Being sexually abused by my mother really shattered my ability to trust, but I found that despite that I was able to slowly piece together a system of connectedness that allowed me to find love, acceptance, bonding, and healing elsewhere. I read about the shattering of attachment for mother-daughter sexual abuse survivors each time that I read about the subject of MDSA. I think that it must be very similar for other survivors of child sexual abuse.
I know that I have written here on the blog about my issues with bonding and attachment and especially in the ways that I have tried to find connectedness in my life and in my life and to establish more; to the world, to others, and to symbols that I find a great deal of meaning and healing from.
Some of the symbols that I find a great deal of meaning and healing from are fictional characters that I feel connected to.
I’ve been working in the last few years to try to identify past connections that bring me meaning and healing and establishing more connections. Some connections just seemed to pass beyond my conscious awareness, even though at one time they had a lot of meaning and brought a lot of connection and healing into my life at some time.
Trying to re-discover those past connections has helped me to see myself as someone who desperately wanted and needed connection and as someone who was incredibly brave to do so, despite how horrific my childhood existence was and how difficult it was to trust my emotions, especially love, when I was hated, scapegoated, and abused by my family of origin, who I tried to love.
I re-discovered my father Herb Hubbard when I started to re-watch the show The Mothers-in-Law. I loved him when I was a child. Herb was a husband, a father of a college daughter, and a businessman. The thing that I liked the most about him and still do, is his ability to manage his emotions, which neither of my parents did. Since my father was an active alcoholic, there was never a strong man in my life, never a good man in my life, never a calm man in my life, never a loving and good and safe man in my life. But Herb was that man in my life.
Herb was a good role model and human being to me despite the drama going on in the household, with his wife, with his neighbors who lacked boundaries and common respect, and with his college age son who decides to marry the neighbor’s daughter, Herb manages his life and positively impacts his family with love, determination, resilience, and gentleness. I like that last one the best; gentleness.
Here he is, my dad:
Herb Hubbard from the show The Mothers-in-Law
I love my dad.
This is wonderful, Kate. I was thinking of you last night when I was re-reading one of my favorite books, “Regeneration” by Pat Barker, which is about WWI soldiers being treated for battle fatigue by one of the first pioneers of effective trauma therapy. The book focuses on the relationship between the therapist, Dr. Rivers, and the men he tries to help, particularly the poet/pacifist Siegfried Sassoon. The novel is based on actual events, particularly the genuinely nurturing relationship between Rivers and Sassoon, who came to think of Rivers as a father more loving than his own father ever was. Anyway, I found myself wishing that all therapists were like that, and particularly that you will find one of that caliber. And I wished we’d all had a father as lovely as this character, who is one of the most realistic portrayals of radical compassion in all fiction, and who was actually like that as a person in real life, too.
How wonderful of you to find a good father wherever you can. I’m very proud of you! The influence on you is the same. And that is so good. I had a great father, but I see great examples of fathers elsewhere also. Good for you!
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