old couple walking in the city

How long is the normal life span? I know a few people in their nineties and several in their eighties still going strong, so it baffles me as to why the beginning two decades are so important to who we ultimately become. But they are very important.  Considering that we will live to be one hundred,       (give or take a decade or two)  our formative years are only 20%  of our entire lifetime but I believe that they are some of the most important.

little girl looking out a window1

Some people tend to totally forget the first ten or so years while others remember every detail as if it were yesterday. We all have had our happy

tire swing leap

and not so happy memories.

bullyingworried little girl

Some of the bad ones are obvious. There is abuse and no matter how you look at it, it is evident. Others are not so evident. It may be subtle, a parent depending on a child too much, a sibling or peers tormenting them. We remember and we form scars that last a lifetime. We have been told to “get over it” and yet how does one get over a mountain? I will tell you. One step at a time. It is possible. But the trick is not to discount the memories.

I know someone who was horrifically abused. More emotionally than anything. He was the boy with the story no one would believe. His mom was  schizophrenic. She was beautiful and full of love for life and for him for that matter,  but in a moment could turn into a raging monster. At first when I met her, I had trouble opening up my heart to her because of what I knew. And yet, she was hard to resist. We slowly became friends and though I never forgot the stories I’d heard, I let my guard down because this boy who I loved, wanted a connection with his mother so badly. I became the bridge that connected them. We shared many happy memories until I witnessed one of her rages. Her words cut deep and were directed towards her son who I loved.

sad reflection

I was very young back then. Our relationship began the summer after I turned seventeen and ended shortly after I turned twenty. Funny how those three years changed me forever. I think that I had a few co-dependent issues from my own childhood and so I brought those with me, thinking that I could fix something that was far more broken than I imagined.  Because the boy I chose to love was abused. I in turn, was also abused by him. Because I loved him, I chose to look the other way. Because his mom couldn’t love him in the way that he needed to be loved, I took on the responsibility of that love and mine.

love in Heaven sillouette

And thus the cycle of co-dependency began to spin.  I looked the other way when he treated me badly because I had witnessed firsthand his abuse. Only imagining him as a child with no one to protect him. And my heart broke for him. Funny, even though I was his target for his abuse towards me back in those days, I took it because I knew where his pain was coming from. But I was still young enough to be damaged by it too. Not until writing my book, did I understand that I was also a victim of abuse in a way I never understood before. Though I looked the other way then, because I felt his childhood pain, I have had to come to grips with my own pain, in trying to break the circle.

little crying boy

In the book I am writing. I share my experiences. Though instead of memoirs, I am producing it as fiction. Taking out the unnecessary details and changing the names for the most part. But what I want to get across is how we find ourselves in situations and why. As I have written it out. It has been like therapy for me. But it has made me realize that the abuser isn’t the monster I remembered him being. For years, I had not even been able to say his name. When we finally broke up, I had been so hurt and damaged I didn’t know what to do with the pain and so I turned it into anger.

girl looking out window

Through out my life, and my relationships I know that, that one relationship controlled my entire life in all of the years that followed. I have had a hard time trusting and I’ve always needed to feel in control since then. Recently, that not so young boy (anymore) contacted me. I was not sure if he was even alive nor was he sure that I was. I  finally got my closure. I know for me, that I needed some sort of a resolution and when the opportunity knocked I had to open the door. I did what was right for me. I know it was selfish but I don’t regret it. I do regret hurting the people in my life now. And I can’t say that I am proud of all of my recent choices but I feel as if I can finally close the anger chapter of my life and that I have been educated in such a life changing way. Far more than any degree could offer me. I have learned so much about who I am and surprised myself about what I am capable of. Not everything, good. But it has gotten me to the place where I can say goodbye to my young self

Rockwell_Girl_at_the_Mirror

and look into the mirror and see ALL of me.

older mirror reflection

 I have had a hard time penning the ending to my book since then. I know now that I clearly had digressed, allowing my seventeen year old self to interrupt everything about who I am today. But though not everyone may agree, I needed to ask questions and say things I never said and I got that chance.

door with couple on both sides

Being “The one that got away” and knowing no one ever gave him the love that I did, is very sad but a little vindicating. Maybe at first, I thought revenge might be sweet. But when you have really loved someone, you only want the best for them, no matter how much they hurt you. Whether it is divorce or young love. There is such a fine line between love and hate. And until even today, I am learning that love is more powerful than any form of hate could ever be. And if the love had ever been genuine and you can go back to find it’s roots,  I guarantee, letting the hate go will feel much more vindicating than anything revenge might bring. It took me over thirty years to feel it. Today, I feel that I can move on. Or as some people have said :”Get Over it”.

typewriter

So I guess in the end, I want to make people see how subtle abuse can be, how everyone is a victim and how the abuser isn’t always a monster but just a product of their own abuse from their own childhood. My book is called Pieces of the circle. Now I feel that I can sigh and find that spot in the circle that needs to be finished and write it.

