Excerpts

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Marble Surface

Because No One Asked
Healing Through Telling

Introduction

I am not a therapist, counselor, or psychologist. Although I have been a patient and client to them all. I am not a writer. Although I have been writing for years. I am simply a person with a story.

     I’ve hidden my story in notebooks, tucked away in pieces and various places, compelled at times to write as if I am talking to somebody – talking to you. Writing somehow made me feel less alone and less afraid. I think because I imagined that someone was actually there with me listening, knowing, and understanding.

     I have most of the things I’ve written since I was twenty years old. All that I’d written secretly as an adolescent and teenager, my mother threw in the trash. I made the mistake of not getting all my things out of that house when I left for college. I suppose she found the box I kept my writings in and thought even my battered soul wasn’t worth keeping.

     It’s taken me twenty-one years to muster the courage to publish my experiences. I’ve feared exposure, thinking those who know me and love me will see me differently and somehow feel burdened and uncomfortable around me. I have also feared angering those who have wronged me and hurt me by exposing them. But my fears, I’ve learned, are only excuses I’ve used to cover up truths.

     I make no excuses now. However, I do recognize that my story - my experiences - are no greater, nor less than anyone else’s. They simply are my experiences that I want to share in hopes that in telling them they will help someone with similar experiences who find themselves questioning who they are begin to feel better, breathe better, live better and love better.

     Some who have heard parts of my story may have wanted to say, as I have often said to myself, “Why don’t you just let it go?” Trust me, if I could, I would, and many times I thought I had. I probably have shaken some of it off.  I think pieces fall away each time I allow myself to consciously recall events. But I think parts of my story are so horrific and life altering that there may be too many pieces to shake off, and I may find it haunting me until I wake to find myself dead.      

    At times the bitter sweetness of death of which might take me to the end of these hauntings has on occasion brought thoughts of how I might bring myself to death. I have occasionally imagined that the pain of the emotions brought by the memories would finally end with my death. Fortunately, those who love me and those I love, including myself, mean far more to me than ending the emotional pain that at times grips my existence.

      But now that I understand that I am destined to write this, and it is the reason I have been given the gift of writing, I am thankful for the things I have seen and experienced because without them I could not help others gain the courage and strength to tell their own stories and through their telling, experience the gift of healing and the joyous freedom it brings.

     And so I write, because no one asked…

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Because No One Asked
Healing Through Telling

A Glimpse 

Necessarily Told in Third Person

She sat in the yard of the house she called home, holding a twig she used to entice bugs to peak out from their house in the dirt. Slowly, she drew tiny circles in the sandy soil around a small hole in the ground, singing, “Doodle bug, doodle bug, come out of the ground. Doodle bug, doodle bug, round and round.” She’d never caught a doodle bug. She’d only caught a glimpse of one or two of the bugs, as they reached out to stop the intrusion to their well-crafted home. Over and over, she sang and drew circles. She’d learned a lot of ways to pass the time to stay out of everybody’s way. Looking for bugs and sometimes just sitting in the woods, doing nothing but thinking about this and that had become her companions.

     She heard her mother scream from inside the house. She looked up startled and listened for a moment, then turned back to her insect hunt – numb to the sights and sounds of what went on around her at that house. “No doodle bug today,” she thought. Taking a deep breath, she raised her face to the sun. She could see its blanketing warmth through her closed eyes and feel its soothing peacefulness on her skin. How glorious was that feeling to her.  

     A quick thought of a walk to the creek came to mind, but she’d need a jar for the things she might find worth keeping. Maybe she could go in and out of the house unnoticed and sneak one out.

     Inside, hearing, but not seeing her mother crying, she continued to the cabinet for a jar. As she moved further into the house, she thought how quiet the upstairs sounded. It was unusual to hear such quietness when everyone was home. Curiosity inched her way up the stairs. Half way up, she could see through the stair rails and into a bedroom where one of her brothers seemed to be walking toward her stepfather. She kept staring, watching her brother slowly move toward her stepfather, who was unaware that he was about to be harmed.

     She saw the machete her brother was hiding behind his back. Realizing what was about to happen, she stood paralyzed. Before she could think well enough to move, her other brother came from behind the brother with the machete, threw his arms around his brother and the knife, thwarting the potentially fatal stabbing of their stepfather.       Scuffling and yelling ensued, and she managed to slip down the stairs, unheard and unseen by anyone. She found a jar, walked out the back door and toward the creek that bordered the fifty acres of Blue Ridge Mountain foothills hell.

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Because No One Asked
Healing Through Telling

Poetry of Pain Carved Out

Necessarily Told in First Person

My brother whispered to me, “I watch you. I see you when you’re in the bathroom.” He was fourteen. I was nine.

     That night, after he told me he watched me, I left the linen closet door in the bathroom open because it blocked the crack in the door where I knew he could peek at me. I left that door open when I took a bath long after he had left our parents’ house. 

     But before he left the house for good to join the army, that brother had molested me from the time I was in diapers until his final blow to me that ripped from me my soul. When we moved into the country home, my mother gave me the room at the opposite end of the hall from his. I learned from her years later that she did that because it was the farthest room from his. Sadly, anywhere in the house was not far enough away from him. He was crafty at hiding his destructive acts, and my mother was gifted at ignoring and denying things seen or unseen. If dealing with any of it meant her golden child and her perfect world’s truths might be exposed, then living with the lies was her only option. 

     While she didn’t have sound explanations for why that brother, as a child, injured and killed animals, or why he smeared his own feces on his crib, walls, and himself, or why he was removed from a summer day camp at age seven for asking a camp counselor to suck his dick, she did seem to have explanations for signs of my abuse to me from that brother. So that when blood was found in my diapers more than a couple of times, she explained it, as told to her by a pediatrician, that I’d had a small period. And why it probably wouldn’t hurt when I first had intercourse was because when I was five years old, I fell on a boy’s bike and probably broke my hymen on the middle bar.

     Why she was telling me these things when I was only an adolescent, I’ll never fully understand, because I don’t understand the mind of an covertly abusive mother. I’ve asked myself through the years, as my conscious mind begins to allow my subconscious mind to surface, how could a mother ignore the pains of her child? How could a mother, my mother, ignore me, not like me, not love me, and deny me my right to be just me? How could a mother deny the right of a child to be joyously happy and safe? My insides ache with nauseating pressure as I write this, now knowing and accepting the sadness that this was my childhood.

 

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Because No One Asked
Healing Through Telling

Interlaced Poetry

I Am Not My Mother’s Dream

This is not a masterpiece.

Just as I am not.

The picture is on the wall.

I am standing with you.

 

Gaze at the picture to see what you will.

But embrace me and accept what is real.

The canvas holds lines and shades by design.

My light is my color, emitted in kind.

 

Look away from the picture

and into my eyes.

There see yourself –

both gifts from God.

 

Take my hand and see your hand-

the reality of life.

Stand beside me and know me.

I am real, not a dream.

Hated Sister

 

I don’t want to go there anymore,

but I have to –

over there, through that door.

 

Going there stops my life – damn whore –

since I was two.

I don’t want to go there anymore.

 

I can see my small self on the floor –

Ugly and smelly and blue,

over there, through that door.

 

I didn’t breathe or cry when I was four.

He forced me not to.

Why do I have to go there anymore?

 

It often starts creaking and banging, more and more

until I finally go through

it – that door – that relentless controlling door.

 

I held my small self at thirty-four.

I picked her up when I knew

why I didn’t want to go there anymore,

over there, through that incessant, incestuous door.