray-eyed Canadian legend. Dirty moccasins on my great aunt’s white broadloom aside, I had heard his story long before I could read my great uncle Lovat Dickson’s books The Green Leaf (1938), Half Breed (1939) and Wilderness Man (1974) and was enraptured.

Horatio Lovat Dickson was my great uncle. Rache, as he was known, was a notable publisher and writer, the first Canadian to have a major publishing role in Britain as a director of Macmillan & Company in London. He is best known today for his biographies of Grey Owl, Richard Hillary, Radclyffe Hall and H. G. Wells. His last work was The Museum Makers (1986), a history commissioned by the Royal Ontario Museum.

Rache had only been in London two years when in 1929 at the age of 27 fate brought Grey Owl (Archie Belaney) and he together. The man he was introduced to described himself as a half-breed born in Mexico of an Apache mother and Scottish father.

He arrived in Canada at the age of seventeen in 1906 intent on learning the ways of survival in the wilderness that he so loved. For his first few years he lived the life of the hunter trapper in the wilds of northern Ontario trading in furs for his livelihood.

When he had inadvertently killed a beaver mother his horrified young Indian wife Anahareo persuaded him to foster the orphan kits. Seems she played on Grey Owl’s Achilles heel. He empathized with the animals he trapped, always feeling deep remorse about taking their lives for him to survive. That sadness stayed with him and eventually would change his life when he began to see the horror of trapping through his young wife’s eyes. The fact that his wife loved their adopted brood, McGinnis and McGinty, led to Grey Owl saying: “She loved them and I loved her. How could I not love them too.”

Since the end of WWI the fur trade was inundated with those seeking their fortune from the fur trade. Whole beaver colonies were being decimated by the indiscriminate slaughter of these gentle animals.

McGinnis and McGinnty were the beaver kits who lived in Grey Owl’s log cabin and became quite the tourist magnets even though it was an arduous journey mostly by canoe into the wilderness to observe them back in the 1930s. Of them he writes:

“Had my finger pressed but lightly on the trigger that fateful morning, these two tiny creatures, whose coming saved from slaughter so many of their kin who followed them and materially changed the lives of several people, would have passed like two wisps from some wandering breeze, back into the Great Unknown from which they had so short a time before set out.”

Grey Owl and Anahareo decided to try and save these animals from certain extinction. Thus began their journey. Once he decided to give up his fur trapping livelihood Grey Owl needed to find a way to survive in the wilderness while searching for a sanctuary to save what was left of the beaver population – if they could. A life-long ambition to write saved the day when a manuscript he sent his mother found its way to a English magazine and was published.

Immediately his writings attracted a following and he was asked to write a book about his conversion from hunter to conservationist which the British journal Country Life promised to publish when completed.

However, when they saw fit to change the title of his book, without informing him, to: Men of the Last Frontier, Grey Owl refused to have anything more to do with them stating they just didn’t get it. His book was about Nature, not man. His famous quote makes this philosophy quite clear, “Remember you belong to nature, not It to you.”

So when Hugh Eayrs, then president of Macmillan Publishing in Canada suggested Rache as an honourable man who would serve him well and not change his words, Grey Owl declared him his publisher of his second book Pilgrims of the Wild.  This, the most famous of all Grey Owl’s remarkable books is the story of the journey he and his wife took without hope or desire of personal gain, looking to find a sanctuary for the last survivors of the “Little People”, the Beaver, before they became extinct in Canada.

Through lengthy written correspondence Uncle Rache and Grey Owl got to know one another. Grey Owl was a prolific letter writer and Rache was fascinated by his simple and genuine character which was fleeing from the social order in which we all live.

In his book Wilderness Man The Strange Story of Grey Owl, Rache declares that it was indeed ironic that he himself had left Canada to seek his fortune and that his “first money-maker would be in a book by an unknown Métis from the adjoining province from which he came,” in Canada.

As an editor and publisher he said, “One does not have to be an expert to pick out a great book; it is the not-so-great that demand judgement. Important books have their own authority; something masterful is apparent as soon as one begins to read. Pilgrims of the Wild is to life in the Canadian wilderness what Robinson Crusoe is to life on a desert island.”

Having read and re-read all of Grey Owl’s books I have to say I totally agree.