A rough draft of my book below… I’d love to know what you think or if you have any suggestions…

https://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

type the end

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32 thoughts on “Getting Over It

  1. I read every word of your post. I was the wife of an emotional and on occasion, physical abuser. He too was wounded by his father’s lack of concern for him and possibly abusive relationship. I too wanted to heal him, to make him smile. For 38 years I tried not knowing until the last 6-10 years that I was abused. He died 6 years ago. As a nurse and his wife I cared for him through a stroke, poorly controlled diabetes, and finally heart failure that killed him. I am still healing and so is our son. So now I write to help others and to heal myself. Keep up the good work!

      1. Wow! Thank you. My life is an open book so I can help others. How do you want to connect? Do you mean emails, phone, Facebook, or here on WordPress. I would be pleased with whatever you choose.

    1. Elizabeth… I am just finding some of my lost comments and am so glad that I found yours! Thank you for peeking in my archives! That is always one of the best compliments when someone takes the time to go back and read older posts! I love it!
      Thank you!
      xoxo

  2. You know what blows my mind?? I am writing the same book, not a memoir but a recount with different names and explanation of how I came to be who I am today. But I am including all the spiritual aspects behind the scenes which is tough.. I wish you and your book all the best. This was a great post! Love you much Sister! I can’t wait til we are united in the heavenlies and I can give you a proper hug. 🙂

    1. That is so funny. There is a place in my book where the abuse begins where I introduce praying. It is something that actually happened and God appeared as soon as I called on HIM. I don’t want to leave those parts out… but then again, the story is full of worldy stuff. I am really having a hard time with what to insert and IF… I would love to write Christian novels but I want to reach everyone. There is a lot I am not proud of in there. But it is my story and is being presented not as a memoir but as fiction so the lines are hazy… ya know? I sure wish that we lived closer and could meet at a coffee shop once a week to compare notes. Sigh… 🙂
      But I am excited to know about your project and if cyberly is as good as it gets, I am excited to connect here! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Oh Yes, I know exactly what you mean. The lines are hazy in mine too, I take creative license to thicken up the plot, but make sure all my most important lessons and experiences are in there. My biggest concern is that the other characters in my book, (family etc) may not like the way I share my truth about them, the way I see them and how it effected me. I know deep down it won’t go down very well, even though I have changed their names.
        My novel may have spiritual experiences all through it, but I don’t think it is a Christian novel. Much too much of the world, swearing, drugs and other stuff I’ve been exposed to that I am not proud of also. I too hope to reach everyone. To give those who doubt, some answers to feeling distanced from God. I loved the idea of sharing notes over coffee, but yes this will have to do until the Lord’s plan unfolds beyond what we have now. xoxox

  3. You know that Donald Maass workshop I’d blogged about? This is the kind of stuff he says writers need to draw from and get on the pages of their stories. This is what readers connect with! Personally, I think you were just doing research. . .. Just a thought! 😉

  4. This is so powerful Diane. I know that by opening up and sharing your truth in it’s rawest form, so many people will be empowered and blessed by your endeavor. This line especially stood out: ” I guarantee, letting the hate go will feel much more vindicating than anything revenge might bring.” It takes so much strength to let it go, get over it, and forgive, but a beautiful new world can be opened when we do. Praying for you and your continued peace. xoxoxo

  5. Wonderful writing, Diane. My abuser was damaged by his parents and by the schools he attended, yet I never felt sorry for him because of it. I can imagine why you accepted the abuse though, because we all think we’re going to be the one to change someone. And it does take so long to heal ourselves of it because in the end, we accept people like this in our lives because deep down we are damaged too. I’m glad you’re okay now, and writing about it.

    1. I was still young enough to feel the damage. I had a couple wise women counsel me and I will forever be grateful. That is why I kind of want to pay it forward and hopefully writing my book will help them see the light before they allow the abuse in their own lives to go too deep. A friend just finished chapter six of my book and we had a long correspondence on there this morning. So your comment is timely.
      The first piece of advice that one woman gave me was: “Honey, if you have to ask, you have answered your own question.” I had asked if 18 was too young to marry. The second one was a woman who shared her own story with me and that was what ultimately woke me up. I realized if it was happening when we were engaged, why would I believe that it would stop when we were married. So I got out in the nick of time but not before my confidence was severely beaten down. Most of my abuse was emotional but there were a few bouts of physical in there and that ultimately is what shut the door for me.

  6. VERY moving! What courage. What perseverence. I had my own codependent issues that followed me for years like a lost puppy. Different from yours, for sure, but issues (baggage) none the less. We have had abuse issues in my family to deal with. They still haunt those that were most deeply impacted. The abuser is still active in the lives of his kids and they suffer (unrecovered unfortunately). We pray that one of the kids will one day break the cycle. Thank you so much for sharing and our God is faithful to restore those years the locusts destroyed, as your story so poignantly affirms Thank you and God bless you.

