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Master in the Making

"Possibly the Most Interesting Woman in the World"

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Yesterday

For the past few years I have been volunteering for Community Hospice. It’s an organization that I have much gratitude for and that is why I volunteer. Nearly every volunteer I speak with has their own story of gratitude and also their purpose in volunteering. I don’t know if I can speak for others but for myself being my Grandparents main caregiver I was worn out and ragged. When Hospice came in and provided services it provided me with a great sense of relief. A sense of relief that I cannot describe.

    This blog wasn’t supposed to be a plug for Community Hospice or volunteering, but yesterday while I was volunteering I realized something and I broke down crying. Thank god I was with a couple of grief counselors - they are use to people crying. A lot of people don’t know this about me, but I am a very emotional person and I do cry more than most. I knew this about myself for some time. That’s why I haven’t done patient care and have only done Hospice events like the one I was at yesterday. Yesterday’s event was “The Victims Rights Rally and Family Safety Fair” put on by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Victims Services Program.

    There were several speakers to kick off the event which included family members of victims. As I was sitting there I realized I too was a victim. I don’t see myself as a victim, but I was a victim. This event and these people were there to provide justice for victims. I thought to myself that these people were very lucky, because in my case I will never see justice served.

    I am making myself very vulnerable here and sharing my story, but let me be very clear that this is only one part of my story - this part is one of most horrific and ugly part of my story. I have nothing to gain or lose by telling what happened to me. I am telling my story because there are others out there like me that will never get justice, nor do they have a voice or somebody that understands them. I am so saddened to know that there are so many people out there that have a story like mine. I have heard some of these stories and they are very horrifying. These people haven’t and don’t know how to heal from their trauma and they too did not get any justice like me.

    This past summer I came to realize that, that a little flashback memory that I kept having for years and kept denying that it happened. That memory really did happen to me. Nobody put that memory there and I came to realize that repressed memories do exist. I never believed in people having repressed memories. I began to recall events around this flashback and then investigated by questioning others about the trip to visit my Grandparents in Canada with my mother and brothers, when I was three years old.

My flashback memory was also of being in my Grandfather’s office in a room and that he did something sexual to me. My Grandfather was a Chiropractor and had his office in his home. My Grandfather had put me into one of the rooms where I was suppose to take a nap. I’m not sure that I took a nap.

Once I admitted to myself that this happened I was able to recall that immediately after this happened that we were in his car driving to meet my mother at the lake. I remember crying and being angry - I was completely beside myself. Once I felt all the anger and frustration that I had felt as a three year old child - I was able to recall more of what happened on the trip.

I was able to recall being totally hysterical and trying to tell my mom what happened while my Grandfather was in a port-a-potty. I remember her just looking in my eyes and her blowing me off. She blew me off like a child that wasn’t getting their way. I remember collapsing on my knees in the sand and throwing sand around in anger. Even though I was only three years old I knew she knew what happened to me and she chose not to deal with me or what happened. I remember her having my youngest brother in her arms and turning her back on me. Never engaged with me to find out what happened and why I was so upset.

From the Lake we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s cabin. I can recall being outside the cabin and finding myself alone with my Grandfather again. I remember shaking my index finger at him like he wasn’t going to get me again and running away to find more people to be around. I can only imagine that I couldn’t relax while we were there. I remember after being at the cabin for a few days we went to another Aunt’s apartment and sitting on her balcony for a long time dialoguing in my head how to articulate what had happened to me to this Aunt. I told my Aunt the best way I knew how as a three year old and she basically told me to get over it. I think it was probably at that moment is when my three year old self said you need to forget this ever happened, so that you can deal. The only way I knew how to protect myself was to forget it ever happened.

At Forty-seven years old I had a hard time dealing with the fact that I had repressed memories and that my family behaved in such a way. My own family didn’t believe me, protect me or love me when I was three. It was incredible about the time I was going through this I had a friend call me and tell me a very similar story that they had repressed memories of being sexually abused by a family member. I hadn’t shared with them what I was going through prior to them sharing their story. I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t the only one that had this happen to them.

The most tragic part of this story is at forty-seven years old I talked to my mother and told her all of this is that she said she didn’t believe me and that she wanted proof that it happened. I have forgiven my grandfather, my mother and my aunt. I still have healing to do from my own mother not believing me, because that is the biggest hurt I have. I don’t need justice or vengeance in any way shape or form. I know that I wasn't my Grandfather's only victim - there were others.

Yesterday my life’s purpose was validated. I was meant to go to that particular event and to hear the words that were said, to talk with the people that I talked with. My purpose is to be a healer and to help others heal from their deep hurts.

Yesterday for a moment I was a victim - today and every day forward I am a warrior and I am a survivor. Today I  am healing to become a healer! I have always been healer - it’s just going to become a full time job.

If you are in a position to help another person in any way shape or form you can, even if that is to listen to somebody talk - do it because you don’t know what kind of difference you can make in somebody’s life or their yesterday. If somebody seems to be struggling with depression, anxiety, drugs, alcohol, etc. - it isn’t as easy as flipping a switch and making these things go away. There’s an underlying reason people have issues and yesterday something that was repeated over and over was that instead of asking “What’s wrong with you?” Ask “What happened to you?”

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