An excerpt from Grey Owl’s — The House of McGinnis:

“A LOUD THUD, A CRASH, THE TINKLE OF BROKEN GLASS, THEN silence. A sound as of a hand-saw being run at great speed by an expert, a bumping, dragging noise and a vicious rattling; then another crash; more silence.

“And what,” asked my guest as we neared the camp, “is that an earthquake?”

“That,” I answered, with some misgiving, “is the beaver, the ones you are coming to see!”

We entered the cabin, and the scene within was something to be remembered, the devastation resembling that left in the wake of a young whirlwind. The table was down, and the utensils it had held had disappeared; a four-foot stick of wood protruded through a shattered window, and below the one that remained a quantity of wood had been piled, affording facilities for the effective use of a battering ram. The washstand had been dissected and neatly piled in the bunk from which the blankets had been removed, these being included in a miscellany of articles such as dishes, moccasins, and so forth, with which the stove was barricaded. With hurried apologies to my visitor I assessed the damage, but beyond the disarrangements just mentioned, there was no serious harm done; that is, so far, no lives had been lost. I had been away two days, being delayed by soft weather, which, with its exhilarating effect on these animals, accounted for the delirious attack on my humble fixtures.”

As we are all writers here, I have added a brief passage we should be able to relate to as Grey Owl’s describes the challenges of writing while Jelly Roll another of his beaver housemates observes:

“And while I wrote Jelly pursued her own studies, and carried on with her highly important jobs such as moving and placing objects, and took care of little household chores such as banking up the bottom of the door, or the re-arrangement of the wood pile. Often she would sit bolt upright beside me on the bed, looking up in a most intent manner at my face, as though trying to fathom what my purpose could be with that queer scratching noise.

She was a paper addict and was much attracted by the rustle of the stationery, and constantly stole wrapping paper and magazines and books, taking them home with her, and when she was on the bunk with me she would reach out very often at my notebook and other papers, and we sometimes had lively discussions on this matter in which I was not always the winner.

One day however she succeeded, quite, I think, beyond her expectations or mine. Forgetting to erect the barrier between the bunk and the table, I returned from cutting wood one day to find everything pushed off it, including a camera, a lamp, and a row of books; and she had registered her entire approval of my literary efforts by removing the MS. bodily.

A few sheets of my work were scattered on the floor, but the rest were not to be seen. A visit of investigation to the abode of the culprit was received with squeals of mingled trepidation and protest, but I routed her out and raked up the manuscript with the blackened wooden poker and a piece of wire, the paper fiend meanwhile trying desperately to maintain her rights of ownership.

Luckily all of it but one page was recovered, and as she had no doubt scooped up the entire pile with that steam shovel of a bottom jaw of hers, it was little damaged.

But the resulting mix-up was very little short of cataclysmic. Imagine about four hundred loose sheets closely written on both sides, in pencil, with interpolations, alterations, and notes wedged in here and there, with lines and arrows and other cabalistic indications of what went where, and unnumbered, and you may get the idea.

It took me the best part of three days to reassemble, and in some instances, re-write the script. This time I painstakingly numbered the pages.”

A Grey Owl’s publisher, editor and promoter, Lovat Dickson observed that no one could put into words what Grey Owl’s appeal was. However audiences felt themselves ennobled by supporting it. In fact, thirty years later protest demonstrations seemed to mimic the same devotion and passion to an issue. Grey Owl’s message provided the first view into what unregulated progress could do to the environment in which we live. It made the public who had been satisfied, up to that time to enjoy the benefits of progress without asking what the cost of it might be, uncomfortable.

So impressed was Rache with Grey Owl he persuaded him leave the wilderness, cross the ocean and involve himself in the promotion of his book by personal appearances and lectures.

No one was prepared for the scope of his reception. Audiences were captivated by this tall romanticized version of the Indian, handsome, gray-eyed man with the mesmerizing voice and powerful stage presence.

For more than three months Grey Owl lived with Uncle Rache and his new bride in their little cottage in Chelsea. Both men were insomniacs and so talked most nights until dawn. Grey Owl only required a few hours of sleep but Rache suffered. However he just couldn’t drag himself away from this man and the stories he told.

