The bond formed around the unlikeliest of subjects: child molestation.
I had hit him one day, truly “out of the blue”, with information about my youthful sexual liaisons with our neighbor – a grandfather, and the father of my best friend. The look on his face was inscrutable but I thought I detected anger, guilt, some helplessness maybe. As a coup de grace I slapped him with – Oh….and he molested my little sister too.
That part was not mine to tell. I just wanted to bring him to his knees, twisting the knife deeper. Let him know that his strict, even abusive, ways of attempting to protect me, to protect us, did not work. We didn’t talk about it then.
Years later, before his death, when he was sick, we reconnected one last time with the remembered ease of the relationship we shared when I was a child – before boys, before hormones, before religion, before sex.
I was around 5, he said, when I was molested by a female relative. I didn’t tell anyone because she told me not to and I liked it.
My heart went out to him then and, on the other end of the phone miles away, I slumped. Understanding washed over me and my life and actions begun to make sense. I felt myself shift to coach/healer mode, asking the appropriate questions, however my intent was not to heal him but to understand the man with whom I had had a complicated relationship for the larger part of my life. Seeing him as a defenseless little boy who was inappropriately touched, and who was, like me, a prisoner to the confusing feelings of a too-early awakened sexuality, helped me understand his waywardness, his lack of respect for women, the empty feeling that surrounded him, and his inability to keep his pants zippered.
Our sharing that day also helped me to understand myself, the ever-present feelings of “something missing”, and my inability to keep my legs scissored.
We spoke tenderly, an hour of phone conversation reaching across the years dissolving time. When I hung up I knew that if he died the next day it would have been okay. There was nothing else I needed or wanted from him. We had come full circle. I felt complete.
Throughout my life, carrying his energy along with that of my own premature sexual awakening I attracted and was attracted to empty men like him; fragments trying to make a whole. If there was one bad boy in the crowd I made a beeline for him and him for me, his penis a divining rod picking up on my emptiness. The good guys were merely stepping stones to my goal of attempting to fill the hole (no pun intended).
Through 2 marriages the pattern persisted : Find the man who cannot commit, who thought I was there for his pleasure, who was married or in a relationship with someone else and who never gave much as he did not have much to give – except sex and sometimes not even good sex. Find him, find him, find him. I did not have to look. With the energy I was broadcasting they found me easily.
I did not sit down to write this but the words tumbled out on their own accord, writing themselves, surprising me, healing me. For the first time in my life, I have named and acknowledged my own feelings of emptiness – my driving need to be filled by another, a feeling of incompleteness.
I feel very thankful for my life through him and with him and I now acknowledge all of him that I have been and am. I am grateful to him for sharing that part of his life with me. It was years before the full significance of our conversation became clear. Years before I realized that in my cells and consciousness I was carrying the energy of not only my own childhood abuse but also his.
In ceremony today, with sage, sweet grass, and cedar, I symbolically returned to him all that was not mine, and all that had never been mine. I then called back to myself parts of me that had been forcibly taken away, given away, or lost on my journey.
Today, in gratitude, peace, and love, I buried and fully released the sins of my father.
Courtni ~ The Soul Muse