(A continuation from The Cleansing)
I'd realized that answers weren't very difficult to find. Truth was a bit more tricky. But where the real challenge lay, was finding the right questions.
This became an ever morphing, shape-shifting sojourney.
But in the end - I realize only now - what I had been doing all along was mapping out a path to my solace; an exploration of the machinery that would unburden and free me.
I've always believed and knew there is truth in fiction.
My wife and I have just finished watching a new NetFlix Original series called Happy Valley.
Two characters in the series are raped. One takes her own life; the other doesn't. There's a point where the surviving rape victim decides that her mother- who is dying of cancer - never needs to know; that she never need carry that burden of knowledge.
What a difficult and heroic act.
I remember my father telling me years ago that my mother had once been beaten up and raped; that the attacker had never been found or brought to justice.
He told me after we returned from Germany in 1979 but before I started High School in 1983. That would have made me between 12 and 14 years ago.
Why would he share this with me?
Why would you allow your own child to carry such a burden?
There wasn't a question of paternity.
I cannot say that it is something that I ever took lightly or I have ever forgotten. But it is something that I did forget. Maybe buried; maybe forced outside my sphere of awareness might be more accurate.
It was something that could never be resolved. Nothing good could ever come from it.
Although I think I know why, there really isn't any point or answer... it's a rhetorical question.
It's a role a very close, or best friend, should fulfill. Not your child. Some truths are best taken to your grave.
But it made me see something so clearly. The past 27 years were a very long progress of purgation.
It was never a spiritual journey. I was never going "anywhere". It was a spiritual sojourn. It was returning to myself as I had been, or should have been. It was a spiritual emancipation; a spiritual healing, or regeneration, or rejuvenation.
Watching Netflix's Happy Valley triggered the memory; brought it to the fore.
It was the first time I shared it with my wife of 25 years.
Needless to say, she was surprised. Surprised by the nature of it itself, and surprised that I had never shared it before.
I had always thought that sharing it was doing the same injustice onto others that had been inflicted onto me. Throw in a Christian concept of Total/Partial Depravity, and the hopelessness and isolation is complete. So I kept it to myself. ... what horrible, vicious, entrapping circles... I was afraid sharing it would make me into whatever my father was guilty of. I even question the integrity of posting this online; wondering if it is little more than "airing my dirty laundry".
And it hasn't.
It isn't, and never was, my burden.
Piece, by piece, burden by burden, I refuse to carry someone else's guild, shortcomings, regret... I don't have a simple catchall word for it.
...I have spend decades buried. Trapped.
These horrible, vicious circles now lay broken.
I'm not sure if I am free yet or not.
I'm not sure I can readily identify all of these demons. But now I'm aware.
I can clearly see the way forward.