“Talaga Nadine? Sandok? Yun ang ginamit ko? (Really Nadine? Ladle? That’s what I used?) “
She sounded very surprised. To my surprise.
Dad’s second wife responded as though she was hearing it for the first time. Or like I was talking about someone else.
I met up with her shortly after I arrived in the Philippines in 2010. When I was in California preparing for my trip, I felt a very strong pull for me to see her. The woman labelled as the reason for my father abandoning our family.
There was something I needed to say. Or might there be something I wanted to know? I wasn’t sure. All I knew was I needed to see her for some reason unbeknownst to me at the time. For some closure, I surmised.
The pattern of abuse
I was recounting to her the physical abuse that my half-sister was experiencing from both her and my father. It was happening right in front of my eyes. At times over dinner. And it was simply too much for me to bear.
My half-sister was only a toddler. Witnessing her being physically abused was bringing up stuff for me. The memories of the same childhood abuse that I suffered from the hands, literally, of both of my parents. Initially, it was only my father. Later, my mother as well.
When a child is violated, what would the child’s source of comfort be, when it is both parents themselves who are the source of the violence? Whom does the child turn to? Isn’t the child being set up to believe that the world is not a safe place to live in? That there can be no one to be trusted?
And when the child is convinced and made to accept that spanking is simply a form of discipline, or punishment for a wrongdoing, that hitting someone, for whatever reason, is acceptable, is it any wonder that there’s widespread violence that’s prevalent in society?
It isn’t only charity that begins at home.
The foundation upon which a child builds character, values, and principles, which would be the source of guidance to live by, is rooted at home. In the family.
Every thought, word, deed that’s directed at someone, child and adult alike, intentionally or not, knowingly or otherwise, is absorbed by the human body. Often unconsciously.
Spanking, be it slight or severe, is a violation of the child. And every act of spanking, no matter how slight, becomes embedded not only in the child’s psyche but in each cell of the body, as the body has its own intelligence. Every cell of our body has its own memory.
And spanking or any other form of abuse or violation is most certainly not something that’s deserving of any child. Even if the child, or adolescent, or even an adult for that matter, committed a wrongdoing. There simply is no justification or reason to render it acceptable.
Yet no one can truly know what spiritual agreements and karmic lessons are playing out. No one can know for sure, except the involved parties themselves, what could the purpose and the reason be behind such traumatic experiences or horrific acts. Sometimes even the parties themselves are clueless as to the reason why. Especially when they have not developed a level of awareness and consciousness that would empower them to have a wider and higher perspective. The ability to see the bigger picture.
And there surely is much to learn. And so much to gain.
The gift of the Divine Mother’s Love
Not having anyone to run to, I learned to turn to Mama Mary, the mother of Jesus in Christian tradition. I developed a very strong connection with her. All through the years, I’ve felt nurtured by the Divine Mother’s love. To this day, I continue to be bathed by the Divine Mother’s Loving Presence. The source of my comfort.
And I learned to develop independence. Self-sufficiency. Self-reliance. Self-empowerment. The knowing that I’m constantly surrounded and supported by a team of celestial beings. And there’s no need for me to search far and wide for answers. I simply need to tap into the Divine Self in me.
To the rescue – or not
I was concerned with my half-sister. There’s a huge possibility that a similar deep wound and scar may also have been imprinted in her, because of the similar abuse that she experienced.
“It was one reason why I remained distant and aloof towards you and Dad. I couldn’t stand seeing her being punished by both of you, most especially the way that she was being punished,” I confessed.
And Dad may have felt disrespected by my aloofness. In all likelihood, it may have added to his anger towards me. Justifiably or not. The rage which caught me unaware and erupted like an explosive volcano, on that fateful evening of the 29th of December 1994.
I sensed incredulity, particularly with owning up to her involvement in my half-sister’s abuse. Was Dad’s second wife in denial? Who knows.
I quickly caught myself and took a step back. I was careful and made sure that I wasn’t slipping into a therapist’s role. A rescuer. A role that I’ve been so used to playing in my life. A role and a pattern that I’ve become aware of, thankfully. And one that I’m committed to discontinue.
To refute my claim, she reiterated with much pride, not unexpectedly, the fact that my half-sister and my father have developed a strong and loving bond. And I sincerely was happy to hear that.
And I also made the choice that I wasn’t going to get into your-word-against-mine with regards to the abuse.
Yet when she alluded to my half-sister’s resentment towards me for having disappeared from their lives, and not understanding or knowing why, I was admittedly quite irked.
“You mean she doesn’t know what happened? What Dad did, on that fateful evening?! You didn’t tell her?!” I couldn’t believe it! For a moment I wanted to be the one with the ladle so I can poke her on the head. 🙂
For two decades, my half-sister has been harboring resentment towards me. A resentment that understandably can only come from a clueless four-year-old.
But it’s a resentment that could’ve been prevented from developing if only there was an explanation provided by her parents. I had hoped. Was there a deliberate intention to misconstrue or conceal?
Secrets. Lies. Half-truths.
Yet another recurring theme in my family. In addition to abuse. Maternal and paternal alike.
How does one break it? Or come out of it? And what can one make of it?
- Remembering Dad: My last vision of my father (Part 1)
- Chiron Return: A return to my family and childhood wounding
- Putting a spiritual band-aid on a psychological wound
# # #