The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tunneling Out of the Prison in My Mind

I stood frozen, facing my brother’s window, feet glued to the grass beneath me. I knew what was coming.

First there came a terrifying crash and a loud thunk, followed by horrifying sounds. It didn’t seem possible that the noise came from a human being. Rob screamed! He screamed from his gut—deep guttural, low, raspy and raw sounds. He was in agony! He sounded as though he was dying. I never have forgotten those screams.

The howling sounds of outraged humanity told the story I would later piece together from a bruised and beaten Rob. Ed had blown into his room with hurricane force, reached for Rob, pulled him down and threw him headfirst from his top bunk. He then lifted him off of the floor and repeatedly smashed his head against the wall before he whirled him around to hit his back against the sharp corner of the aquarium stand. When Rob tried to escape, Ed chased him around the room, hitting him in the stomach and wherever else his flailing fists could connect.

Finding it unbearable to witness any more of my brother’s agony, I put myself into a trance. I remained standing still beneath the window and let the world drop away. I was in the middle of a big void. That’s all there was — the void and the endless screams; that room and those sounds. – From “Heal and Forgive.”

Whether it was my own abuse or witnessing the abuse of one of my brothers, I often dissociated from the pain. Sometimes the very mechanisms that protect us as children – harm us as adults. Dissociation prevented me from feeling and healing from the pain.

My child-mind had to banish that which was too painful – just to survive! My adult mind could only take on so much pain at once. Each time I accepted the reality of my mistreatment, my mind delved deeper into the pain – healing at a deeper level.

It took many years for my mind to move from denial to the reality of my abuse. After a period of adjustment – my mind was ready to go deeper.

Each time I tunneled through a new level of healing, I thought I was going crazy. I’d ask my therapist, “Am I going crazy?”

I wasn’t crazy. What happened to me was crazy! I was feeling the craziness of it all.

Sometimes, the tunnel can be murder! Each time I hit a deep patch of healing, I didn’t think I’d survive. Yet, each time I’d emerge to the other side, stronger and healthier than ever before.

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