Sunday, August 3, 2014

"September" by Daughtry

Daughtry is one of my all time favorite bands but every time this song comes across my iPod I now skip it because it's just too painful. It has reminded me of my brother and sister from the moment I heard it because it reminded me of the bond we had as siblings and became one of my favorite songs. But since needing to remove them from my life it only represents a death to me and makes my soul ache.

Has it all gone to waste? All the promises we made
One by one they vanish just the same

The title itself is ironic. September. It's when the abuse started. I've always hated that month. But God has truly changed that by replacing that hatred with a blessing and creating a celebration for the month of September. My grandson was given to me and he is such a joy to my heart!

It was a Friday in September. Great way to start the weekend, right? The only reason I remember it was a Friday is because the Dukes of Hazard had been on and we had watched it with our dad.

Of all the things I still remember
Summer's never looked the same

I wonder what we did that summer? I wish so badly that I could remember playing hide and seek, playing kickball, walking to the little store to buy penny candy, playing car-light tag….I wish I could remember how that last summer of being carefree and just a child felt. I wish I could remember how we laughed with each other- completely unaware of the thief that was right around the corner. I wish I had the memories from that summer so I could hold them tightly and protect them. So I could pull them out and relive them when the awful memories surface.

The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain

Time is moving so quickly as an adult. I can't believe it's already been a year and a half since I last spoke to my brother. It feels like just yesterday. Each day all we do is create memories for tomorrow and, in the end, it's all we have to hold onto. I don't have many memories from my childhood. There are huge chunks missing all over the place. Most of what I remember about my siblings is from our adult lives.

Now the days are so long that summer's moving on
We reach for something that's already gone

We knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how
We would end up here the way we are
Yeah we knew we had to leave this town
But we never knew when and we never knew how

It's funny. I always believed that it was the past 5-6 years of the abuse becoming public that changed us. But it was really that day in September. We were forced to conform to a life in the darkness, living in fear of anything that resembled the truth. Choking on words that could have had the power to free us from the talons of demons. Shamed into pretending we were a healthy, happy family so that nobody would see we lived on the very same street where hell was built.

But the truth surfaced as it always does and a wound that was over 30 years old was violently ripped and slashed open. In the public eye. Friends, family and strangers gawked at the train wreck and whispered behind their hands. Oh. My. God. We were like the Emperor walking through the streets believing he was wearing clothes. We. Were. Buck. Naked. We were uncovered and the world could see the ugliness we came from. The shame, guilt and complete horror sat like vomit in our throats as we clawed at anything that would save us.

Initially, we clung to each other but as the dust began to settle and the nakedness became more 'comfortable' we turned on each other. We had to. It was in the script. The Ugly Family from Hell Street: Part XII. We were ordered to play our parts and we played to a standing ovation. Here we are at the curtain call….

Now it all seems so clear.  The nakedness, the guilt, the shame, the pain were all necessary for me to get to where I am today.

There's nothing left to fear. So we made our way by finding what was real.
 I lived in fear. Fear of the darkness. Fear of the truth. Fear of people finding out. Fear of all the threats becoming reality. I feared EVERYTHING. Not anymore. There's no fear in the Truth. There's no fear in the light. I stared death, abuse, horror and shame in the face when I was a child. As an adult, I laced up my boxing gloves and went round after round after round with every memory, fear, belief and emotion. I went the distance and I conquered each and every last one. I know the accumulation of all that has transpired is a result of my prayers to God when I was little and then later as an adult. He is a faithful God and will answer when the time is right.

I hope to have the chance to create a real relationship with my dad one day. Not one blanketed by lies and drenched with unspoken words. Not one that has any attachment to Hell Street or anything that ugly life entailed. Will I ever have that? I have no idea but I know I have hope.

Will my mom ever come around and admit her role in the whole script? Will she ever acknowledge what I said, stop talking bad about me to cover her own ass and offer an apology? Who knows.

Will I ever have a relationship with my siblings again is probably the most important question in this entire post. When I was being abused, my dad threatened if I told that my siblings would be taken away from me and I'd never see them again. It was my greatest fear as a child. You could not have told me that as an adult that threat would become reality. I would never have believed you. Yet here we are.

I've lost my entire family because of something one parent did and the other allowed to continue. In a normal family, the siblings would have stuck together and shunned the parents for destroying their lives. We weren't handed that script. Sometimes when you live where hell was built it's hard to adjust your eyes away from the darkness and see the destruction around you or even pinpoint the source of your pain.

Reflecting now on how things could've been
It was worth it in the end

Yes. It was worth it. All of it. Every. Single. Moment. And if I had the chance to rewind the last 6 years and do it again, I wouldn't change anything. Even knowing that I would lose my brother and sister. I know that sounds weird to some of you because you're in the same boat and would kill to have your siblings back in your life.

When I think of where I would be right now had none of the abuse come out- I want to cry because I am so thankful that I am FREE and healed. That freedom and strength and completely new life outweighs everything I've lost. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other if any of my family members are part of my life again. I have hope, of course, but if it never happens I know it's because it's part of His plan. The reason I can be at peace even in the midst of pain and loss is because I am trusting His plan, His timing and His wisdom.

And as we peer out across the landscape as another September looms on the horizon, the memories remain. The pain returns once in awhile. But I'm not longer reaching for what's already gone. I'm now reaching for my grandson's hands that are full of hope and love. They are symbols of the strongholds that September no longer has.

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