Carla Dippel over at Emerging From Broken blog has written two articles about the belief systems that she inherited from her father. Her first article she entitled "Illusive but Destructive: Belief System Inheritance" [ http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=722 ]. Carla's second article she named "Unintentional but Destructive: Belief System Inheritance" [ http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=750 ].
In both of Carla's articles she talks about growing up with a father that she loved but also learning to not value herself because that is what her father modeled for her by not giving himself value. Her father didn't set out intentionally to teach his daughter that she didn't have value as a person but he did teach this belief to his daughter was what he believed about himself. That doesn't make him a bad dad or a bad person. He was probably doing the best that he knew how. It just wasn't sending the most beneficial belief system to his daughter. As an adult, that devaluing of herself has created challenges for Carla in her life. She is addressing those challenges by looking at the belief system that her father passed on to her. Until you have an awareness of what you believe about yourself and others, you can't make the needed changes. I admire Carla's courage for doing this. I thank Carla for doing this work out in the public on her blog so that others can benefit from her example. I know it helped me to remember some of the belief systems that set me up to be abused.
In my last article, I shared a recent dream about my uncle. In that article, I shared that my first remembered sexual abuse was at the hands of my uncle when I was 11 years old. A major part of all of the healing that I have done around my incest issues has meant going back and looking at the beliefs surrounding each incident and feeling whatever feelings come up from remembering the incident. I really haven't done much of that with my uncle and this first time of being raped by a grown man.
I have had several conversations recently about survivors being attacked when they have broken their silences about the abuse that they have suffered through. I tend to get angry when I see this happening to others or to myself because for so many years we weren't allowed to speak or weren't listened to if we did try to speak out. One of the biggest fears of a lot of survivors of abuse is that they will be blamed if the truth is known and that they won't be believed. Those two beliefs kept me silent for almost 40 years.
The gun man in my dream [If you haven't read my previous post about this dream, you will find it at http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-chapter-in-incest-recovery.html ] represents those fears of being rejected, blamed or not believed if I ever told about the incest with my uncle or my dad. Children also have a fear of dying or being alone if they are taken from their parents. The gun man would resort to shooting me because of those fears that I carried with me as a child and even as an adult. I also had a very real fear of this uncle killing me if I ever spoke out against him. My dad threatened suicide several times in my childhood.
In the dream, I wasn't in a house. The dream took place in an apartment. I see an apartment as having different levels. The door didn't open up to outside. The outside was always safe for me because I could be alone and I had space to run or hide if I wanted to. The door opened up into a dark hallway. This tells me that the healing for this issue is on another level. I have never had a dream about this uncle before that I remember. I have also never dreamed that I was in an apartment like this dream was. So this level of healing will be different than the healing work of the past. Because of those fears and the darkness, a part of me represented by the gun man is willing to kill to keep me from looking at this issue. Some part of me is terrified of the truth and remembering.
I don't know how I feel about this dream and this issue yet. I am calm and I am waiting to see what comes up. I have asked for Divine Guidance in dealing with this issue and for what direction I am supposed to go with this.
What Carla's two articles reminded me of is that I was afraid of hurting my uncle's feelings if I didn't do as he asked, if I didn't do what he wanted. I put his feelings above my own. I allowed him to hurt me so that I wouldn't hurt him. My parents taught me well about respecting adults and always obeying them and never speaking out. I wasn't taught that I had value. I was just a kid who was supposed to do what I was told by the adults. Adults ruled my world. Their safety and authority were more important than what I thought or felt or needed. I was supposed to shut up and do what I was told so I did.
I can feel that I am not ready to give you the details of that time with my uncle just yet. Today I honor the timing of the telling of my story. I also honor the scared inner child who isn't quite brave enough yet for me to tell her story. She and I both know the time is soon. She is willing to take a step closer to the telling. She is willing to trust the adult me to protect her when we do speak. I thank you for your patience. We are almost there.
Patricia and little Patty