    1. Steven,
      Thank you so much for your support! It means so much especially coming from you, someone I respect and follow. I always hold my breath when I click that ENTER key and share another piece of me, wondering if this will be the post that exposes too much. But in the process of my blog I am using it as a way to finish my book. As I share the story or my rough draft chapters I find the courage to share more here. Thank you Steven, you will never know how much this comment meant to me.
      Diane

  7. No one should accept abuse – we have to do something when we notice it – the worst thing is that it happens behind closed doors in our homes more than anywhere else, and how can we stop that.
    The other evening when walked back from my Zumba … some youth was bullying a boy – that is abuse too – so I step in .. put my arm on the boys shoulder and told him to walk away and then I had a chat with the others … Don’t know if helped, I hope so, because they listen to me and didn’t talk against me. Abuse, nobody should have to live through and still so many do.

    1. I love that story! If there were more people like you, there would be less sadness. There is a program that a lot of schools have incorporated, though hot enough. Where these counselors come in and gather all the students in the auditorium and half the kids sit on one side of the room and the other half on the other, There is a line in the center of the room, and they begin by saying if you have been touched by abuse, take one step forward, if you have bullied or been a bully step one step forward, if you have been touched by gang violence, or drugs, or your parents are alcoholics, or you are homeless, etc… and by the end of the first part of the program, the bullies and the bullied, the cheerleaders and the nerds, the jocks and the geeks… are all nose to nose and the lesson is… we are all more alike than we think we are. Then they split up into groups and share how one kid’s mother may have said hateful things to them before they walked out the door or how another’s dad lost his job and that is why he wears the same clothes to school everyday and the bully who bullied him because of it is in the same group… you get the just of it.
      As adults, we need to step in like you did. Good for you.
      If we could stop the abuse as kids, they wouldn’t carry it over to their adult life and the cycle would be broken!

  8. The way I understand it there are three stages of the formative years that establish the baseline for our adult lives. Birth through seven years, physical development takes place, the motor skills are formed into habits, and we establish our home in the body. Seven through fourteen we develop our emotional ‘bodies’ and learn about our emotions, and begin to establish our first feelings, and love relationships. Fourteen to twenty one we build our mental capabilities (mental bodies if you will) and form the basis for our long term mental life.

    Any of these stages can be usurped, and thrown out of balance, just as any of them can be re-enforced and we can literally turn into super-persons. Healthy, loving, and bright people.

    … Unfortunately, our society does not care to have its children brought up that way, and rare is the child that manages to pass through all those years within a loving family, and more importantly a loving community, that nourishes their potential.

    They say we repeat those cycles throughout our lives, and we get the chance for a mulligan (a do over in golf) again and again … Life is lessons, and yes after 21 we need to learn to ‘get over it’. But we are fond of our baggage, it is part of us, and to give it up would cause the ego to loose too much, so it fights to stay ‘broken’ because it is how it defines itself. Heaven knows I have plenty of my own (search my blog for “Confession is good for the soul” for an apt description), and yes it has taken years, and I am still uncovering answers. But I know this is the life I chose, and came here for those very opportunities, and as much as I could say I would have wanted it some other way, it is the way it is, and I am who I am because of it.

    How does it end … Ha! I was telling Laura form “Finding Life in a Death” this morning that no matter where enlightenment brings us, there is still the laundry to do.
    -gfs

  9. I knew as soon as I started reading who you were referring to. I love the title of the book. My ‘abuser’ is in jail now I think.. So you were lucky yours turned himself around and you got closure and vindication. Still looking forward to reading he rest!! Hint hint. Em xx

  10. Clicking “Like” seems so inadequate.

    Love the perspective that you have achieved. Life damages us all and perhaps at times we all abuse each other in one way or another. Not being perfect, how could it be otherwise? We can at least try to minimize it.

    To answer your original question about lifespan, Biblically at least, God set the maximum life span at 120 years during Noah’s time. It seems to have taken effect with those born after that point, taking it all literally. Some branches of medical science are trying to solve the “Tree of Life” problem and some actually think people our age might very live 150 years or more as advances continue to be made. As we go forward and medical breakthroughs are made there is a cascading effect even as things like computer speed and memory have snowballed. As we age five years and advances are made to increase our potential lifespans by five years, other advances and breakthroughs are just around the corner to up the ante further. There are projections that young ones today might live what at least seems to us to be forever, perhaps a thousand or more years. I find it fascinating how a single breakthrough goes to many iterative and ever more rapid further advances.

    1. Hmmm~ so the percentage of life experience that effects us so much is even less of a percentage than I thought! 😉
      As always appreciate your time and in-put!
      XOXO

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