It is frequently reported that when ‘tests’ come into our lives their benefit is that they can make us spiritually stronger — depending on how we approach the test. Trial by fire – to purify steel. Trial by pressure – to purify coal. Whatever! Nothing enjoyable about this — except the slight hope that I might be a changed and better person after my proverbial inner boat stops — sinking!!
I am, since yesterday’s fiasco as posted here –
in the midst of a ‘test’. How useful this information might be to somebody else I cannot tell. It might be helpful to me to write something here about what I am experiencing more than 24 hours after the encounter written about in this post mentioned above.
I can write intelligently about the experience of trauma from child abuse – sometimes. But not right now. Having that sobbing terrified young woman walk into my yard yesterday to ask me for help has rocked my emotions so intensely that I could be ashamed of myself — if I didn’t know that what I am going through is what I am going through — because I need to.
Dr. Allan N. Schore describes in his writings that everyone who ends up with an insecure attachment disorder ALSO has an empathy disorder. This is what – most simply put — I am experiencing. I am unable to separate my own feelings that come from being severely abused from birth to age 18 by my psychotic insane mother from what I witnessed yesterday as this child, Sabrina, came to me for help that I could not provide.
Empathy difficulties start VERY YOUNG with children who do not have safe and secure attachments (since birth) with their earliest caregivers. SEE: *Preschooler empathy
I went to work at my friend’s laundromat and cafe today. I have never in my whole life experienced the degree of HOT anger about child abuse as I have today. I talked to my wise friend off and on all day about the need to remove extreme emotions (and ways how to do this) so that the TRUTH of what is going on can be found.
I scrubbed with meticulous and very energetic effort every washing machine and drier in the laundromat today. I scrubbed every dish and pot and pan in the cafe. I HAVE calmed down, but what I experienced today surprised me.
NEVER have I allowed myself to be angry at my mother for what she did to me. Oh, I work at informed compassion toward her. I work at forgiving her. I work at everything I can think of to make the intensity of my own feelings vanish as if they never exist.
I was never angry at Mother during all those years she force fed me terror and trauma. I rationally insist to myself that any anger I might feel has no value to anyone. “Righteous indignation” against wrongs that breach sane and right conduct — well, that I can condone. But not the truth of how angry I have been today.
I lived numb for the first half of my life. Then I sought ‘help’ toward healing, and gradually my numbness has dwindled away. Tonight I WANT IT BACK!
My Posttraumatic Stress was activated yesterday beyond anything I have experienced before — ALL OF IT!
When I finally tracked down the deputy today that I spoke with regarding this abused child yesterday — I asked him if the scenario would have played itself out differently for this child if I had called 911 rather than their dispatcher. I was told NO – it is completely legal for parents to ‘spank’ their children in Arizona as long as the ‘spanking’ is not done in anger.
The mother of Sabrina immediately packed her children in her vehicle and headed over the border into Mexico yesterday where Sabrina will never be able to call 911 for help as the deputy told her to do yesterday ‘should violence happen’.
I feel like a spinning top.
In full motion.
I feel as though a bomb has exploded with me at the center of it.
I have lost my equilibrium — and no matter how much I pray — there is no magic bullet appearing to ‘fix’ me right now — let alone the child whose fate I have no control over.
Lest I try to bombard myself with shame over my inability to recuperate from my own severe traumatic reaction to a beautiful child’s severe trauma, I swing over for a moment to read something like this about the very real KINDLING I am experiencing right now (and this is ‘the tip of the iceberg’):
Winifred Gallagher explains kindling in an article in The Atlantic Monthly, “How We Become What We Are” (September 1994). Gallagher writes:
“Over time, repeated stressful experiences can literally, not just figuratively, alter the nervous systems of the temperamentally vulnerable. Animal research has shown that when a rat is given a small shock, it shows no marked reaction; when exposed to such stressors for five consecutive days, it shows signs of the stress response; when exposed for seven or eight days, the rat has a seizure, and thereafter this ‘kindled’ animal will seize with little or no provocation. Experiments of this kind are of course not done with people, but Philip Gold and other neuroscientists now think that in human beings, too, by triggering a cascade of chemical reactions, serious chronic stress, particularly in early life, causes changes in the way genes within a brain cell function, permanently altering the neuron’s biology. Because they require a particular type of input to turn on or off, only some of a neuron’s thousands of genes, each of which is involved in some aspect of cellular structure or communication, are activated at any given moment. When a temperamentally vulnerable person is constantly bombarded with upsetting stimuli, Gold says, the genes that get turned on are those involved in the cellular components of the stress response.”
I may be the only person Sabrina has ever encountered who BELIEVES her and LOVES her! Did she understand this from the so-short time she was able to be at my house yesterday before the horrible witch came to drag her back to her lair-of-hell?
But, Sabrina is NOT the main issue right now. My own recovery – and what I can learn and heal about myself right now – is my main issue. On Monday I will find Sabrina’s probation officer – and do what I can working CALMLY with that channel on Sabrina’s behalf.
I just spoke with Ramona, my daughter, and found myself telling her that 99.99999999999999999% of what I went through as a child will not be known by anyone in this lifetime — except by someone like this child who knows – because she is living a similar reality. This is the first time in my life I have been faced with a mirror of my young self in the depths of such crisis.
I found a spiritual writing recently that talks about how people who leave this world with their soul pure will be met in the next world by the Concourse on High. This Concourse is made up of every pure soul who has passed on throughout all human time. They will listen to everything we have to tell them about what we have gone through in this lifetime. I want to be a pure soul when I leave here. I want to have this conversation in the next world.
This is the ultimate goal of all I do to heal myself in this lifetime, and of all the spiritual growth I hope I am doing here. I do not wish for my soul to be contaminated by any emotion, thought, reaction or action that depletes me where it matters to me most.
So my despairing anger I felt when I discovered today that it’s OK for parents in Arizona to ‘HIT’ (bully and terrorize) their children — and then when I searched online and found this is just as legal in every state in our nation — cannot sit in my heart and turn rancid.
From the EDUCATIONAL website –
I have a lot of letting go to do in the next few days. As I told my laundromat friend today, this is BIG for me. This experience is changing me. I will never be the same person again once I have processed the depths of what having Sabrina walk into my yard yesterday has triggered for me.
I pray for that child. Anyone reading these posts about her who can, please pray for this child, too. There is too much I don’t understand about the big picture. I have to believe that prayer helps us all.
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