First Things First
Getting Down to Basics
Please Sign
Ponder This

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!








This area does not yet contain any content.
« Things That Pleased Me Recently | Main | What Lies Beneath »

Before Night Closes In

I keep thinking I'll blog again, telling myself several times during the week, "Remember this so you can write about it." But the moment passes, and when I consider it in retrospect it appears too frail, too thin, too hollow.

Yesterday in my car at my granddaughters' school, I sat gazing out at the deserted playground. A brisk wind stirred up leaves and stray bits of paper, and bark dust (which I've always hated because the first time I saw bark dust was after moving to our new house on Brightwood Street).

The slides and swings and play structures looked cold to the touch. I shivered at all that coldness. When I was in grade school I ran and climbed and swung through the playground at school, recklessly and with anger pushing me, shoving my face into the cold air of late autumn or early winter. My coat always hung open, my hands stung with cold. I didn't care. I pushed my little body as hard as I could in an effort to fortify myself against what awaited me . . . at home.

Sitting in my car slightly shivering, I took in everything. The flock of birds which suddenly swept across the sky as if practicing for a professionally choreographed dance number, their flight effortless looking, graceful, gorgeous. No stragglers spoiled the beauty of their flight; they were all perfectly in sync. I watched them fan out then come together with easy precision, and then it was over and they flew back to wherever they'd come from.

The wind blew the swings, giving the illusion that they contained invisible children, pumping their legs fiercely. This led to the thought that I was an invisible child, or at least visible only by a very few: my friends mostly, and the occasional teacher like Mr. Hansen who used to wink at me and call me Blue Eyes. Though come to think of it, he was probably a pedophile which is why he could see me.

But the scene before me is telling me something and I ignore thoughts of my invisibility so as to narrow my focus and capture the nebulous thoughts which suddenly drive me crazy, like an itch I can't scratch. I may not find the source of that itch, but knowing me I'll scratch myself raw in search of it.

The sky is hazy and smoke rises from a distant chimney. A chain link fences separates the playground from the backyards of several homes. I wonder how anyone could like living so close to a school. I see a man enter one of the backyards and wonder about him. Did he move there because he wanted to be close to a school full of kids? I discard the thought, I won't go there, not now. Not now when I'm trying to break through the protective gauze that seems to enshroud my thinking and perception abilities whenever I'm about to feel something about my childhood.

The concrete, the swirling leaves, the metal poles denuded of their tether balls. What does any of it mean? To me. What does any of it mean to me? I see symbolism everywhere. I can't help it; especially where children are concerned everything has some underground meaning. Not always sinister, but I can't afford to take things at face value.

Suddenly a knot of children bursts through the back door of the building, exploding on the playground in a riot of color and noise. They run for the swings and the merry-go-round, the older ones wandering off by themselves to taunt one another or dare each other to do stupid things.

A boy bounces a ball and runs out to the parking lot to retrieve it when it goes too far. Immediately a male teacher yells at him, calls him over and scolds him for a good minute or so. I can see the kid squirm under the teacher's condemnation, and I inwardly squirm with him.

Enough, I tell the teacher silently, let him go. He stopped hearing you about 45 seconds ago.

Released at last, the boy wanders off, his former excitement deflated. He shuffles his feet, head down, keeps to himself while all about him kids scream and laugh and act like little savages while they can, before they are commanded back inside.

How many of them are being abused at home, is what I wonder. I don't want to. I don't want to have to think this everytime I see a group of kids. But I can't help it. It's instinctive with me to wonder this. How many others besides me were being abused back in the early sixties? Did any of them fare better than I?

My concentration is lost to me now, broken by the little boy's scolding and the thought of the kinds of homes some of them will return to later that afternoon. I may never know if the scene before me held some secret it was about to unfold. I'm used to this, used to feeling on the brink of some great or small epiphany which will reveal something withheld from me for decades, and then the fading away as the protective gauze falls back into place. Once more I am left looking at a scene which holds nothing of interest, just some kids I don't know, and dancing leaves which stir within no well-thumbed memories or unrealized longings.

My granddaughters will run out to my car, grinning, hair wild in the wind, their glasses smudged and their backpacks slung carelessly over their vulnerable shoulders. They'll climb into the backseat, excited to tell me the news of the day, quibbling with one another, vying for my attention. My focus now is on driving the five minutes to their home, getting us there safely before night closes in and we are lost forever, out in the cold.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (7)

It's great to see a new post from you, I've been worried about you. I, too, look at things in terms of how they were for me years ago. And I wonder (and worry) about children all the time. You're definitely not alone in this.

November 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKali

I do this too, I look at children and wonder if they're safe.
I have a difficult time distinguishing between a child's laugh and cry. It sounds the same to me.
Most things to do with children is for me bittersweet. It's as if I can feel their pain so intensely I could double over. I know it's my own issues I'm feeling but projecting on them. I also am sensitive to deeper meanings and distrustful of men around children. I worry more that the mother is abusing without suspicion simply because of gender. Quite a bit of this entry resonates with me. I'm happy you wrote it.

November 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Who can blame you for wondering those thoughts about the children? I wasn't abused but have been close to it being married to keepers and knowing other former victims like you, and I wonder all the time, what is that kid or that woman going home to? If you care you think it IMO. I hope you are able to post more often, people miss your posts, I can guarantee it.

November 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJM

This was written so beautifully. I could picture everything. So many times I have the same thoughts now when I see a park, or children. Those same questions run through my mind. It almost hurts to look. Thank you for this post. It is so hard to live in what I often call the "in between". At least that is what it feels like for me.
Loving thoughts to you.

November 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCC


I'm still here, just taking my time for a change, waiting to write a new post when there is something worth sharing.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

November 15, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer


Oh yes, I feel the pain of little ones all too intensely, even the lesser pains and disappointments universal to children everywhere. Lately I've come to see how much effort I put into trying to make everything ok for my grand kids. I want to shield them from everything, but at times this can actually work against them, and is a great disservice to them. I can't always be there and they need to develop the life skills they need to interact with others, to problem solve, and to retain a strong sense of their own worth and uniqueness.

And so I'm working on pulling back a bit. Being there, but not hovering. It's easier for me, and I bet it's better for them. I'm overprotective of them because of the trauma they experienced when they were kept from their father, and just all the stuff their mother put them through. But again, there are some things they can learn only by dealing with them themselves. I can be their soft place to fall, but they don't need me shadowing their every step.

November 15, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer


It can hurt to look at children. I can hardly bear to see the type of child who stands out because of that unkempt, woebegone look of an unloved child. The kind of child who is tentative and nearly always walks alone, with untied shoelaces and runny nose. Oh my, that just hurts my heart.

Hopefully, in most cases kids like this aren't the victims of abuse. Maybe they're just naturally introverted, and maybe the parent or parents raising them are always rushed, and overlook things like untied shoes. But that is sad too in its own way.

It would be good to not have to think of children, but as a nana I don't have that option. Nor as a victim of abuse, or as one who has many littles living inside.

November 15, 2014 | Registered Commenterbeautifuldreamer

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>