Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Armchair Quarterback

"Don't be an armchair quarterback. Don't you dare go back to your childhood with what you know now and judge that child. Don't you dare do that to her."

My T said this to me about Smoke (11) as I cried my self-pitying heart shaped tears and blamed myself for knowing better, I shouldn't have been there, I could have run, I could have screamed, I should have told...

T said this to me often and finally, one day, I heard. It takes practice, tho, to stop the coulda, woulda, shouldas.

"It's not about you. It's never been about you. Don't go back there and judge her with your adult knowledge of the situation." Mr.S has said that many times. Many, many times. After about 3 years, I finally heard him, I heard what he was trying to say.

It's actually so very difficult to understand that statement. It's even much more difficult to recognize when I'm sittin' in that big ol' armchair and callin' the shots. I'm not even aware I'm doin' it until I'm laying on the sideline, bruised and bleedin'.

I am my own worst enemy, as all of you probably already know about yourselves. It's easy for me to say, "But, I knew better, I could have made another choice." Or, "I should've told my Dad, or my Mom!"

Of all the blaming of myself and coulda woulda shoulda I've done, I finally realized one day that all those years ago, it wasn't the way I looked, or my child-like qualities, or having won some sick and twisted imaginary contest that made them "pick" me.

It has never been about me. I didn't do anything that caused them to want to use me as their sacrificial lamb; it wasn't anything I did that drew their attention to me - they were looking for someone. I didn't somehow convey ideas into their black minds, they were born of their own doing. It was all about the bad guys and their perverseness. I was only convenient. They would have taken any convenient, sad, and neglected child from a family often too busy to pay close attention to all of their children. I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

I think this is what forgiveness is. Forgiving myself for having snatched control and intent from the pedophiles and blamed myself for something I could never have done but have spend a lifetime taking credit/blame for.



castorgirl said...

What a great and healing thing to understand Ivory. You didn't do anything wrong and neither did Smoke.

Take gentle care...

VICKI IN AZ said...

Sweet Ivory,
This is a precious post.
You are so right so terribly right, it has never been about you.
Well I remember the day my T. said, "Why, so you can go back and blame her that little girl you were!"
Thank You for sharing.

Ivory said...

It is healing, and it is redeeming, in a way. And then, there's those days I can't remember it at all! Aarrrggg.

Welcome to my blog. I see you have one, too. I followed your link last night but was too tired to stay and read. I'll be back.

Thank you for caring enough to comment. I am so glad to hear that someone else is hearing the same kind of thing from her T as I am! DID is such an isolating disorder, blogging has been an eye-opener for me!

thesamesky said...

Wow this is so poignant - amazing. I love this way of thinking ... need to go away and reflect on it a bit. Thanks Ivory.

Just Be Real said...

Thank you so much for sharing dear. Yes, you did nothing wrong!

Ivory said...

I'm honored that you find this poignant - it was written from my heart.

Thank you so much for your support, I appreciate it a lot. Until now, I didn't know it could feel so good just to hear a few kind words.


Hillary_C said...

My experience has been a variation: What I know now is that it should not have happened no matter what I did, it was absolutely wrong. But teenage self thinks I am stupid to be sad/angry about what happened, she got what she deserved. Biological imperative and all that....
T suggests that I may have to find a way to balance these two opinions. It took 27 years for her to find a grown up she could tell, so we have always held her view of the situation. My adult knowledge and sadness on the topic are the new things here, still building up equal time!

Shen said...

I am so glad you are finding your way. I also have DID, and I am also learning how to accept what happened to me. I will not yet use the word "forgive" because that feels like I am condoning what happened, or letting down the little child that I was. But if I can accept it, and realize that it happened a long time ago, will never happen again, and can't hurt me anymore, I can live without the constant pain, dissociation, and depression.

You're doing remarkable things!

love and peace

Ivory said...

Welcome! I'm happy that you stopped by.

I am sorry that you find forgiveness so difficult - I sometimes cannot go there myself.

Forgiveness is not for the perp. It is for you. It is for your littles, and your tweens and teens, and for your adults, and for you. Forgiveness is for them because they believe they had caused it or could have prevented it, in some way. It is for giving them permission to let it go and live as they (you) were meant to live - happy. I am so sorry that you are suffering. What happened to you will never, in this world or the next, be condoned. EVER. BY ANYONE.

Some days, I cannot reach this level of understanding because I am drowning in my own pain, it is so great, as is yours. There are days I race to paper and pen to write down my understanding of forgiveness only to have it snatched away because a little cries out in desperation.

I truely hope your find your way thru this because I understand the feeling of wanting to hang on to the way you feel because letting it go feels like you are telling the bad person(s) it doesn't matter. It does matter, it's all that matters some times.

Hang in there and I hope to see you again.

Ivory said...

Welcome to my world. I'm glad you've posted.

Your first sentence tells me that you are still blaming yourself. "...no matter what I did..." To be blameless and guilt-free, you have to understand that what happened was not based on you, or what you did. YOU didn't have to do anything, you are not responsible, nor held responsible for anything. It was never about you.

I have learned that children, especially young ones, believe the world revolves around them and their wishes. I wonder if that is why they heap blame upon themselves when something bad happens.

Be careful of your adult knowledge. It can crush a suffering little, but it is also powerful enough to heal them all. As far as the teens go, they are extremely resilient, maybe they know how to forgive them selves easier than we do.

I've learned to listen to my "Colors" (I see them as color), and they not only hold memories, they are brilliant! When my T and I began to listen to them, I began to heal. It's sort of healing from the inside out!

Sounds like you have a long journey ahead and it sounds as if you are well on your way in the right direction with a good T!

Happiness to you!

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

Well all the wise words that I had to say, you have already said them, first to yourself, then to other commentors. I know it is hard not to feel this way, deep down inside, beyond words, deep in the body and the soul. But saying it is not your fault, no matter what, is a huge healing step in the journey.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Ivory said...

Thanks so much for your kind words. Healing, I've learned, is probably going to be a lifelong endeavor.