Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My past has always been something that haunted me. I have written about it several times, and I am open about it to friends. I try very hard not to talk about it in a way that inspires pity, because I DO NOT WANT PITY. Everybody has something. Everybody. My something is a mountain I am continually climbing. I have chosen a life that will drag up ALL of my baggage every single day. I know when I wake in the morning that I may encounter a situation that takes me back to childhood. I know being a mother is going to cause me the pain of my own memories flooding back.

I know all this, and I choose it. I embrace it.

I cannot delve into my childhood for remedies to simple childhood illnesses. I cannot call up a recipe for chicken soup that was made for me when I was sick. I cannot use any of the words that were said to me for my daughter. I cannot think of any family traditions to pass on. I have no recollection of holidays that I care to pass on.

I am creating my journey into motherhood from scratch. From nothing. Everyday I MAKE motherhood work, despite the memories that call to me.

I could write here that I am a victim of horrific childhood abuse, but I won't. Because I will NOT accept the victim role any longer. I have lived under the black cloud of my past before. I have been gloomy and ugly and pessimistic. I have allowed it to color every interaction in my life. I wore VICTIM like a name tag. It was as much a part of my name as anything else.

It is so tiring to live like that. A bone deep weariness. It is a spiritual attack bred in your most formative years. Imagine this- the person who plays God in your world alternatively ignores you or makes you bleed. You look up into the eyes that are supposed to be filled with love and see only rage. You are 3..4...6...9. You are helpless.

And even when you escape, it still follows. Even when you find God, and reach for Him. You are still reaching up to a power, to a father figure. The deepest struggle of my life has been in trusting God not to wound me or leave me.

He has been faithful. He has been FAITHFUL.

A few weeks ago, I read a passage in a book that floored me. I had to actually set the book down because I was shaking.

"I am not a victim of abuse if I do not perpetuate it. I AM A CONQUEROR."

I have never labeled myself in this way. I have never totally thrown off the victim label. I have worked hard at overcoming, yes. But labeling myself as a conqueror, no.

But I am, and I have. Despite the endless roundabout of memories in my head, I am nothing like my abuser. When I doubt this, Mark reminds me. When I pray, God tells me. When I look at my daughter and she looks at me, there is only love. NO FEAR. With God's help, I have created motherhood for myself. I have found a path that takes me past victim, past PTSD, past flashbacks, past bruises and bleeding and tears.

I have created for my daughter what I never had. From dust and ashes, I have created love from nothing.

I have conquered abuse. I have conquered what alcohol, bipolar disorder, and family madness had stolen from me. I am a CONQUEROR.

And now, I picture that little girl I was. I see myself, nursing bruises and broken bones as I stare out of the window into the night. The house is quiet and lonely. My stomach is empty. My mother is gone. When she returns, I will run to bed and cringe in the dark and hope she does not see me. My soul cries for affection and just be SEEN.

And then I picture my Lily. She sits, right now, in her playroom. She is surrounded by light and toys and books. Her stomach is filled with eggs and fruit and milk. Her mind is filled with the books we have read and the memories we have created. When she sees me, she lights up. She smiles. She comes to me for help to wrap her baby, to fix her hair, to help her find a book. She sleeps every night secure in the knowledge that when she wakes, she will find me there, ready to love her.

In between the child I was and the child I have, there is God. There is my will to do better and not to harm. There is a vast river of selfishness I have left behind. There is darkness I closed the door on. And in every loving action I take for Lily, and every memory I create for her, I heal myself.

Conqueror, not victim.