In the movie “City Slickers” the venerable and grizzled cowboy named Curly, uttered the now famous line of “just one thing” when referring to the secret of life. When asked what that one thing is, Curly would only repeat the previous line. It was for us to go out, experience life, and find that one thing for ourselves. That one thing for me is LOVE!.
I love my father more today than at any other time period in my life. I make that proclamation due to several experiences that we’ve shared together over the past six years. My 76-year-old father told me that he loved me for the first time in March of 2007. It was the same day that I came home after spending 28 days in our local hospital’s Chemical Dependency Unit. Kind of an odd time to tell me that he loved me but I remember thinking “hey, I’ll take it” There have been several other endearing moments shared between my father and I since then. There is another reason that I feel a deeper connection with my father today. Last year, after a particularly emotional heavy session with my psychologist, in which I talked exclusive about my father and recalled some of the brutal encounters that I remember from my childhood, I sat exhausted and slumped back on the couch. Looking at my psychologist, silence lingering between us for a few minutes, I eventually broke the silence by saying “I wonder what my father’s childhood was like.” After another moment of silence, he responded by saying “I believe that he showed you”. I left our session with those words pulsing in my mind.
The generational cycle of child abuse lives and thrives among us today. What happened to me at the hand of my father, I am certain, also happened to him at the hand of his father. For that alone I am sympathetic toward my father. He has suffered from gastrointestinal problems and esophageal reflux as long as I can remember. I can see how that would manifest over time when your own childhood trauma was bottled up and buried deep in your soul. What happened to me at the hand of my father was absolutely wrong. Adults know better. Adults should to control their actions. If he was having trouble controlling his actions, he should have sought help. All the evidence is there. Its been tucked away for 51 years. Bits and pieces recalled and shared in my therapy sessions over the past 9 years. The evidence has aged, as anything would over a half century. Sketchy sometimes. Missing pieces here and there. But the core of the evidence remains vivid in my mind, in my body and in my soul. I can feel it now as I write. My fingers are shaking and my heart is pounding.
I have walked this earth for a smidge over a half Century and I have come to realize that I have never loved anything or anyone unconditionally. Not my children, not my wife, not my friends and not even my beautiful unconditionally loving Weimaraner who worships the ground I walk on. Why? To protect myself maybe. Fearing that I might not be loved me back. I might feel hurt. Bad things might happen to my family and as long as I maintain an arms length posture, I will have a back door escape should any bad things happen to them. I am no longer a victim.
Today, I am a survivor. I am motivated to work on opening my heart so that I can experience love in all of its essence. “Don’t be afraid to be weak. Don’t be too proud to be strong. Just take a look into your heart my friend. It will be the return to yourself. The return to innocence”. – Enigma, Return to Innocence I have listened to the lyrics in that song by Enigma over a thousand times. They are simple and pure. I will remember them as I seek to love my kids, my wife, my parents, my friends and my fellow man…unconditionally.
5 thoughts on “Love…..”
Thank you for shairng this, very true the generational acceptance to abuse and violence within our homes, against those we should love and protect. Now we are the new generation, we are Generation No More!!! This is has been my voice and my hope of helping others understand since publishing my story in Feb 2011 – Been actively sharing this truth with others, helping other survivors share their truth to protect, educate and give the power of voice to every child, every human that has ever been harmed by those they love and need. We are giving a better, safer existence to our children and teaching them a better way. Hope you’ll visit the new building site and upcoming radio show – http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com – there is more to share in the tab page for ‘Generation No More’ sign the guest book and share your information, bring resources of healing, hope, and life to all, thanks so very much for sharing your story and the love rebuilt with your father on the understanding of how his generation viewed these actions. powerful!!! – tricia
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and respond back. Generation No More, I like that. Getting into the solution! Breaking the chain of generational child abuse is a massive effort. But there is strength in numbers.
After nearly 6 years sober, I made my first amends to my oldest son. I told him that I will break the chain for our family name. I just hope to God that my bout with Alcoholism didn’t level a measure of abuse that will linger psychologically with my children.
Thank you again for replying to my post. It gives me strength and hope to know that there’s movement. I’m still exhausted after letting go of that secret in my post. At the same time I’m riding these huge waves of freedom that just keep coming, one after another. It’s all good!
I’m so thankful to see such an honest post from a man. My husband and I are both from alcoholic homes, he ended up with the addict gene, I am co-dependent. Both of our homes were abusive, his included sexual abuse. He had never told anyone until he hit bottom at the height of his drug and alcohol addiction. All of his lies and deceit caught up with him when his affair partners husband began extorting him. He had to tell me about his affair, which landed us in therapy, him in rehab and now NA. On Jan 13, 2013 he will have 1 year sober. Again thank you for your honest post. I’ll continue to read your story.
““don’t think, do, no matter how difficult it may seem”. That is worthy of an entire post, don’t you think? (excuse the tongue-in-cheek)
I liked this post in it’s honest, raw context. Thank you. I subscribed and will be back.
This post helps me immensely. Thank you for sharing as I am on day 3