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Let It Be Enough

December 31, 2010

Today seems to be an angry day. Sitting around dreaming of prison days; days spent with my mother and days in the walls. Can’t say there was much difference between them. ‘Cept I love my mother and hated prison; but was close to destroyed by her and healed in the walls. It’s funny how things work, I am a born optimist. I can’t seem to help it. I see what can be and figure it’s just a matter of time. On the other hand, by training I’m a skeptic. Can’t seem to help this one either. Since the age of five, I don’t believe I’ve seen one hand outstretched to help me without being fearful of the other.
Skepticism comes of this history:
When I was four, I lived with my family. That they were my foster family was a distinction I was aware of. It seemed to me then that a simpler way of saying foster family would have just been to say family and leave it at that. I was four, I didn’t know the word, ramifications, yet.

Well, things were just fine for me when I was four. Far as I was concerned, it couldn’t have been much better. I felt like the center of the whole business.  I remember singing “The Birds and the Bees and the Flowers and the Trees.” 

See, sometimes it happens that a young successful couple just can’t seem to have children. Well, being a normal young couple, this brings them great sadness. After much reflection and prayer, they decide that the love they have to share, needs to be shared and they begin the adoption process.

In the due course of procedure and time, I get an unexpected trip to the park with a bunch of strangers. What a party! I have a blast and am told wonder of wonders that I can expect another one soon! Ramifications. The next trip to the park is even more fun than the last. It is fun being the center of that much attention and hope. Doesn’t occur that there can be a price to being the center piece of someone’s dreams. That you get lost when forced into another’s dreams. But, again ramifications.

Some more due course and time and procedure pass along. And one day I find myself in a courthouse. Some people have talked to me and explained what was happening, so I know about adoption and what the park business was about. Still haven’t a clue about ramifications though. Eventually, I get shown in to the judge. Now, I’m pretty certain I knew the judge wasn’t God, but I couldn’t have pointed out the distinction, right then.

The judge tells me that these folks want to be my permanent parents and was that okay with me? Now this is the point where the ramifications I’ve been harping on came to hang in my closet. I said yes, great with me. Here’s the thing, I don’t pretend that this narrative is accurate. I remember and I’m trying to tell you how it was for me then, but I can’t hang on words in memory. Let me tell you what never, ever occurred to me and maybe you’ll understand. I expect I thought parents were the people who took you to the park every week or so. Because, I remember expecting to walk out of there and go back to my family, and hoping that it would be park next time not the courthouse.

Well that’s a pretty harsh smack down of a ramification. Try this one on for size. I’m no longer a little boy, I’m the incarnation of a dream. Finally, we have children. Now our love can mold their lives. Yeah, except I wasn’t a dream child. I was stubborn, defiant,self destructive, needed Ritalin, had problems with authority, I lied and cheated, and wet the bed. In short, I couldn’t be forced to fit their dream. I was pretty pissed off, really. I see that now. I had been tricked. I wanted to go back to my family. So my adopted mother, packed a bag and showed a five-year-old the door. The front door of the house. I was invited to leave. I was too scared, and that is when the shame set in. If I had taken those steps, and she’d had to haul me back by force, at least I would have been a prisoner and not a participant.  Ah, God!  I may not have understood ramifications at the beginning of five but half way through, I was an expert. If I walked out that door the scary world of adoption only got bigger. I knew I could be fooled, taken, abused. It had already happened. So, I sold myself to fear and betrayed my family.

And stopped feeling free and easy and the center of the whole business. And started feeling like what I was…, lost… and now ashamed. You should never at five feel as though you are five.

So tell me minister, prophet, God, how can you chastise me for a lack of faith? I was four. I was one of the little ones. Who, God, suffered me to be harmed, God? Pardon me, if the clay is a bit skeptical now.

Is there any chance at all that I can be forgiven for taking my pain and raping with it?

Can the pain a woman caused me be at least acknowledged as a dim component of my offense? Can the continuing pain at the hands of female teachers who saw me as my mother saw me, as a combatant? What of the woman, the teacher in second grade who saw the bruises from calf to shoulder? Well, at least I had her sympathy, if not protection. Does the abuse I suffered, and the fracturing of my identity exist as it did then, only for me? Might there be a reason for all my rage, if not for my victim? Or did all this cease to exist when I took my inexpressable rage and raped?

I was never sexually abused by any of my various parents. Why do we believe that is necessary? Harm comes from all quarters. Perhaps I am weak, but my crimes arose from, beatings, and the seemingly endless powerlessness of being a child to a mean, vindictive woman. Who was herself created by a mean vindictive father and so on and on to the end.

Another thing to consider, I was adopted into this mess. It took from the age of five to thirteen. Eight years to a rapist. I began having rape fantasies within weeks of discovering masturbation. How does that come to pass? I don’t believe I was born to rape. Add testosterone and simmer. That would make treatment kind of pointless as well as punishment. I don’t believe it is a flaw in my birth family genes as my adopted mother contends. I think I was trained to see women, all women, as combatants by my mother as her father taught her to see men. This training acted to sever my ability to experience intimacy. But like phantom pain, I experienced its loss, first as fear, then as shame, anger and eventually, rage. As I began understanding sexual attraction, I found rape fantasies gave means to release a bit of the rage at all the petty idignities, betrayals of trust, and vindictiveness of my mother. Not that I understood that then, I did not realize I was already long gone down the road to prison.

Inspite of Sex Offenders Treatment, I do feel entitled to my history of abuse. Both as the victim and the abuser. I feel entitled to the rage, fear, humiliation, powerlessness my mother instilled in me. I feel entitled to the despair of ever finding intimacy with women, after years of fearful approaches and terrible denials. I have lived all these, how could I help without them.  I feel entitled to create something more from the misery I feel, than victims. I want my little boys, the internal one, and my son to stop being sacrifices. Sacrifices for war, corporate hegemony, public outrage, or for our simple need of self delusion.

The sex offenders that come out of prison and off parole and who live offense free lives. These are resources. They are veterans, like their victims, of our eternal war with ourselves. Our seperate halves. Our women, our men, our boys and girls. These are not victim or abuser they are not combatant nor foe. They are simply our family and ourselves in all the wonderful variety of humanity.

The chains of sexual abuse are not held in one mind, but in the generations of minds. It passes through families an obscentity so profound as to corrupt our love for our children or that of a woman for a man. It is not the province of a gender, but of humanity. Listen to this resource your prisons provide you now, please. It passes through society, in aggressive sexuality and the innocent who tamper with it. View its passing in fifty years of television. Simply type ‘raped’ into Google to see how capitalism offends free speech.

I seek a healing, let it have been enough. Let us begin to forgive each other. I’ll humble myself, please start with me. Why must every battle end in Palestine? Why, having been wounded, can we only pass it along with anger added. Well, I am weary, read the tears in my words. I would like to remember my innocence because I mourn its passing. I mourn that I took it from another. Let’s let it be enough, forever and again, amen.

One Comment
  1. Kathy permalink

    Patrick, this entry feels and reads like one from the heart, not from the rage. I am not meaning to imply that the anger is not valid, just that it’s hard for me to understand and relate to. Try as I might to relate to it, it remains something foreign to me. Anyway, this entry not only showed the side that feels the pain, but also gives a glimpse into the compassionate man that has grown from the pain. i wish it were possible to start from point “B” and go forward instead of having to deal with the point A to point B crap first. While i may not understand your journey, I am glad to be a part of it now.

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