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This area is reserved for the tidbits I know hope will be of interest to my readers. Check back often for regular updates. 

 

Check out this article about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena, including a list of organizations which strongly oppose this sick trend, and have implemented various means of helping women who have been sexually victimized.

 

Were you raised by a narcissist? Chances are you were if you suffered any form of childhood abuse. The Little Red Survivor website is filled with excellent articles examining the many faces of narcissism.

 

It's been a long time coming---7 years to be exact---but finally email notifications for new BD posts is available. Sign up today and never again miss another post. You know you want to!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kate Is Rising has an excellent Survivors Resources page which directs you to numerous websites dealing with issues of abuse, healing and recovery. Please bear in mind that the information on these pages may be triggering.

 

 

There's lots of good stuff at the Dissociation Blog Showcase, including a list of 180 blogs dealing with some aspect of this disorder. 

 

 

On the Overcoming Sexual Abuse site there's an article entitled, "It's Not About You Mom" which I could have written myself. I bet many of my readers could say the same!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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« End of An Era | Main | While I Was Gone »
Thursday
Mar052009

It Had to Be Me

The haunting question which burns in my mind is one from which I can't seem to escape: did I need to have the parents I had in order to become the unique individual I am today? Is it possible there was no other way to become me? That my early sufferings were all part of a greater good?

Obviously, if I had other parents I would be a different person in many ways. Well, that's not quite it. I wouldn't exist if I hadn't been created by my parents. What I'm trying to tip-toe around is the growing conviction that my childhood was necessary. This is where my mind and spirit strenuously object. If I needed to suffer the pains and abuses of my earlier years, does that let my abusers off the hook? On the surface it would seem so, but then I'm reminded of this verse:

"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!"

To say that sexual abuse is a stumbling block is an understatement. What greater stumbling block can a child trip over than to be mauled, derided, unprotected, unloved, put in harms way time and time again? To look for and find no nurturing consolation, no easy deliverance, no righteous indignation on one's behalf. Oh, the stumbling block of shame and deep mortification--who of us doesn't know all too well those feelings? Not only do we know them inside out, we stumble over the aftermath of them for the rest of our lives.

I've never had difficulty understanding why my father was assigned his role in my life; for all his flaws and faults I can see the good influence he had on me, as well as the inherited traits of character which have helped mold me. What I've shied away from is that there may have been some eternal purpose in having my mother for my mother, that their initial meeting wasn't just happenstance but rather something which was necessary. (There's that word again!)

It's tempting to think God made a mistake in this area of my life. Perhaps He was busy with other, more serious issues, and couldn't be bothered with this one detail of my life. But in my most sober moments I know I don't really believe this. I don't believe He makes mistakes. And so I'm back to square one, wondering why on earth my mother was chosen to play her role in my life. The thing is, I firmly believe God is capable of intervening in human events and sometimes, in His perfect wisdom, chooses to do so. He could have led my father along a different route the morning he and my mother literally bumped into one another on a Portland sidewalk. That whole meeting could have never happened and then neither would my childhood for I wouldn't have existed. There wouldn't have been a me without them, for their coming together made my existence possible, contributing more than just the color of my eyes, or the thickness of my hair: life itself.

Trait: A genetically determined characteristic or condition. Traits may be physical, such as hair color or leaf shape, or they may be behavioral, such as nesting in birds and burrowing in rodents. Traits typically result from the combined action of several genes, though some traits are expressed by a single gene.

I'm including this verse for anyone reading this who think I'm searching for a loophole to let my abusers off the hook: "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea." While my parents were destined to meet and create the being who was their one and only daughter, it was up to them to make the right choices in life. I don't believe that the abuses of my childhood were preordained in the sense that they had to happen. Other decisions which affected the rest of my life could have been made. At any moment in our individual histories we are capable of changing our life's direction, of regretting earlier choices and learning from them, thus becoming better individuals.

My mother must possess some qualities of character which have been passed on to her daughter. I'm so used to thinking only in terms of what I didn't get from her that it takes deliberate effort to look at it from a more positive point of view. I can't even list here what these character traits might be, for it's going to take me awhile to ferret them out.

Do my thoughts on this make sense to anyone? It's a hard subject to write about because I can't seem to express exactly what I mean . . .

