Why this blog?
I need to say some things out loud before I die. I’m not knowingly staring death in the face, yet I know my days are numbered.
Like many other children, I was groomed to be a victim. What did that look like? How did it affect me as a child, young adult, wife, mother and professional woman? As an adult, what does it mean to take responsibility for myself and move forward instead of backwards?
I’m a preacher’s kid, the oldest of four beautiful, intelligent, gifted daughters. I learned early to live a double life—not intentionally, but as my sad and sorry default mode.
My father believed that his duty as my parent was to break my will. I survived thanks to silence. For years it served me well.
Then it didn’t. In 1993, on the eve of my 50th birthday, I broke my long silence with my parents: “I did not deserve to be shamed, humiliated or silenced.”
I began telling the truth about what happened inside of me when I was growing up. I desperately wanted my parents to know me as the daughter I am, not as the daughter they thought I was.
Now my parents are gone. I’m tempted to keep the lid on. Hunker down into comfortable silence. Haven’t I already told enough truth? To enough people? Maybe I should just think about it further. Or sleep on it. But grief, the global situation in which we find ourselves, and a tiny fraction of hope call me out.
Often when I’m playing the piano, writing in my journal, listening to music, singing, watching children interact with parents or caregivers, reading poetry or looking at a haunting work of art, I recall yet another piece of my life that was stolen or disfigured. I weep, swinging back and forth between anger and grief, longing for what will never be yet has within itself exquisite beauty and a glimmer of something better.
Something better, based on truth instead of lies. If I don’t tell the truth about my life, I will die inside. I want to live, and I want my children and grandchildren to live.
Hence this blog. Thanks for listening and, if you’d like, responding.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 Nov 2013