Demand for more lectures ensued when sold out venues had to turn people away. Grey Owl gave talks, signed books, showed films of his ‘beaver people’ and the wilds of Canada, sometimes three lectures a day, each one different, with no notes, all over England to capacity crowds. It was utterly amazing to everyone. Grey Owl was a star…

Two years later he repeated this arduous lecture tour undertaking with even more success and the addition of a private audience with King George, the Queen and the two princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. A further venture into the United States followed and a Canadian sold out crowd at Massey Hall in Toronto before setting off home to Prince Alberta an exhausted, sick man.

GREY OWL, Archie Belaney, died on April 18, 1938. He died at age 49 years and seven months old from a pneumonia most likely exacerbated by his exposures to the mustard and chlorine gases on the battlefields of WWI. Much, much too young. An international controversy over his origins ensued immediately inundating the media all over the world resulting in Rache’s first book A Memorial to Grey Owl entitled: The Green Leaf”, defending the man, his mission and life.

Back in the 1930’s Grey Owl’s message, warning us that, “The forest cannot much longer stand before the conquering march of modernity, and soon we shall witness that vanishing of a mighty wilderness” was a harbinger of today’s environmental crisis climate change.

Will society never heed warnings? What is wrong with us? As an environmentalist and citizen activist of the Love Canal days I sadly conclude that little has changed in the last century.

Just because we don’t like the message doesn’t make it untrue, unreal, nor not something that can be proven scientifically. These are not “alterative facts” we are being told. They are neither meant to sensationalize, nor is there an economic gain to the messengers.

Archie Belaney, Grey Owl, was truly a man before his time, a leader and visionary to societies in Britain and North America and through his books to readers around the world. He alerted society to practices that would, if continued, cause the extinction of wildlife including Canada’s national animal the beaver, as well as other species and the forests that were their home and his wilderness.

Comparisons can be odious, but humour me for a moment. Picture the world, Grey Owl’s world. A quarter of all wage earners in the US were unemployed. Severe drought caused the plains to become dust bowls. In Europe Adolf Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, marching into Austria a dictator who promised to “make Germany great again.” Elsewhere, Japan invaded China and in Great Britain King Edward VIII gave up his throne.

Grey Owl’s books were released when society was looking to be distracted from the problems of the world. Along came a storyteller weaving hope and life into a dark troubled time. The message was something and he, someone people could get behind and support.

His description of the Canadian wilderness was breath-taking. Listen to an example of how he penned his words into pictures and in doing so kindled a love in his readers that we as a country continue to have for our far north to this very day:

Here, even in these modern days, lies a land of Romance, gripping the imagination with its immensity, its boundless possibilities and its magic of untried adventure. Thus it has lain since the world was young, enveloped in a mystery beyond understanding, and immersed in silence, absolute, unbroken, and all-embracing; a silence intensified rather than relieved by the muted whisperings of occasional light forest airs in the treetops far overhead.”

Unfortunately the world lost its focus on his message with the devastating effects of World War II. It was totally understandable, but a great loss that could have eased the environmental movement into action some thirty years sooner if history had not intervened.

However, what he stood for was, and is, timeless and a message even more powerful and needed today as scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every twenty-four hours.

Lovat Dickson wrote three books about Grey Owl. There are a lot of similarities between the two men which I will delve into further as I continue to write but suffice it to say they both felt strongly about Grey Owl’s message and today no doubt would champion the issue of climate change as it threatens our world. As a writer I would only wish each of us could find an editor and publisher like Lovat Dickson that continued to spread the message long after his author and friend was gone.

And that my friends is why we all need to adopt a policy of argus-eyed awareness when it comes to public policy and environmental regulations. To this end we must support each other and the environment in any way we can whether it be through marches, letter writing, or even non-violent civil disobedience in some cases. Be heard. Make your voice count. Stand up for what you believe in and more importantly what you want to leave of this world as your inheritance to your grandchildren.

There is much more to this story as I continue to write and research into the combined lives of these two great authors of the last century. I have no illusions and am not attempting to out master the master storytellers but hope to direct the spot light back onto two of Canada’s exceptional Canadians….

Muzzling The Protectors

No one likes to be contradicted. So ordering silence when one can serves a purpose. The problem is that this has been going on for ages and we now as the human race will be the ones to suffer for it – again.

