How different it is for me to be writing about my childhood not in bits and pieces as I have done before, but in one continuous line — which is the way I lived it. I am going to take a few minutes right now to jot down some points right now as I take another little break in the book-writing process. This helps me to digest my ‘food of discovery’ so that I can receive new nourishment that will give me new strength to forge ahead in my task.
I have become very clear that nothing about what I am doing as I search backward to find who I was and my reality as a child has anything to do with who or how I was THEN. It does have everything in my universe to do with who and how I am NOW. I trust everything I am learning right now, every discovery, every insight, every new step of growth I take NOW because I know in my heart I am doing all in my power to track from the beginning of my life what the TRUTH was THEN and therefore what the truth is NOW.
This is a comprehensive journey unlike any I have ever taken before. As one of my dear friends reminds me, there are no formulas for writing one’s ‘memoir’. There is, however, one single factor that leads this way: This unerring light of the search for the truth. This truth is MY truth. Everyone has one — a personal truth. That personal truth flowed all the way through every single instant of my childhood just as it flowed through every molecule of my body.
One of the most important discoveries I made last week as I wrote through a two month period of time when I was 8 1/2 — and as I work to create an amalgamation of my mother’s written (letters and diaries) words about this time, is that something happened then that created for my mother, for her children, for her husband, and FOR ME, that for that two months HEALED my severely ill Borderline mother.
Instead of all the factors in her life that conspired to make her life one of misery and tragedy — a Perfect Storm — during this particular period of time all the factors needed to create its OPPOSITE were present.
In the midst of the Alaskan homesteading process — for those two months — my mother experienced Perfect Peace. During those two months she lived in a state of perfect grace.
Our whole family did because during that time our mother was WELL! I cried my way through that whole section of writing as I recognized with absolute AWE why I have always so fondly remembered those two months.
I know the truth now, and that truth was of such beauty that it has changed me forever to recognize it. If my mother, as sick as she was, could find healing for even ONE SINGLE MOMENT, let alone for two whole months (actually it was seven weeks), then that lets me know that healing is possible for a severe Borderline.
Of course she was not cured, and as ‘usual reality’ began to encroach back on her life, her healing diminished and again reached a state of total eclipse.
I cried through my realization this loss of my mother happened as well.
I cried — as I have so many times before — for the terrible disease that ate my mother by the time she was five years old. But at least now I realize there was at least those two months when she escaped its effects upon her. I wrote that there is no cure for Borderline, but there CAN be healing.
The only cure for my mother would have been if the circumstances of relationship traumas in her earliest life from birth had never happened at all. The cure is in the prevention!
The factors that led to my mother’s state of Perfect Peace were so extreme that they are nearly unbelievable — but she DID experience that state of perfect grace. And during that time there was no hatred. There was no abuse. I was included with my siblings as a part of our family.
These two months, I believe, were the only WELL time of my mother’s entire life. They were, therefore, the only well time of my childhood. No wonder I have always remembered this time! Now I know why. My mother’s soul was free to shine, shine, shine, shine because the obscuring and obliterating powers of her physiologically-based severe mental-illness simply evaporated during this period of time.
She had no way to keep that state with her. None. So she lost it again and never got it back. But there WERE those days! Those very real days of bliss, love and happiness for my mother and therefore for our family — and for me.
I know for me there cannot be profound healing if I try to look at what my parents did to me separately from what was done to them when they were little that changed them so much that they became perpetrators themselves.
I’m not sure there is another book in existence that includes the words of the abuse perpetrator combined equally with the words of the ‘victim’ hero child abuse survivor. I cannot be interested only in my part of the story. I am equally concerned with the factors that created the conditions that caused this abuse to happen in the first place — and to continue unnoticed.
There is pure, absolute beauty in everyone’s childhood – no matter how harsh, no matter how abusive and traumatic. I do not believe we would have survived if that were not a fact. It is as much my task to find that beauty as it is to tell the truth about the trauma. If the beauty is hard to find OUTSIDE the child, then look INSIDE the child. But LOOK! If you do not seek, you will not find!
I don’t believe there is any better way to straighten out a crooked pathway through adult life than to go back to the beginning, find the beauty, pick up that thread, and follow it all the way from THEN to NOW. While the long ago child cannot be changed, it can be found — and this journey of seeking, finding and following will change the adult writer in the ongoing progress of moments in the present, into the future — for the good — and for forever.
I AM AIMING FOR THIS FEELING! Joy SOUNDS LIKE THIS