Thriving On the Other Side continues to try and understand the puzzle of why her own mother appeared to turn a blind eye to the abuse of her child. Some images may be upsetting for some readers.
I was kinda mad at my mom after that revelation. Not really mad – disappointed. Abandoned. Betrayed to some level. I would stand up for anyone in that position. Why didn’t she step up for me?
But I understood why she reacted as she had. She was a generation older than any of my friends’ moms – so she was really old fashioned. She was also a lady – genteel and soft. She’d been hurt in the world and returned to her small town home and my dad for safety. He’d sheltered her from anything bad in her life. Until now.
She adored me. I can only imagine what the realization of what was happening to me did to her. She probably reacted as I did when I learned the truth – pushed it away, looked for excuses. Overwhelmed and repulsed by the truth. I understood that. I was a modern woman searching for answers to my life, a life that I knew was driven by something dark within me. Yet I hadn’t wanted to face the truth either – hadn’t wanted to believe the reality of my childhood. So why should my mom be any different?
Still, I stewed about my mom. I wish I had someone I could talk to, someone who might remember something, anything. But there isn’t anyone. I was an only child, they were both only children – it was a small, tightly knit family. Her friends were gone now and my childhood friends wouldn’t have known.
But then another puzzle piece fell into place. One of my first recovered memories had been of me laying in the barn, looking up at the tobacco hanging in the rafters. I’m about 13 years old. My daddy is on top of me hurting me. I’m flinched up against the pain and horror, fingers counting the letters in the song I’m singing in my head even — as my hands shake continuously at the wrists – wringing my hands over the powerlessness of it all. Distracting myself from my “now”. We hear a car pull up by the barn, my dad listens. And then, out of the blue, I fight back. Something inside me snaps and I fight back for the first time in so many years. I hit my dad in the belly, push him away and race for the door.
I never knew what happened on the other side of that barn door. The memory stopped there.
But then – a few months ago, the memory returned, and continued. I was in the middle of an EMDR sessions when suddenly, I was back in that barn. All the horror of my little girl self flooded into me. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t take this anymore. I began to rock back and forth in the chair, fingers counting and hands flailing. The memory was stronger than ever before. The whole scene replaying until I was free and running. Scrambling over the rough-hewn barn floor, scuttling down the stairs into the horses stalls, trying to pull my pants on as I hit the door, bolting out into the sunlight, knowing someone had finally come to save me.
Running right into my mom’s arms.
Recent Bel Brown, Thriving On The Other Side Articles:
- The Power of a Pause
- The Power to Change Our Story
- The Power to Co-Create
- Of Faith and Fear
- What’s in a Secret?