Sunday, October 09, 2005

On Truth And Family Legacy

This writing came out of an email reply to a survivor friend of mine, who was asking for advice about how to handle her children’s negative feelings about her decision to separate from her family of origin because of ongoing problems, stemming from years of sexual abuse that she endured at the hands of her stepfather, and her mother’s lack of protection, even though she knew about the abuse, but chose to blame the victim, which, unfortunately often happens in these sorts of families.

She has been through therapy and has achieved a degree of freedom from her past, but has never told her children what happened to her. They are now in Junior High and College, and don’t understand her decision to do this. So, this is what I told her:

When I came out of my family, and started my own, I vowed that I would not live by the same principles that they lived by. I vowed that my children would have a different life than I. This is what has kept me going, and kept me fighting throughout the years.
I was raised in deception, betrayal, and lies, and I refuse to live my life that way. It is why I am where I am today. I have chosen to be a truth seeker, and a truth liver.

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
Psalm 51:6

So, what I am saying is this: Nothing good can come from secrets. You have nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing that happened to you was your fault. Why protect a false image of a man, and of a family?
These things happened to you, and your children deserve to know. They need to know so that they can better understand the situation, and you. They need to know so they can consciously choose to build a new family legacy. One based on love, not betrayal. One based on truth, not lies. One based on light, not darkness. One based on openness, not secrecy. This they can do, but only by knowing from whence they came.

By you shining your victorious light as a survivor, and an overcomer, they can see the strength of who you are, and why you have made the decisions that you have. They will know that you made them, not just for yourself, but for them and their children, and their children's children.

If the past remains secret and hidden, what good can come of it? How can God transform what evil meant for destruction and decay, into what good means for growth, transformation, and healing. And this, not just for yourself, but for your children, your descendants, and also for hurting survivors of these travesties everywhere. Decay and rot happens in the darkness. When it is brought out into the sun's lifegiving warmth, it slows down, stops spreading, and dries up. Yes, you will always see where the rot has taken place. There will always be an indelible mark on your soul, but it will lose its power to destroy. It will stand as a testimony to what was, and what God has taken and transformed, as only He can do.
These are battle scars, and we wear them proudly.

Consider this quote from JRR Tolkien:

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." JRR Tolkien~ The Return of the King pg. 190

Severina

1 comment:

Lauriane said...

Severina,

I stand beside you as you walk through this journey. The words you have to offer to this unknown woman are sage and true. I take them to heart. Blessings Severina and may God always walk with you.