A beautiful video came across my newsfeed this morning. A video about regret. This may have been the gentle prod I needed to put some thoughts that have been stirring around in me for some time now.
Regret. It appears that along with not having done something the other big regret is not having said something.
Although it may seem a bit morbid, my thoughts were to my last breath. When I have ever wanted to moved forward with something I often followed Steven Covey’s concept of thinking with the end in mind. And, really, wouldn’t our lives be so much more fulfilled, wouldn’t we feel a little more connected to each other if we said or did “that thing” – today.
So, What would I want to say? This didn’t take too long or require too much head scratching. “I’m so sorry hun, I didn’t know”. I still get choked up.
There is a part of me that admires (and slightly jealous of) people who can experience situations in their lives and be unscathed. I however can relive and feel physically sick. Thoughts and memories that still arouse this unwellness in the body need healing. And I suppose that’s what I am looking for in sharing this. Healing. Wellness. Peace. *wiping a tear away*
This all started on January 19th, 2015, Day 6 of the 21 day Money Love Challenge. Everyday we are taken through an activity to increase our awareness and enrich our relationship with our finances.
I have started the challenge again this year and although the group has moved along to Day 15, I am stuck here on Day 5. As day 6 approached 2016 version, I remembered back to Day 6 2015 version. Day 6, we were to clean out our wallets….“our purse and wallet are your daily money receptacles. To attract more abundance you’ve got to create a soothing, decluttered container for it. That means streamlining your purse and wallet.”
That’s when I found the paper. Folded so tiny and small, all hidden away in a fold of leather in my wallet. As I started to read it, I threw it from my hands and wept!
In looking for the best way to share this I thought I would change it into a story about bunnies, a bunnies experience. By changing it into a story about bunnies it could possibly be taken as a fictional story. This would make it possibly hurt less. This would possibly make myself much less vulnerable. And this would possibly be a lie. And this would possibly be just something else that could foster regret. By changing it into a story about bunnies the names of the innocent could be protected……..
That’s what you were after all, innocent, an innocent child.
You were tired. We all were tired. It was late, we had just come home from an evening at some sort of celebration at school. Your were in kindergarten and I’m pretty sure there was some sort of performance your class did for all the parents.
Rather than our usual routine for bedtime that provided you with much security, it was right off to bed. Although the details are vague in my memory, I am pretty darn sure that one of us was willing to provide the comfort of stories and little cup of “o’s” to snack on, yet “another” was tired and wanted to call it a day.
After many ups and downs, in and outs of bed, “one of us” got down right out of control. In the dark of the room there were screams *holds face in hands and sobs* then the smack. “It was just her ass” I was “reassured”. I am so sorry hun, that evening I knew about. I am so sorry hun, I was scared as well.
You see, growing up in the 60’s, along with drinking water from a hose, you waited hours watching Romper Room just to hear your name, you could play outside all day as long as you were home when the street lights came on…….children were seen not heard, children were allowed to speak only when spoken to, children were disciplined with physical violence.
As I have shared in many of my other writings, my Dad was a single father. He chose to keep the family together and raise his 3 girls. There were other options; foster homes. Then came a brief period where we had a step-mother. Of the many things she taught us; how to make jam, where to find the very best berries to pick to make jam, how to make spoons sparkle, how to make a bed like a pro; she also taught us to be afraid of a wooden spoon or stick or belt. We weren’t “bad” kids, I am thinking we were just average kids, high energy kids, loud kids. I have memories of lining up, on our knees to get a walloping, sometimes in the darkness of a room. On one occasion, I remember one of us, could have been me or could have been my oldest sister, think it was my oldest sister, getting a whipping so bad her legs were all scratched that together in the shame of it all we had to make up a lie that it was from a concrete pool; getting in and out, ya, that’s what it was. Just a lie.
“The other” come from a background plagued by such behaviour as well. While my family NEVER EVER talked about it, I recall “the others” family laughing in sharing the story of while just being a baby in a crib, had water thrown on them. The big game was on you see and they were crying. Of course the adult thing, the compassionate thing to do was to throw water on them!!!! There was also a story of outside a downtown store as a toddler, their pants were pulled right down to expose a bare butt to only receive a good spanking. Imagine the shame and embarrassment. NOT to make any excuses and acceptance of their current actions as an adult. As this story was told, the adult couldn’t even remember what behaviour deserved such a spanking.
That evening I was just as scared as you! As you cried loudly, I cried softly into my pillow.
The paper that I found in my wallet was dated December 26, 2004. It must have fallen out of a garbage bin as I gathered the weekly collections all those years ago and has been yellowing in the leather folds of my wallet.
In remembering back to being 14……. the crazy way we try to figure out our world, our friends, boys and ourselves. Nothing seems to make sense. But………really, we do all turn out pretty darn good.
In also remembering back to “that Christmas” that was written about on this piece of paper tucked into the leather folds of my wallet. The arguing, the fighting. I remember your tears as we walked down the snow covered street from church, having to put on the “happy face” as we did our traditional Christmas Eve visiting. It was just as horrible for me.
Don’t know how we got through the morning but I do remember the rest of the day. First silence that stewed and brewed into more arguing, that then had you yelling “why don’t you guys just get a divorce”, that turned into “the other” running up the stairs…….that’s all I knew. I was scared as well. I’m sorry hun I didn’t know you were grabbed by the throat, I’m sorry hun I didn’t know you were threatened. Damn them!
In sharing finding this letter and reading it to another “bunny”, my heart was torn apart by yet another story.
I remember the day. A story of a fine summer day, playing in the backyard. A spirited “bunny” was upset. Gosh could have been about any one of a hundred toddler related things; didn’t get the blue cup, wanted the yellow piece of chalk. With then being upset, they were grabbed by “the other”. They were carried by “the other” as they ran up the long set of stairs to retreat inside. As they ran, they fell, with you in their arms. I gasped. I was now scared. You were scared.
As we talked about that day, they looked at me and informed me that I didn’t know what happened in their room that day. Even decades later, this bunny remembers the beating. The sorrow and hurt (no fear as she is now safe) fills in her eyes. My breath is taken away with such hurt. All I could say at that moment was “I’m so sorry hun……I didn’t know”.
One year after finding this piece of paper folded in the leather of my wallet, the biggest peace I have is that I am where I am, “the other” is where they are. My bunnies are where they are, beautiful, loved immensely, growing and safe.
One year after finding this piece of paper in the leather folds of my wallet, I am ready, now, with these writings to move on. The piece of paper is soon to become ashes as it is burned. There will be just memories, memories that can’t hurt or hold back anymore.
All this…..from just cleaning out my wallet, January 19, 2015, Day 6 Money Love Challenge