Saturday, September 6, 2008

"The Great Debate"

I have been quite blessed with random acts of kindness as of late. My brother-in-laws kind understandings were most appreciated. Considering that during at least two, maybe three, prior phone conversations his words made me cry. He would tell you that it was not his intention to make me cry and I would tell you I believe him. Although I am not totally convinced he does not want to have phone sex but that is for another discussion.

My last post surprised him. That's what he said. I pondered his words. I asked him what surprised him. He said that he found it surprising that I put 'it' on the Internet. Again, I pondered. I realized that what he found shocking I see as mundane now. I also realized that such lack of emotion is a sign of healing or healed. What was new for him is "old hat' for me. Oh don't get me wrong - I still remember every detail and feeling. It is just that now, along with a few left over elements of emotional baggage (one or two that can be paralyzing), I am as good as one gets after experiencing such things. My brother-in-law might see it differently - and that matters to me and I told him that. It always brings us back to the 'Great Debate' of the "clean slate verses murky slate in order to start anew" - which is when his determined and at times loud words make me cry. He wont have that discussion with me anymore.

My brother-in-law also said that he is amazed about the evil cast of characters I have survived and still, somehow, I turned out all right- meaning I am happy, loving, kind, compassionate, sensitive, fun and so forth. Maybe he doesn't even know how important it is to hear such things. I didn't totally know until I heard the words. Sometimes survivors just survive and then someone comes along and reminds them that they beat the odds. For anyone who has survived abuse you know what I am saying here.

I have explained to him that once a memory is tapped and surfaces it has to run it's course. It is impossible to push it back down before it is through or out. I have been re- surfacing ever since the first 'Great Debate' about the "clean verses murky slate" happened. It has been years since I have wrestled with memories and feelings and lost details like this. I believe it is a good thing despite the agony and clarity of the process. I wonder what it is I have to prove or figure out or accept.. I ask you, the reader(s) what you might think I need to prove or resolve or realize. Some of my own answers are off-color and unsettling and disturbing, at best. I asked my brother-in-law about one particular blank space in my memory with Daniel - I told him that I just want to remember since it is attached to one of those paralyzing pieces of baggage. He said that it is better to just have the 'phobia' and it need not be attached to the actual memory. He added that perhaps the memory is lost in the chaos of events and that to remember is just not necessary. I want to accept his view of this and on the surface I do. It is still haunting. Readers, any thoughts?

My brother-in-law apologized for a comment he made when we were together the time before last. He did not know of the experiences with Daniel at the time nor did he know of the pieces of paralyzing baggage when he said what he said.. One of the outcomes of the baggage is that I can't even say/write his comment. That feeling comes over me, that paralyzing feeling and I just stall. If he reads this and decides to ask me about the comment? I don't know if I could say the words. I think about answering him truthfully and I shudder. I laughed it off when he said it, saying, "oh please, don't worry, really, we make jokes about that all the time"!! Inside I was 'blood run cold' with old familiar fear. This, as of late, has been heightened and I can't quite get a handle on it. I have not completely settled back down to where I was before the 'Great Debate'.

I am somewhat concerned. I know myself and I am ruminating. I know the necessity of that and the importance. I am also questioning why now, no actually, why still?. Something is undone, unfinished, unreachable and it is clawing at me. And please, this is not a step backwards. Anyone who has embarked on a healing journey from trauma knows that "it" can re-surface. The difference is, no, the miracle is, I am not running from it. I am looking for it. Huge difference. So huge I am smiling. Yes, the 'Great Debate' with my brother-in-law was/is the catalyst and for that I thank him. We just never know who is going to come along and, "stir the pot".
Meanwhile, phone sex anyone?

still with a sense of humor,
your hostess


Anonymous said...

The moving finger writes and having
writ moves on.
Nor all thy piety nor wit can have it
back to cancel half a line.
Nor all thy tears wash out one word
of it.

Omar Khayyam

Gail said...

Hi anonymous -

I am not all that skilled at pulling some profound meaning out of such snippets of poetry.
It appears that Omar, a scholar and poet lived from 1042 to 1100-something. Your writing is from a poem translated by an 'Edward Fitzgerald' and may actually reveal more of his perceptions than Omar's. Omar, also, an astronomer, and mathemetician.

Perhaps this writing speaks to what I wrote being all I know at this time and once written it is so, and also my groveling for more detail in tantrum and tears will not bring forth that which I can't find.

Perhaps I am better than I think at finding meaning in such writings as you have placed.

Why don't you make yourself more real to me here?

I wish you would.


P. E. Nolan said...

My shrink says that if you can't remember something, your mind has protected you and it's best not to force it. However, if you need information in order to process, then someone who knows can tell you. For example, I had a run in with my grandfather when I was very young. I believe he fucked my aunt (who is three years older than me) for years - with the knowledge of my grandmother who put Pop in a twin bed and kept my aunt in the big bed with her. They all slept in the same room.

Anyway, when I asked my aunt if she had any experience with Pop, she slammed the door on that idea right away. She won't even believe that Pop did something awful to her brother, my Uncle Jenifer. He was my uncle, now he's my Aunt.

The point here is that if someone remembers, and you need the info, go for it. But you may only think s/he has the information you need. S/he may have needed to block it out for personal reasons.

In the case of our mutual friend the Bartender, he's probably trying to protect you. Men often get filled with impotent rage when they hear something horrible happened to someone they care about. At least he's saying something and trying his best.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-
I feel honored that you read my post(s) and wrote to me.
I absolutely know all too well how the mind/memory mystery works. Initially it took a couple of years to where I felt I had full recall, at least from the teacher. This unsettled clawing from within,is new. It is since the 'Great Debate'. When the bartender and I had the debate I defended my right to honor my own truth with such a vengeance I surprised myself. It was a good thing. That which I had hid for years I now was defending to own. When I told the bartender's brother what happened he too was surprised at the intensity of my defense. We went shopping that day and I kept turning to him to just hold me, pretty much in every aisle.

Later, when the abuse and betrayal by R C clergy surfaced like a volcano I wrote on my blog and them a cathartic email to the bartender. It is from then on that I can't reach a piece of what happened. It leaves me feeling out of control and like I am in danger because if I don't know "it", "it" can 'get me' whenever "it" wants. So I am fighting this constant state of fear of the unknown from within me ever since.

Your uncle is now your aunt? Amazing. And I am sorry for what your grandfather did. And your grandmother only able to turn a "blinds-eye" - it was the way of the world.

I will go to the other post to comment there to you, as well.
Trish? Thanks....really, thanks. I am crying, not loud sounds or sorrow but those kind of tears that come from that well deep inside that when someone dips into the depth of that well it just overflows so it's not so hard to carry. Thanks for drinking from my well and know, that I would drink from yours any time.
With gratitude,
and hope for victors everywhere,