Happy 4th of July all my fellow Americans. Hope you had a glorious weekend of picnics, swimming, fishing, and fireworks. Here are two past posts that I wrote about my thoughts about independence:
True Independence Comes From In-dependence @ http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2008/07/true-independence-comes-from-in.html
Independence, Not Just For A Day @ http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2008/07/independence-not-just-for-day.html
Even though I wrote them two years ago, they still hold true for me today.
Next, I want you to go to the blog Emerging From Broken and read Darlene's post from July 3. You will find it at the following link @ http://emergingfrombroken.com/low-self-esteem-shame-depression-and-the-first-step/
Be sure to read all of the comments too. Some of them made me cry. Thank you Darlene for expressing what it feels like to be a child who has been abused and what it feels like to be an adult who has survived that abuse. It is often a hard road but we can become more than survivors and move into thriving. The key is learning to love ourselves and letting go of and refusing to believe the lies that we were told as children.
Here is my next installment on the Inner Child Letters Series. This is the letter to my inner seven year old:
Dear Seven-Year-Old Patricia,
I started to call you Patty but that didn't feel right. You are maybe the first that was called yourself Patricia. Like with three-year-old Patty, I don't know what happened to you. I don't have any memories of abuse. I have always known that something big happened to you, to us, that year. I need to say "us" because I need to stop distancing myself from you and from whatever it is that I don't remember. I am the child that these things happened to and I am the adult looking back trying to remember and, in failing to remember, still knowing that I have amends to make to you and apologies to make for not listening to you and not taking care of you all of these years of our life. I do love you. I will take care of you and protect you from all possible hurt as much as I have the ability to.
I don't know what you are protecting my mind from knowing but I thank you for it. I know that you did the best that you could as a seven-year-old child to protect yourself from whatever happened. It hasn't been blocked completely because I have always been aware that something happened, I just don't know what it was. I know that it was major or the memories wouldn't be blocked. I can guess that it was possibly more sexual abuse, but it is only a guess.
What I do know from that year is that my maternal grandmother's house burned to the ground. What I just got was that we were left with my uncle while my parents went to make sure that my grandmother was okay. This is the uncle that raped me when I was eleven years old. This was the uncle that took my brother, sister and I to work with him on his garbage route and got my brother and sister so drunk that they both got terribly sick and he thought it was funny. I didn't drink because I have never liked the taste of beer. This was sometime around the same time period within a year or so. Part of me wanted to quit breathing as I typed this. Another possibly clue but still no memories?
Before I was seven years old, my parents would let me spend a lot of time with my maternal grandmother. I had a very strong connection to my Grandmother Howe because when I was two years old and got whooping cough, I was taken to stay with her and my Uncle Albert who lived with her at the time. Until I started to school at age five, I would spend weeks or months at a time with them. After I started to school, I would spend a month or more with them during the summer months. Then when I was seven, Dad refused to let me stay with them anymore. That summer was the last time that I got to spend large amounts of time with them. After that I got to visit with them only when my family went to visit on holidays. I missed those happy times with them. I never knew what changed and why I couldn't go to visit them anymore.
Around age seven is when I remember having headaches for the first time. I remember spending large amounts of time outside by myself. I remember a very religious aunt telling me that I was going to Hell because I was wearing shorts. I remember not liking her or her daughter after that summer.
This is just bits and pieces of memories and nothing concrete to say that I was abused, just possibilities.
Dear Seven-Year-Old Patricia, I hope that you will learn to trust me and will reveal your secrets to me one day. I know that I can protect you and I will continue to love you no matter what secrets you hide. Know that I am strong enough to take whatever you want to tell me now and in the future. I will not allow anyone to ever hurt you again. I will always listen to whatever you want to say to me. I will always be here for you.
I love you,