Just when we thought we were making progress in the world coming to terms with issues that are affecting our very survival as a species. We had been warned decades ago by scientists like Rachel Carson and conservationists and naturalists like Grey Owl.

The threats are not new.

The fact that the broader public is being informed is.

In my experience, in Canada, it used to be that when something bad was going to be publicly identified the conservative government changed the Minister of that portfolio. Sometimes even the top bureaucrat of the department was moved as well.

Many mornings I would awake with thoughts of an issue soon to be discussed and hopefully solved to discover that overnight not only did the figurehead morph into a somewhat shorter/taller version of whom I expected to deal with but the sex had changed too.

The result? Stop. Desist. Wait, for at the least six months while we get the new kid on the block familiar with ALL the myriad of issues involved in a decision being made on that issue. We’ll call you.

The Donald just added a caveat to his minions: A media blackout at the EPA effectively barring staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. This as part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch, which includes “detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.”

The message is clear. So to the industries, pipe line proposers, polluters extraordinaire, in the U.S. it is full speed ahead. Do what you want, the watchdog is muzzled. You’re welcome.

The Fox.

C.A.T.S. (Conspiracy Against The Surreptitious)

Open Letter to the grandstanders, sycophants, demagogues, errr… ummmm, ‘politicans:

{applause}

By all means license cats.

That’ll make the little beggars stay in their own yards. Policing it might be a bit onerous but my bet is whomever came up with this idea has more up their sleeves than just arms.

But what are you going to do about squirrels and raccoons and oh yeah, the wandering, marauding opossums? Not sure who you’d go to for their licensing fees, but hey … Great idea guys.

Maybe you could find a way to charge for the rain too?

I know – you could put rain gauges in everyone’s yard and charge them by the inch. Wouldn’t get much this year but in the future, way in the future, you might even make up the costs associated with this sort of cretinous idea. (And btw, that doesn’t mean creative…LOL)

cats

CANADA DAY, Eh?

Some people write and expect to make a living doing so. Me, I’m the other kind.

I have never considered that I would make money with my words. It is a kind of therapy for me. I write when I’m happy and want to share. I write when I am angry and also want an audience with whom to communicate my frustrations and angst. I write when I am overcome with sadness and when the world just doesn’t get it.

I write to unburden my soul, but most of all, I write to explain me, to myself and to others.

Today is Canada Day, 2016. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on July 1st, 1867. Communities across this great country host events today to celebrate living in the greatest country on earth (IMHO).

Canada Day also signifies the beginning of the summer to many. School’s out. Family vacations and day trips to the beach on the agenda of many. Hot summer days swimming and long, cool nights reading and recharging after a busy school/work year. Time to play and relax.

This Canada Day also brings back memories of my sister Dale who passed away in October of 2013. She was a twin and four years younger than I. She left us at way too young an age.

Dale hated the heat, really hated it, but loved the summer holidays because it freed up the time her grandchildren had to spend with her. Many was the time we arrived to play cards at her home to find the central air on full blast. Olivia, her second grand daughter, was in the kitchen finishing up the baking of one delicious treat, or another, to assure that we card sharks did not succumb to ‘death-by- thinness’. Believe me that would never happen (LOL). However I digress.

This July Olivia is facing a medical emergency of her own. Now I’m convinced Olivia will be fine and in a couple of weeks we will all look back at this time and be glad it is over. I’m also sure that her grandmother has been looking down from heaven, sitting in her chair with all the family’s passed pets, lying at her feet, or draped over her arms, neck and lap, watching over her as every good guardian angel would do.

So when I think of Canada Day this year I think of our many blessings which belong to us who proudly call ourselves Canadians. Eh? Be proud, be strong and be patriotic on this our special day – July 1st, 2016…

They Just Don’t Understand . . .

I can’t watch the Ghomeshi trial reports anymore, but I really don’t need to…I already know where it is headed.

True to form the victims are being judged by people who have no idea what changes are wrought on a person’s psyche when they have been assaulted. While I, a survivor, look at the fact that they spoke to each other and that they attempted contact with their abuser as being ‘normal’ survivor behavior, the rest of the un-abused in society see the victims as ‘out to get’ this sadistic manipulator of women.

