If I were to pick a traffic sign that represents life, I would go with this one.
Life is about moving forward, leaving the past in the past, and making tomorrow a better day.
Growing up I looked forward to achieving certain milestones, because it meant I was entering adulthood. It seemed like it would take forever for me to get a driver’s license, finish high school, and get my own car. I counted down the years for what seemed like eternity.
However, I achieved those milestones about thirty years ago. It boggles my mind how much time has passed. I am now watching my niece become an adult and she too has achieved those milestones.
It just doesn’t feel right. It seems strange somehow. Do you know what I mean?
Time is fleeting
A memory leaving
You are left wondering
Where was it going
Time flies fast
Moments never last
Memories like a cast
In the mind a blast
Until the cast brakes
The memories are fake
Time never comes back
Time there is a lack
Your time has finished
Memories are destroyed
Life is complicated
New life, new memories replicated
It is the circle of things
For one the death toll rings
For another life springs
It’s a mystery what time brings
According to the Oxford Dictionary: forgive means to “stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense or mistake.”
What if the offense caused a lifetime of pain? What if the trauma was so horrible you are left suffering with PTSD and depression for the rest of your life? Do you still forgive the offender?
I spent most of my life refusing to forgive a pedophile that tormented me and my brother. I wanted revenge. I used to daydream about finding this man, so I could hurt him as much as he hurt me. To be honest, I even thought about killing him from time to time.
Even though my mind was constantly dwelling on what happened to us, I refused to talk about it. Two years ago, I was finally able to tell my story to a therapist. I told the therapist everything that happened to us and was able to deal with the emotions that were festering (like a nasty infection) all those years.
I still think about that sadistic SOB that abused us, and I just can’t bring myself to say I forgive him. He caused so much pain that our lives would forever be affected by his actions. However, I am willing to let go of my anger (which is basically the same thing, but it’s easier to say). I am ready to move on with my life.
I have been plagued with reoccurring nightmares for years. The nightmares are rooted in childhood traumas that caused me to develop PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder.
I dream that one of my abusers returns to victimize me again. I try to call for help or to defend myself, but my attempts to stop the abuse fail. The dreams may be slightly different, but the endings were always the same. I become a victim again.
I spent years trying to hide from the trauma. I tried to suppress the memories. However, the past always returned and created havoc in the present.
For the last two years, I have been seeing an excellent therapist. He helped me to be able to talk about what happened and taught me how to overcome my past.
The other night I had that same reoccurring nightmare, but this time it was different. The abuser walked into my house, but I was no longer afraid. I went up to him and told him to get out and never return. I yelled at him and told him I would exposes him to the world. I was going to tell everyone what he had done. I will no longer keep his secret.
Eventually, the abuser left my house. He was angry, but for the first time I saw fear in his eyes. I finally defeated my demon.
There is a monument at the Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery that tells of the slaves buried on the property. The slaves were viewed as sub-human, so they were placed in graves with no headstones or makers of any kind. There is no way to know who is buried here or even the exact number of people buried on this land.
We all know the horrible existence of many slaves. They were traded like cattle, beaten by their owners, and had less rights than my dogs do today.
I like to go to the cemetery from time to time. It helps me remember the past and what can happen when we start judging people based on their race, religion, ethnic group, sexual orientation, or anything else that may make that person different from us.