 

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Reader Comments (9)

Hi Beauty,
Your post makes perfect sense. You raise some good questions. I am currently reading a book called "The Shack". Some of the same points and questions are raised in this book as well. I have not completely finished it but the answers given in the book and the way they are presented is quite interesting. If you get a chance check it out.
Paula

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaulaJ

I do not believe that your suffering was necessary. Like you, I don't believe it was preordained either. But I do think it's safe to say that the events of your life, bad and good, have served to turn you into the person you are today. Was it for a "greater good", as you wonder? Who is to say? Who would you be if your life circumstances had been different? There is no way to know.

For myself, I view it like this.....I cannot change what happened and questioning it doesn't give me any answers. It certainly doesn't bring me any peace. It just IS. I choose to celebrate that I survived. I choose to be thankful that I didn't repeat the cycle of abuse in my family. I choose to welcome the unique traits I believe came from my experiences. I believe being abused made me more insightful, more empathetic, compassionate, creative, independent. And I choose to try to use my experience to enlighten and support other survivors. I suppose what is necessary to me is to find every scrap of good that could possibly have come out of a crappy situation.

Beauty, you have a gift of expression. Perhaps that would not be the case if you'd led a different life. You'd have other gifts for sure. But my point is this.....sometimes those kinds of questions keep us living in the past. I hope you can embrace who you are today despite the experiences that led you here.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Paula:

I keep hearing about The Shack; I've got to check it out now that my curiosity is so aroused!

Kim:

I don't think that asking myself these questions necessarily equals living in the past, though certainly one could get caught up in the merry-go-round insanity of going in circles with them forever.

I think these are just puzzle pieces I'm trying to fit together. It may be that there is no answer, and that's okay. It's taken me decades to even be able to begin to give myself permission to ask questions about anything.

I appreciate your insightful comments. I like how you've chosen to celebrate your survival, and the fact that you didn't repeat the cycle of abuse in your family. Though it may not seem like it at times, I too celebrate my survival...but there will probably always be lingering questions coming to me in dribs and drabs, and I like sorting them out.

I don't know if I would have the gift of expression without the abuse--it certainly caused me to write my little heart out! But actually I think that writing is in my genes; if I hadn't been abused I'm sure I would still be writing, just about different things.

March 5, 2009 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

Good for you for tackling such a tough issue, Beauty. There are no easy answers. This is just one of the things I figure I'll ask God about when I'm done here on this earth. I, myself, have been trying to look at the "both/and" of life lately and writing a lot of poetry. It's something about making beauty out of pain or something.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarjakathriver

I go round and round on this question myself. I've never found an answer. I know my past has made me a more sympathetic person in some ways, more understanding, a fiercer attorney, an advocate for children. If I didn't have my parents or my past, would I have become that? Was it necessary to be who I am? I don't know. I like to think that God would have found some way to make me the person I am regardless. That God had a plan for me and would have used whatever childhood to form me into who I was supposed to be. Unfortunately my parents made bad choices. But God still used them to develop strengths in me - because I was willing to allow Him. If I had not been willing, then the abuse cycle would likely have continued. Does that make any sense?

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEnola

Marj,

Ah yes, beauty out of pain . . . well, if we had to go through it we may as well get something out of it, huh? I suppose in this lifetime we'll never fully understand the meaning of it all.

Enola,

Yes, what you wrote makes sense. I think you were basically saying the same thing I was, maybe a bit more clearly though!

March 5, 2009 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

Your thoughts make plenty of sense.

Another biblical story I am reminded of is Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

Marcy,

Yes, I've always loved this verse:

Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it. This was to keep many people alive, as he is doing now.

March 6, 2009 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

Ivory,

Maybe because of strong maternal instincts, a mother's love has always been thought to be the strongest and unconditional. This seems to be the case for many women who become mothers, but not everyone has those maternal instincts. I don't know if they stifle those instincts or if they never had them to begin with.

So do we expect too much? Yes and no. I suppose if one were to consider this issue logically we would come to the conclusion that it's not fair to expect every woman who becomes a mother to live up to the ideal, to the epitome of motherhood. But when we bring to this issue our abuses at the hands of our own mothers, wow--it doesn't seem so unreasonable that the person who gave birth to us and raised us should have shown some signs of maternal love. Yes, we do believe that our mothers should have been foremost in protecting us...usually it's our mothers who are in the position to do so. Speaking for myself, my mother was the one who brought my abuser into our lives. She may not have known what he was capable of when she did so, but once she knew she was the only one who could have saved her children, who could have "made it all go away."

The fact that she didn't still amazes me, astounds me, all these decades later. Seems to me that it would be instinctive to protect one's young, that one wouldn't even have to think about it or weigh the possible outcome. My mother wasn't terrified of my stepdad, it wasn't like that. She could have left him any time she pleased.

March 9, 2009 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

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