Content Warning: sexual abuse, rape, incest, emotional abuse
Three and a half years ago, I published a book about my childhood, deconstruction from Christianity, and how I had begun transitioning into the mystic. Barely a year later, I was hit with a massive wrecking ball – memories of having been raped as a child by my own father returned.
I know I’ve had another book sitting in me and waiting to be written. I am two years from those memories returning, and I know it is now time. For the past week I have been starting to slowly re-piece together my story in book form. By doing so, I have realized just how much I wrote about having been sexually abused but not consciously being aware of the truth. I used to hold the believe that my mother was just as much of a victim as I was against my father’s abuse. When my memories returned, an entire story line burst open. A story of how my mother never loved me. How she bent over backwards to make sure I hated my life; hated myself. A story of how she used every opportunity to take her jealousy and disgust of me out on me.
I had all the pieces of what she did to me, but I couldn’t see the whole picture. I was missing the thing that tied it all together; my childhood rape. I thought she was just lashing out at me because of how my dad treated her. The trickle down effect, ya know?
Through my mother’s treatment of me and the things she’s said to me, I thought I was just a despicable child. I knew there was something wrong with me. I knew I was disgusting and I was terrified if she actually could see into my mind. Besides, she constantly reinforced the idea that I was a disgrace to her.
As the missing memories began to fill in the gaps in the story of my mother’s treatment of me, I felt like I had been sucker punched. But also deeply validated. I firmly believe that she knew that my dad had raped me. But instead of standing by me and fiercely defending and protecting me, she took her disgust and anger at what he had done out on me.
I have no memories of my mother being affectionate to me. I have no memories of receiving hugs from her or feeling safe and warm or feeling protected. It was me against the world and my own house wasn’t safe.
And yet, I somehow am managing to not repeat the same cycles with my children. They are teaching me about giving and receiving affection just like I am teaching them that it’s okay to say no and to protect their boundaries.
Acknowledging and holding space for the damage my mother’s abuse caused is difficult. I’m doing it anyway, but I am holding space for my younger self’s heartbreak. It’s taken over 2 decades for me to get to a place where I’m okay with my body. I don’t feel like it’s the disgusting thing my mother always said it was. I love the shape of my curves and the fact that my body has created two new lives. I cry though for the pain my younger self experienced daily, and the self-doubt and belief that she was the cause of all of the family’s problems. My heart wrenches as the echoes of that pain still touch me to this day.
I wrote several thousands pages in the new book yesterday. I woke up yesterday morning at 4:40am with the last words of a dream ringing through my head. My mother was in the dream, but I was separated from her the entire dream. There was this weird kidnapping scene, I was with a sister, but not one of my sisters in this life time. We managed to escape and made it to where my mother was supposed to be. We were met by a personal assistant kind of person who kept going on and on about a bunch of weird details. I finally stopped her and asked her where my mother was. She just looked at me and said “oh, she’s dead.” To which I then woke up.
This is the not the first dream I’ve had of my mother dying or being at death’s door. The feelings that ripped through my body as I lay there in bed trying to process was of tearful relief. I believe the dream was pushing me forward to finish these last layers that exist in my mother wound. I felt like I was walking around with a bleeding and gaping wound on my back yesterday. I did a Lion’s Gate tarot spread yesterday, got some amazing cards and direction, but felt prompted to pull a 9th card.
I pulled the 9 of wands – the card of the final challenge, battle. The card of picking yourself back up, wounded and broken, and still continuing to fight to victory. It’s a fire card too and I certainly felt that burning fire ripping through me, burning away the pain and leaving the ashes behind for something to start anew.
So I’m standing tall, pulling myself up and facing these wounds and the deep dark pain. I’m going to do my younger self proud and give her the respect and space she always deserved but never got.