Ghosts from the Past

GOP Sexual Freedom Belt

GOP Sexual Freedom Belt (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)





Today, is the first time in 21 years that I didn’t spend my time continuously thinking about you breaking my wooden Louisville Slugger on my back, on December 26, 1990. For the first time on the anniversary, I didn’t feel hatred towards you or for myself. I actually started to feel some forgiveness towards you; that isn’t to say that there’s not going to be a time in the future when I feel anger towards you again, but TODAY, I tried to feel compassion.


I actually thought to myself that you behaved the way that you did because you were sick. I mean, something obviously had to be wrong with you to go from the man that I once worshipped, to the monster that I feared. I still don’t have the answers for what happened to make you act the way that you did, and I just can’t find it in my heart to accept the excuse of PTSD, that the therapist at the VA claimed. Don’t get me wrong, I know you went through some fucked up shit, Dad. In fact, I’ve learned more about you and the things you endured since your death in September.

When I was going through pictures to post on the display for your memorial service, I found one that was taken of a prisoner at war. I’m talking fucked up, black bag over the head Abu Greid torture shit. And for a minute, I wondered if you had been scared when that picture was taken. You weren’t actually in the picture, so I don’t know if you were the photographer, or if you were even present when that specific picture was taken. But seeing it, I realized that it wasn’t the first time a prisoner was treated that way; I don’t think anyone could be desensitized enough to take the picture the first time that they decided to torture someone. It also made me wonder, what other crazy shit you were a part of; it’s wrong to be cruel to someone who’s a prisoner of war, but I can understand it  on a visceral level. But it’s another thing to torture you’re own child, don’t you think?

I wish you were here so that I could ask you what happened in 1986, what was it that made you decide that it was okay to hurt me? I never told you, but I too was diagnosed with PTSD; I actually told my therapist that it wasn’t possible for me to have PTSD, because that was what they said was wrong with you. And, I never have and I’ll be damned if I ever do abuse my kids like you abused me. My therapist took her time and explained to me, that all of the times that I had dreams where you were trying to kill me, were really symptoms of PTSD. Obviously, I knew that it wasn’t normal for my husband to have to wake me up because I was screaming in my sleep, but I was terrified of being like you.

But today, I actually wondered if you felt terrified when your anger got out of control. I don’t remember you ever acting scared during or after an incident when you hurt me; in fact, I can remember the time when you were choking me on the stairs and as I looked into your eyes, it was like you were somewhere else and you were looking right through me. Then in the next instant it was like you were your “normal” loving self; you made me go into the kitchen/family room with you, and you forced me to sit at the kitchen table with you. You actually had the audacity to have me get my math book so that you could help me with my algebra assignment.

How were you able to change your emotions and behavior so quickly? Did you learn how to do that when you were performing recon missions as a Marine in Vietnam, or is it something that you perfected as a cop?The most important thing that I learned on the 21st anniversary of the bat incident, is that there are so many things that I should’ve asked you. There are so many conversations that you and I should’ve had before you died, conversations that I still need to have with you. I know that you can’t actually answer me back now, but until I “voice” all of my questions and attempt to search within myself, my memories of you, and the things I learn about you from asking people who had meaningful relationships with you for the answers to the questions that I have, then I’ll never be completely at peace. But I know that I’m moving in the right direction, because I didn’t shed a single tear, have any feelings of hatred or have an ounce of self doubt today.

It’s been almost three months since I started this piece, some days I have the same feelings of forgiveness as when I started this piece and some days I have anger in it’s place. I’m angry because as I take steps toward healing, I have to face all of the fucked up ideas that you placed in my head; I’ve got to face the memories and the pain before I can complete my journey.

In the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I’m often uncomfortable with my body’s natural reactions-I’m embarrassed by desires and feelings, and I’ve realized that it was you who planted the seeds of self-doubt and shame that I’m battling. I find myself asking why repeatedly; why does my body react that way, way does that make me cry, but the biggest why is why did you do it. Why did you work so hard to instill feelings of shame and guilt into my psyche, when it comes to sex? Why did you work so hard to ruin something that has the potential to be so beautiful? Did you really want me to equate arousal with guilt, and if so, why? Do you know what a massive burden it is to try and repress and control every sexual reaction that one’s body has?

Let me tell you, it’s not only damn near impossible, it’s also exhausting! I can’t do it any more; I’m breaking free, and it’s time for me to be the person that I was meant to be. So even though it’s a struggle to accept my desires and cravings, without the extra side of guilt that you’ve created; I’m going to try. I realize that it will be a difficult battle to overcome these things, but I plan on doing it one orgasm at a time…hmmm, I just realized that I could have a hell of a lot of fun with this journey & I think it will require a lot of practice ;)!

12 thoughts on “Ghosts from the Past

  1. So raw, so real, so heartbreaking. We don’t know each other, but as a feeling human being I ache for the pain you’ve suffered. Thank you for having the courage to share with us. May the rest of your journey be filled with nothing but joy.



    • Thank you, I decided if I’m going to quit worrying about what everyone else thinks, I had to be brave enough to admit the things that I was ashamed of about myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are many more…..but for years I’ve been embarrassed about being in a group home and foster care, and I wasn’t the one who did anything wrong….it’s kind of freeing (in a scared sub way 😉 ).


    • Can I ask you a question **saying pretty please w/the right amount of submissiveness***? So, I’ve been working on my memoir (originally for/and still partially for a class), but I’ve not really decided on the format yet. Some of the pieces are addressed to the readers, some are simply just to get everything out, and some like this piece are written to specific people….can you give my your opinion on which format you would use?


  2. This is such a tender, heartfelt account of the horror you have lived with for over 21 years. I applaud you for writing this with all the anger you have in your heart but to find a place to move on to being a much better perosn for yourself and your children. I hope writing this help you as much as reading it did to me. God Bless you, move up and onward..



  3. Practice it will take, for sure, but you’re determined. Good for you for posting this and sharing with us. I wish you best of luck in breaking through–it looks like you’ve already begun.


  4. Wow! Just so very out there! Awesome to put this to pen and let others see the heartache. I just want to hug you and make it all better but that doesn’t happen in the real world! Well, thanks for sharing and believe me when I say I cannot express how much I wish I could take memories like that and flush them down the drain. Thanks for sharing, Emily


    • Thank you; since my father’s death in September things have been getting better, at least in regards to the hatred that I once felt towards him. I’ve been working on a memoir for my class, it’s been really cathartic in some ways. When these things were actively taking place I didn’t process any of it, I didn’t have time to really feel anything because I had to focus on surviving. Now, through writing about these things I’ve actuall been able to feel some of my emotions towards them, and when possible ask the questions that I want answered, and ultimately I have tried really hard to understand where the people were coming from. I’ve started the process of forgiving my father, but I know I’m nowhere close to being finished processing things. My goal with my memoir is to say: I know life can suck, I was physically/emotionally abused by my parents’, dealt with sexual abuse & rape, was a quadriplegic for awhile when I was 17, got pregnant at 18….BUT YOU KNOW WHAT: I still graduated from college and am in grad school, was able to study abroad in Japan and I’ve got three beautiful & intelligent daughters. Life sucks at times, it can be extremely painful….but, it can also be amazing like when you look into your child’s eyes for the first time, or when you’re playing at a beach on the Sea of Japan with Mt Fuji in the background. The key is to have determination, even when everyone else is counting you out, that’s when you’ve got keep focusing on your goal. You’ve also got to be persistent, sometimes beauracrats will help you get a step closer to your goal, simply because they’re tired of you hugging them.
      I hope this doesn’t sound really hokie 😉


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