Look at what my love does!

wounds

I hurt a cat when I was little and the cat had to be put down. I have carried around this weight of shame and guilt all my life. I love cats and I loved the cat I hurt. My love killed the cat so I learnt that my love hurts others, that I am bad and that I was responsible for all the bad.

My father used to like to tell the cat story. The story of how I used to jump on the cat’s back until it’s back broke. That he was embarrassed to take it to the RSPCA. That the cat had to be put down. He would tell this story with his loud mouth wide open and his bellowing laughter filling the room of relatives who sat around lapping it all up.  My mother, as usual, a wall of impenetrable silence, never to protect or speak up for me!

I would sit in the corner, silent, small and shrivelled, listening to the story of how I killed the cat. It was a story to amuse. It was story to silence all other stories.  Like a dark grey blanket, it was used to muffle a little girl. The little girl he was secretly abusing; his own child, using her for his own pleasure.

It has taken me a long, long time to be able to have some perspective and distance on this and it was something I talked about with my counsellor yesterday. I was five years old and I loved my cat and maybe all I was doing was acting out what was being done to me. It was a role play. I loved the cat and I acted out the ‘love’ I knew. A ‘love’ that doesn’t listen to the other, that is rough and aggressive and violates and silences and leaves the other powerless and helpless. Or maybe I was just playing obliviously and unmindfully.

I can’t say that I understand it all nor do I remember all the details. Only that I need to finally forgive myself. It was not my intention to hurt the cat and I was a five year old girl being sexually abused by her own father at the time it happened. He was the cruel bully not me!

My counsellor suggested that I may have learnt from this that my love hurts, tarnishes,  and even damages others and that my touch may be harmful metaphorically. That my father’s story has stuck and become so deeply entrenched that I carry this suitcase of shame around with me always. I want to put it down finally and writing about it here is one way that I am able to put the baggage down and see it for what it is! It’s been a heavy burden to lug around!

Children act out and model what they see and it so common for children who are being sexually abused to become bullies themselves or to masturbate excessively and even to act out what is being done to them with other children. It is the environment that they are exposed to that is evil, not the child. If you are carrying around any misplaced shame, I hope that you are able to get some perspective and put your baggage down too and mother the little girl or boy inside that feels so bad. Your inner child needs protection and love!

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11 thoughts on “Look at what my love does!

  1. Before I finished the first paragraph I knew exactly what had happened to your cat. I’m so proud of you and grateful for your therapist who held a space for your cat trauma and all trauma — and normalized it. And the image of your father telling the “cat story” makes me want to strangle him and stand on the rooftop howling out: “YOU killed the cat! You asshole.” And I have to say, I love you. Cat or no cat. You are good and your love does not kill. Take care dear one.

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  2. It’s wonderful to hear from you my dear warrior friend. Thank you for your kind words that really seep in where they need to. Yes you are right; my love doesn’t kill. I only have to look at my son to know this 🙂
    Hope you are well😘

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  3. I know he’s your father, but I didn’t think it possible to think any worse of him, yet I do. How absolutely horrible, to attack you sexually, then add this on to your tiny shoulders, psyche, and mind?
    A dark grey blanket…more like a black boulder, or headstone. I cannot believe the depths of others evil behaviors.
    This made me feel like weeping for you, the little child in the corner. I so want to take you in my arms and tell you the things you need to hear; it’s not your fault, it’s his, and the so called ‘mother’ who sat there mute, and all the relatives who thought that was funny. You are a sweet little girl and I’m so sorry your kitty was hurt. It’s not your fault, accidents happen. Of course you didn’t know, you wouldn’t hurt kitty.
    I would not have thought that funny. I would have looked at you, back at the evil mouth telling the story, and been incensed. Even without knowing of the abuse, that in itself is abuse, and I would be sickened at a man who would tell such a story and think it funny especially with his dear little child right there.
    That is psychological abuse and in my eyes goes much deeper and is the most damaging of all abuses. I believe our bodies can recover from bad and wrong touch with appropriate intervention at the time, but it’s the secrecy and the family’s banning together against us that causes the long-lasting, often life-time damage.
    Families will go to any length to silence the child, any evil way they can. I don’t know of any other word to describe it. Evil, nasty, manipulative, coercive, conspiratorial, treacherous…

    Liked by 3 people

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