Thursday, February 23, 2012

020412 (022312) Why do you guys keep coming here to see what I've written?

In the previous blog entries that went into RAISING ABEL, I'm certain I wrote about my issues with self-doubt. Self doubt is the main reason my blog entries are so few and far between. What can I possibly write that someone would want to read?

However, I just figured out something crucially important. No one is forcing anyone to click on this blog. Ergo, people are clicking on the blog because they want to read what I've written.

Extraordinary concept.

I think you can see why I have such a hard time marketing my book.

I'm 55 years old (another extraordinary concept). My abuse was almost 50 years ago. I've been through therapy for years and years and years. And yet, the gift keeps giving. The way I was raised and formed by my parents still effects what I do and what I think. I constantly fight the concept that there is no way anyone could possibly be interested in what I've experienced and what I've written. It's a painful struggle for me.

How much harder is it for Abel, whose abuse was orders of magnitude worse than mine? (I know. Abuse is abuse and there is no "scale" for judging whose abuse was worse, but his was worse.) Abel is 21; he'll be 22 this summer. He struggles so hard to try to determine what his place is in the world. He says (and I'm hoping it's only "says" and not what he truly believes) that he is living on borrowed time. He says he was supposed to have died long ago at the hands of his birth parents or when he took all those pills. He thinks he will die young and that it will be okay because he should already be dead. I'm sure you can imagine how those words pierce my heart.

February 23.  I've been avoiding this blog as if clicking on it would give me an electric shock. There's something I'm avoiding, but haven't quite figured it all out, yet.

I will tell you the last couple of weeks have been pretty interesting. One morning, Abel told me that he had realized what he had to do to make his life have meaning. After I was dead and gone (because he didn't want to hurt me) he was going to track down his birth parents and destroy them. He'd been up all night and this was eating at him. He felt the only thing he could do to protect other people and to prove that they should never have gotten away with what they did, was to destroy their lives the way they had tried to destroy his. I argued, I begged, I pleaded, I threatened, but nothing was going to dissuade him from this goal.

Please let me make something very clear:  I do not and have never believed Abel would actually search for and do violence to his birth parents. But I argued because it so hurts me to have him think these poisonous thoughts.I still labor under the false belief that if I can just come up with the right way to say something, it will take his pain away.

So, he finally went up to his room to sleep and I sat and worried.

The next day, maybe the day after, he came to me again. He said, "I still think they deserve to have their lives taken away, but I'm not going to do it. I won't do it because I love you. And, even if you were dead when I did it, it would not be honoring what you have given me. You're my mom."

I cried and thanked him for one of the greatest gifts he's ever given me.

Abel is a good, loving, gentle, generous soul. But, he has all of this rage inside him and he wants so badly to find a way to clean it out. I believe that whenever someone is badly hurt, the primitive part of their psyche wants to strike back and kill. I think that actually bringing that feeling forward, imagining what it would be like, and then finding a reason to discard it without feeling like a coward or a failure for not having done it, was extremely important. It was disturbing and difficult, but important.

Working with Stanley, he is gradually clearing more of the anger and pain, but there is so much that those bastards did...

And when your kids get older they may also say some outrageous and frightening things. Try to remember that it's part of the process of expressing the poison, pushing it out where it can be cleansed away.

And remember, you can't track down the birth parents either, no matter how much you would like to.


  1. Wanting to do something CONCRETE is a "guy thing". I was listening to a psychologist on NPR talking about dealing with death and for men, they must DO something. I've seen a lot of that in other areas....was remembering a dad in our parish whose daughter was born with a disfiguring birthmark on her face and he wrote a children's book about that sort of issue and self-publised it.

    Maybe Abel can find some other way to "make it right" - I think of things like working in law enforcement, or running a shelter, or counseling...etc.

    Undoubtedly, too, his parents endured abuse of their own. Have you ever tried to find out more about them, to understand them? If he could see them as victims - victims who never (like him) got any chance to be loved or to heal, maybe that would help in some way..... He might be old enough for that.

    Or writing? Art?

    You have a LOT to say - sheesh! More than me and I write too much!

  2. Annie, as far as I'm concerned, you don't write enough!

    It's funny that you should mention writing and art. He's a wonderful writer and he just started talking about wanting to do some art photography.

    His parents did endure abuse and we have talked about it, quite a lot. He understands and doesn't understand. I'm just about in the same place. I know first hand what abuse can do to a child and their ability to live a loving life. I also know that you can fight not to pass the legacy on to your kids. I know in my head that some people are too ill to be able to fight, but my gut still feels all the anger that they didn't stop themselves from hurting him. I think that's how he feels, too. He can feel some compassion for them, but then the rage comes in and swamps that. He is, though, extraordinarily and rightly proud of knowing that he will never pass the legacy of child abuse to his children.

  3. Well, I come because your story feels familiar to me. And knowing there's someone else kind of like me out there helps me feel less alone and less, um, weird. Also, I've come to care about you and Abel through your books and want to be able to support you. And I love your honesty, and your sarcasm. ;) I happen to pretty good with the zingers myself; perhaps it comes with the territory??