Have you ever had a time in your life where you saw your past and your future stripped away to the fence posts in your current life? It was all just things that happened, and things that will happen, that stand around you like inanimate objects that have lost their potency, and are just there. It is like waking from a dream full of drama and danger, and finding yourself alone in your bed, surrounded by the objects you have collected over the years, and the things you find useful to have around.
It's been hard for me to write, or think, or do anything but keep my eyes open and my self upright in the last 2 weeks. I have been trying to be more honest about my life, but I really needed to quit going along with my parents and their dishonesty to do that, and I have done that. The world looks different to me now.
I argued with my mom, and she denied that a lot of the abuse happened, and that they forced me to go to my great-uncle's after they knew he was sexually abusing me. She told me that she talked to her therapist the night she watched my dad give me a concussion, and the therapist advised her against doing anything, like say, call the police or take me to the hospital. I probably would not have believed her, except she dragged me to that same therapist, who wanted me to know that I was being mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused, but never reported it to the authorities, as he is legally obliged to do. I always wondered, how did he think he was helping by telling me that, when I had no power to change the situation? I was 13. Who even cares what he said. She saw what happened.
My stepbrother emailed me, and tonight I talked to him for an hour and a half. He thanked me for sending the letter, and told me he was taking it very seriously. He is moving away in a few months. Him and my dad have almost come to blows- it sounds like my dad is treating him a lot like he did me. He belittles him, and yells at my step-niece. Obviously my dad has not changed at all- my step-mom insists that everything that happened in our family was my mom's fault. My dad has lied to them about our family and the circumstances around my brother's suicide. He controls their family now. It seems my step-mom is firmly in denial. My stepbrother is going to talk to her about it anyway.
Finally, though, the reality is out there. I've told my side of the story, and it is not my mom's story and it is not my dad's story imposed on me. The fear, the guilt, the power my parents had over me is dissipating. I am standing up for my brother, too, and telling the truth about our family and his death.
Sometimes, our dreams are about escape, and the truth exists as strange symbolism in the corners of our mind. We try to push it back, but it's only when we wake up that the fear lets go, and we can stand and walk away.
…We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
-T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (the title too)