Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Can of worms

 A friend said to me " you know that you've got to keep on writing until it feels OK again"....
It doesn't by a long stretch -

This can of worms has been sitting unopened for far too long - and now that it finally exploded  in my face -  it is probably not surprising that emotions fly around like shrapnel.

Everything about this subject feels raw and painful, people respond with their own stories, their own agendas, their own fears. It feels like the epicenter of an earthquake, where everything around me shatters, yet in the midst of it all is a stillness; the clarity that it was inevitable somehow. I didn't choose the moment, the event or even the subject. It found me and I am doing what I need to do in order to get to the moment when it feels OK again...

There is nothing brave about it.
There is nothing evil about it.

As much as all the messages and phone calls of support and love have warmed my heart and helped me through the 4 o clock wake up calls of nauseating, tearful and headachey attacks of directionless thoughts, fears and worst-case-scenarios....
as much as I felt emotionally assaulted by "friends" calling me "shameless" and "selfish" and compared what I had unleashed on "these poor people" to something "worse than cancer"...
as much as this is a highly private and personal story, this can not be about me.
It also should not be about "him" or "them".

There is no "me" and "him" or "them" - there is only an "us". We create situations as a society, a community or a family that teach our children the wrong lessons. Instead of creating a discourse we confine uncomfortable thoughts to the darkest corners of our consciousness, ignoring our own feelings, ignoring other peoples feelings and most of all ignoring our children's confusion when they are trying to make sense of our adult world.

What we are telling them is to speak out, when something makes them feel uncomfortable.
What we are teaching them is to keep quiet.  I have never felt so vulnerable and exposed as I have since I made the decision to speak out.

Speaking out does not mean, throwing accusations around or needing to to find "proof" for whatever it is I am feeling.

Speaking out means  telling my story from my perspective only and sharing with another human being that " I am uncomfortable with what you are saying, doing or not doing". It only shows that I am aware, that I care enough for my children and my friends to step in and give them the gift of my personal truth. I am not judging them.

My truth is that I saw my child distressed and confused by something I didn't understand at first. My truth is that, when my child told me her story, I chose to believe her. With that truth and with a sufficient level of trust in the safety of a friendship I decided to talk about "it".

How is it possible that this gets build up into something "evil" or "brave" instead of being just "normal". How can we make this about the adults, when it should only be about our children and how to raise them responsibly and with awareness?

It could have been that simple: If you ask my child  for a kiss,  that's fine, she can say no. If you ask her for a kiss and imply that if she doesn't comply,  she can't have something she really wants - my child is being manipulated.  And this is the first step on a road that one day might lead straight into the hell of abuse. It does not mean it was done with intention. Not at any point in my story do I accuse, imply or mean to imply anybody as an abuser. I would be careless and stupid to throw around accusations based on a feeling of discomfort.

Whether I believe my child when she tells me she was asked for " a kiss on the lips" in return for playtime with a phone or whether I believe the people who imply that she made that up, is not even essential. I don't question my child's truth, I question the need of the adults involved to discredit a 4 year old. The fact that she told that story should be enough for us to believe that she was made to feel uncomfortable. Here is the moment  at which we respectfully and truthfully talk about how we can avoid this in future.

This is it for now - I am still processing and will continue to do so in this space...

1 comment:

  1. I do think it takes courage to speak out honestly about a topic that is emotionally charged. And I think it is vital for someone to do so - so that others can see it's possible. that's the only way to break a taboo. In my opinion things like this stir up everyone's old wounds and each of us is faced with a choice about how to deal with the pain of it. We can walk right into the maw of it and come through and out (eventually) with new tools, healing and insight - or we can deny it, avoid it or project the awfulness of it onto others. Whatever we choose, we need to respect each other's choices. That way we can create a society that has space for safely being lovingly honest. Thank you for breaking this taboo.