One of the people with whom I worked during my earlier years as a counsellor was a young woman in her late twenties who had behaved in angry and destructive acts ever since her childhood. After about six months of talking regularly with her she revealed that between the ages of 8-13 years, her father had sexually abused her after he'd returned home from the pub drunk.
For five years she put up with the abuse which included rape and was partially relieved when at the age of 13 years her father suddenly stopped. She later assumed that he had probably turned his attention to her younger sister. Soon after she ran away from home and never returned to live there, but felt overwhelmed with guilt for having abandoned her young sister and not telling someone. She knew that if she informed the police that her family would be split up and she also felt partly responsible for her father's foul acts.
When I met her, I advised her to confront her dad and tell him how he had ruined her childhood and had marred all relationships she'd ever tried to develop in her adult life with other men. I also advised her to consider reporting him to the police. I will never forget that she told me that she didn't feel entirely comfortable in the presence of any man and always found herself drawn to the bad ones. She then told me that her father had died a few years earlier so she couldn't tell him how she felt about the years he had abused her.
I advised her to tell him anyway and after ascertaining where he was buried, I persuaded her to visit the grave and release all her anger over it to the father who'd wronged her. This she did and though such action helped her, we lost touch soon after.
For reasons I am unaware of, she came to mind yesterday some thirty plus years since we first met and I penned the following lines in memory of her experinces as my 'Thought for today.' :
'Pull me from my past' by William Forde: Copyright May 13th, 2014.
"Pull me from my past and leave me not in want of eternal peace of mind. Return me to the innocence of my youth; to a time when all touch was tender and was to be welcomed.
Who was this monster of the night who interrupted my innocence and introduced me to lifelong secrecy and sordid acts my mind knew not existed; he who spurred me on to wild abandonment from untarnished youth to sexless adulthood?
He took a youthful bud not yet blossomed and plucked it from safe ground and embedded it close to his cold hands. And when he'd done all he'd desired to do, he chose my younger sister and left me filled with nought but anger and silent screams of never-ending pain with which to fill my days and haunt my sleepless nights.
Please.......please take my hand and help me lose this pain, for it is too heavy to continue carrying alone. He said he was my dad, but surely can't have been or would never have done me down and left me to waste." William Forde: May 13th, 2014