it took a week to write this journal entry which started as an assignment that kay had given me. here it is, in is meandering, disjunct form.
final thoughts on my emotionally disabled family and their inability to cope with 'me':
i've been facing and dealing with kay the long term impact the incest had on me in particular, and relationships in general. i'm sure i'll have more to say about the relationships part at a later date, but for today kay asked me to journal on the topic as it is relative to my systemic family.
we talked the other day for the entire hour about how the family's denial and avoidance has led to the fact that by their refusal all these years to enter discussion about the abuse and the collateral damage inflicted by it, they have missed out on the opportunity to come to know a truly incredible and unique person.
i am the product of an incestuous family, which spawned a child who in his emerging adolescence came to serially abuse no less than 4 of his 7 other younger siblings. a family that preached adherence to puritanical values, yet practiced something quite different. it was a family that controlled its subjects using fear and violence. it used shame guilt and ridicule. then in order to ensure its protection after those devices would no longer work to keep them in line, it resorted to denial and avoidance to escape the judgment of complicity.
....to be continued..... too painful to go on at the moment.....
[back again 3 days later; i am much calmer now, and the soul burn dredged up by thinking about this has subsided.]
it is a bit confusing but i am finding myself stuck on how to proceed in my writing about this. and as i ponder which direction to take, i begin to realize how difficult it is to write about what it is exactly that was lost.
perhaps one thing that would be considered is their loss of the opportunity for personal enrichment. by keeping me at bey all these years emotionally, they failed to increase their capacity for love and compassion. in doing so they chose to remain locked up in the prison of their own dark fears and shame. it is unfortunate, that we missed the opportunity to expand our capacity for love. the family unit is the primary school for learning how to love, support, encourage; to nurture and to build bridges from heart to heart, soul to soul; if that lesson is not learned in the smaller paradigm of the family, then it cannot be translated into the larger paradigm of society. such families remain a closed system, unable to be affected by any air outside their own cloistered walls.
i was born the second son of a family of 8 children: 6 boys and 2 girls. my older brother was the 'special' one [my mothers words] and i was what happened on the way to my parents 'trying for' a girl. it was somewhat of a disappointment when i was born, but my sister was born one year after me, and she was doted upon, while i was more or less left to my own devices, without the benefit of having my basic needs met for love, nurture and affirmation. all the focus was on the special one and the long awaited girl. eventually, year after year, over a period of 10 years, the remaining 8 siblings were born. eventually, the stress of managing a household of 8 children, many 1 year apart, became too great, and the resulting stress was released in the form of physical acts of violence against us, in order to control our 'behavior' and to keep us in our places by fear and constant threats of violence if we did not conform and comply.
[final part, written monday 9-28-09]
i'm coming to the end of a long and winding road, and this post will be one of the last that i make decrying the emotionally disabled state of my family system. after much introspection, i have decided to walk away from my addiction to commenting on their negative influence on my life. i have decided to move on now, with a deeper understanding. my intention is not to 'write them off' so to speak, but rather to write off my old prescription for coping with the pain.
the glass that was once half empty, is now officially half full. when i do write about my family, it will be merely to report on the impact of being related to an emotionally disabled family [thanks an, for that terminology]. at this crossroads i finally understand how i got to be who i am, because of where i came from. and now, empowered with this knowledge, i take full responsibility for any of the future choices i make in my life.
i left my family at age 18, joined the navy, and never looked back. i did not turn into a pillar of salt as they did. frozen and impotent, unable to become leaven for a world and its people. i went on to dream dreams and to pursue them, and to realize them. but yet, i thought i was still part of them, though i did not realize that we, unceremoniously, we had parted ways.
my family's focus was on having children, and not for the purpose of generating new seeds of fruit for the enrichment of the world, but merely to satisfy its own shallow purpose. am i presuming there should have been more to it than that? i answer that question with a yes. looking at life all around me, i see this marvelous intercourse transpiring on every level. it is what life is all about. the mathematics of creativity in the social discourse, the intermingling of hearts, souls and minds in processes of addition, multiplication and division. but that did not happen in my family. my family is too closed in on itself for outreach. it was like a root trapped by a rock, refusing its deeper reaching.
and so, while i decided to set my sites higher, their basic survival tactic remained simply to meet requirements necessary for sustaining their protective shell from scrutiny by the outside world. i needed more and i wanted more. a family is supposed to be a womb which forms its members within its sphere of influence, nurturing the growth by maintaining its own state of health during the gestation period, and ultimately birthing to the world a new being capable of enriching it.
however, in the stultifying tomb of my repressive family, i was reduced to a one dimensional character in their life. in the family tomb of existence, there was no joy expressed, no individuality tolerated, no deviation from the family ethical mindset. neither extraneous nor implicit interferences would be tolerated.
what was lost for me in this experience is evident in all i have written over these years, in terms of what they have taken from me.
but what was lost for them was the experience of coming to know and be touched by my warmth, my faith and spirituality, the experience of my compassion and empathy, my joy, my peace, my wisdom, and my humour.
but ultimately, everything that they failed to recognize as good and worthy in me, is their loss. in all the excluding, marginalizing and avoiding me, they lost the opportunity to experience all those wonderful characteristics mentioned in the previous paragraph.
but, for today, i reclaim the life i was meant to have upon entering this mortal coil. i claim it as my gift to the world, and for those that refuse it, well, all i can say, and without judgment and without rancor, and without self-pity: 'it's their loss'.