Think about it… Who else would know what they went through? Who wouldn’t be quick to label and judge them for ending up in this hell?

For the same reasons that a tortured and assaulted wife goes back again and again to her husband these women do likewise to Ghomeshi. It is sad but it happens every day. When will society realize the courage it takes for these women, as with Bill Cosby’s 40 odd victims to come forward, bare their souls to public scrutiny, embarrassing themselves publicly and suffer all this for what? Fame, fortune?

I think not. However maybe they do it hoping to get back some of their lost self-esteem by exposing these predators to the world.

writing

Note to self

Note to self:
You can multi-task as much as you want as long as you are sitting to do so.

You are too old to do it while mobile, or – you become immobile immediately – and for the foreseeable future

Late afternoon, Saturday, October 24th:

We took Aidan, our youngest grandson (on this side of the ocean…lol)… who just turned 8, bowling for his birthday party Saturday, him and his friends and cousins to the alleys in Port Dalhousie.

The party was great, the rates reasonable and the kids love the fact that it is all done up in a black light decor. Anyway after we finished and were packing up, the kids were playing around on the floor doing dance moves, break dancing etc., in front of the lanes because it was slippery and they could slide around in the colourful disco-ball lighting. One of the staff told them to move out of the area and they did but Aidan who wasn’t there didn’t hear that and so went right back to the same spot and started his own little dance, floor cleaning moves.

I tried calling out to him to get his attention and tell him to get off the floor but the music was too loud for him to hear me so – without thinking – I walked over to tell him.

Should have watched the floor and not the kid.

There is a short step and I having socks on instead of shoes or bare feet lost my footing and slipped, then fell on my good ankle, immediately resulting in (IMHO, as a former nurse) a sprain or separated ankle bone injury….Because it is my right foot I will not be able to drive for a while, or walk, get shoe on etc., …lol… for that matter.

Lucky for me, not so much for them…lol… my sons Kieran and Brendan were there to carry me to the car and into the house when we got home…

Sunday, October 25th:

Didn’t sleep very well. By the time I got up I didn’t have 6 hours together where I could go hang around the Niagara Health System facility in order to get a second opinion on my diagnosis – Oh, right and an x-ray … LOL So I compromised. I continued to use ice and heat, keep my foot elevated, wear a tensor bandage and use a cane when walking. I promised that I would go and get an x-ray and a second opinion on Monday for sure. Pain medication and a little bit of vodka got me through night two.

Monday, October 26th:

Foot is really swollen, purple and painful. Spent almost 5 hours at the ER. Two x-rays and a stale egg salad and wilted lettuce sandwich later I was told it was a severe soft tissue injury (a sprain) and sent home to apply ice and heat, rest and keep it elevated.

Tuesday, October 27th:

Decided to go out to my meeting, since it was only a sprain and keeping mobile aids in circulation and healing – right?

Was only home less than an hour when the hospital phoned and told me that there had been a “discrepancy” in my x-rays and because of which I needed to come back in and spend another glorious afternoon at Chez NHS’s Urgent Care department (a true oxymoron). Turns out the ‘discrepancy’ is an avulsion fracture (a portion of cortical bone ripped from the rest of the bone by the attached ankle tendon).

Note: If you ever need crutches I suggest you learn how to use them when you are healthy and not injured?

Today I got a choice of a cast and crutches or a ‘boot’ and cane. Wanting to survive this injury I chose the boot and cane.

Tomorrow we get to spend another few hours waiting to see an orthopedic specialist… Cannot express how much I am looking forward to another hospital visit…

I am wondering if we have already spent enough money parking this week to own a spot?

TEN SURE ISN’T ELEVEN

It is clearly not his 10th year anymore!

I love picking Evan up after school. We have twenty minutes to ourselves and since he is the eldest grandchild I miss all the alone time we used to have.

I remember spending time with my grandparents fondly. They lived in the upstairs apartment and we lived on the ground floor. Like Evan I was the oldest grandchild, my sisters are twins and four years younger than me. I always thought that I spent so much time with them because I was the ‘favourite’….. Then in late 2005, my eldest daughter Meegan had her twins, Norah and Jacob. Sometime during the next year, spent in her basement HELPING out, it dawned on me that maybe there was another reason why my mother sent her 4 year old upstairs to visit all the time.

