I get discouraged sometimes. Some may wonder why I dig so deeply into the woundings of my past. Why can't I just let it go and move on with my life? Why am I writing so many books about neglect and abuse when it happened to me so many years ago?
I'm glad you asked. You see, I've lived more years in the trauma of abuse than I've lived out of it. I broke free my the violent man who robbed me of my childhood at the ripe old age of thirty-three. I understand Ms.F, the 43 year old woman who was locked in a dungeon in Austria by her conniving father and repeatedly raped from the time she was 11 until she finally broke free.
As one psychiatrist who testified at the trial noted (and I paraphrase), it wasn't the locks and bolts that kept Ms.F in the dungeon, it was her love for her children who would be left at the mercy of her deranged father if she escaped. Three of Ms. F's children born of her father's crimes against her had been adopted and raised thus far by her parents. They were clothed and sent to school and had a relatively normal life. The secret, it seems, was well kept and the children appeared to be well cared for. The other three remained in the dungeon with Ms.F where she schooled them herself and apparently tried to mother them to the best of her ability.
Scientists have questioned the possiblity of an "Austria Syndrome," that allows for such things to happen. Let me tell you, my friend, it doesn't just happen in Austria, it happens in America. I know because it happened to me.
I wasn't locked in a physical dungeon, I was robbed of my reason and my will at 5 years old and became the care-giver for five younger children whose well being depended on my submission to a violent man who lived a secret life right in front of them all. There were clues, many too obvious to miss, but denial is strong medicine and it will make a seeing person blind.
You don't just "move on" after something like that. It will make you or break you and by the grace of God the tragedy of my past has inspired me to help other women understand and overcome the pain of their woundings.
God is good and I have learned to recognize his signature in the love letters of my life, letters written in the earth and sky, the woods and the wind, the smile of a friend and the joys of motherhood.
After all that I've been through, I am here to tell you, It's still a wonderful life.