Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dearest Tereza

Claire was indeed the one who made this connection

I just read your draft. Won't you please publish it?

I never told anyone what happened to me until I got to that workshop in Cape Town.
From one day to the next, I lost 10 pounds of anger, and seemed to age in reverse about 10 years.
That was the beginning of forgiveness, love, joy...

But actually, it was not until the end of last year that I felt an immediate need to, once and for all, get rid of the self-hatred and shame that I was still holding onto. It was still lingering, and I still judged myself so harshly for making a really bad decision to go home with that guy. I was so tired of being so tired. I always thought it was my fault, and never really forgave myself. After all these years, I still felt so much shame.

That kind of self-anger was eroding my ability to be present with my family.
I yelled louder than I needed to when I got angry at my son; I was erratic. I scared myself.
I would not let a pattern of violence continue.
So for the first time in my life, I went to a therapist with the intention of helping myself heal.

And since there is no past, no future, only the present, there is such a space for healing.
That's what I felt when Anitra died, and that's what I felt when I went back to that night and protected me from what happened. There was a lot of primal screaming involved. She had me hit a table pillow with a tennis racket. At first I was embarrassed, but in the end it was very effective.

I am so sorry about happened to me.
I am so sorry about what happened to you and your family.
Bearing witness to such violence leaves an indelible mark.

But, as Rose asks, who are we without our problems?

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