Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why should anyone read the book?

I'm on the train on my phone so this will probably be choppy.

Why would anyone want to read this book? I've been thinking of little else for weeks. I am unable to concentrate on other things while I have this puzzle in my brain. I know why I wrote it. I wrote it for my kids because someday they deserve to know the story of me even if I die and can't tell them myself. That could be satisfied by hitting print and putting the book in a drawer for a few decades until they hit their majority.

Why should anyone else read this? I'm not sure there is a should. If there is a should involved it revolves around the idea that we are all locked in the perspective of our own narrow experiences. We can't know what we dont know.  My life was not normal by any reasonable measure. Yet I'm not alone. Millions of children suffer like I did: in silence, alone, believing they deserve what happens to them.

My life journey seems to be learning how to find out what I don't know, specifically how to be a good person. I don't know now. I don't know if I am a good person. I have never believed so. I would like to believe that. The first step is forgiving myself for the things I couldn't control or change as a child. I had to write a whole book before I really understood what happened to me. I had to be thirty years old and have my husband explain to me that I was tortured. It never felt like torture it just felt like life.

You only know what you know.

It is hyperbole to say that I only knew pain until I was eighteen. Barely. I experienced more pain than I should have. Since adulthood I have slowly and carefully tried to learn how to stop bringing more pain into my life. When you have been tortured you go on to bring more pain into your life because it is uncomfortable to be in an unfamiliar state: namely lack of pain. I want to like me enough to stop inviting pain. I have good teachers.  My daughters teach me who I want to be. They are full of love and joy. I want to be like them.

Why should anyone read this book? To share my grief and provide me with invisible community so even if I never meet you my grief can be less because you carry a speck for me. Because people need to learn how to look at children and recognise signs of crisis so more children do not suffer like I did. The system failed me spectacularly. I don't want all the other abused children to go unseen either.

Why should anyone read this book? Because you are part of the community of human beings and we are all responsible for one another a little.

Why should anyone read this book? Because it will probably make you very uncomfortable that things like this happen in the world. Silence is consent. Everyone who chose to remain ignorant and involved when I was a child damned me to living in hell. I don't want anyone else to have that experience. The silencing of victims, no, of survivors has to stop. It has to.

It has to or we will continue to convince small children that they deserve to be raped and beaten for being bad. I was not bad. I just wasn't.

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