To get back to my story…Evan and I sit and talk while we wait for his brother to get out of school. I want Evan to remember this time too.

Most of our memorable conversations these days start with:

Evan: “So Grandma….do you know the difference between a WWI and a WWII tank?”

Me: “No,” (Me staring blankly, while he explains in great detail.)

Or Evan: “Grandma, you know what black holes are ” right?”

Me: “I wrote an astronomy paper in university about black holes.”

Evan: “Really?” (Looking at me with shocked disbelief, or admiration. Not sure which.)

But sometimes they are innocence busting conversations such as:

Evan: “Grandma, so about the tooth fairy…”

Me: (Now he had my ATTENTION.) “What about the tooth fairy Evan?” I mumbled when I finally could get my brainstem to re-boot my breathing.

Evan: “Well I know she isn’t real, but I don’t know how to tell mom.“

Me: “How did you FIND OUT?”

Evan: “You just hear things when you’re eleven, you know?”

Me: (Swallowing the smirk.)..”Yes.”

Next day:

Evan: “So Grandma, how was your day?”

Me: “Great and yours?”

Evan: “Well about Santa…..”

Me: “What about him Evan (gulp)?”

Evan: “I just can’t believe how much trouble mom went to the last two years, making the videos, placing the foot prints on the fireplace and finding glasses to leave on the table…”

Me: “She loves you and Gibson very much Evan.”

Last year this discussion went something like this:

Evan: Why do some kids think there’s no Santa. Do they really believe their parents can afford to spend all that money on gifts? I think we should post our video on the internet so everyone can see the REAL thing. And just where would someone get glasses exactly like Santa’s? I hope he has a spare pair. Well the elves could probably make him new ones. I bet he leaves glasses lots of places on his travels…I wonder if there is a Lost & Found for Santa glasses? …. All said in one long breath…

Me: SILENCE … Not touching this one with a ten foot pole…

Oh to be ten again!

(LD, 2012)

My Inner Child

(The Lifetime Struggle with the Results of Childhood Sexual Abuse)

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People who know me

Won’t wish to know this,

But twenty long years is all I can take.

Then the psychotic child buried deep within

claws her way to the surface

Once more.

Daily sanity checks,

While battles ensue.

Dormant nightmares emerge,

Terrifyingly real,

To wreck havoc on what’s left

of a fragile, damaged soul.

Why, oh why, after all this time

can the past have such a hold

On the present?

Will the primeval lament of the victim be assuaged,

or will HE finally,

ultimately,

shamelessly,

win in the end?

 

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My inner child is 13 years old.

Even after all these years, she is infatuated,

In love with her hero and protector.

She worships him.

In her eyes, he is handsome and all powerful,

A church leader well respected by his peers and community.

He takes her places, and gives her gifts.

He never forgets to remind her how important she is to him,

Showering her with attention.

He makes her feel needed and special.

Sex is new to her and he is her teacher.

He knows how to excite her

And her body responds to his cues.

These are things she will never forget.

Because she is so young, she is hardwired to him,

Innately determined sexually, to him forevermore.

They have a secret life.

If discovered, he would lose everything, his job, family, vocation.

She, too, would lose everything,

Every single thing important to her…in a word…him.

Secondary to this child is the fear instilled in her by him,

Explaining what could happen to her family,

If anyone ever found out – and it would be all her fault.

He gives her permission to lie and be deceitful

In order to protect his interests.

She is in love and does so willingly over time.

The consequences of not following his advice

Are too horrible to consider…

The end of the world –

her world, forever.

 

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But still the question remains,

Why am I so different?

Well for one thing, it could be the abuse.

Or maybe it’s because I can’t remember …

Thirteen? I was 13?

Funny, I don’t recollect anything but the abuse…

Welcome to my world.

Maybe that’s caused by the trauma?

Yes trauma changes people, we do tend to see the world differently.

Others think that just because we can recognize this fact,

That we should be able to make the changes

To become normal,

React like everyone else, a non traumatized person …

It is mind over matter – is it not?

Nope. Not even close.

Hyper-vigilant and sensitive to any minute change

We live our lives damaged, needy, feeling abandoned,

Trouble trusting,

Expecting the worst

Not the way a life should be lived, ever.

 

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