1. Post a photo of yourself from before age 10. Write about what
you remember of the day the photo was taken. It may not be a full
story—it may just be flashes of event and emotion—but tap into the child
you were as much as you can.
2. The saying goes What you don't know won't hurt you, but sometimes the opposite is true. Talk about a time when you were hurt by something you didn't know.
Two things I didn't know about: drug addiction and molestation.
Not mine. The repercussions of both impact me still today, however, and changed the life of my loved ones forever.
I didn't know about either when they first happened. It took some time and a lot of denial to believe the former. The abuse came to light years after it took place, but the true extent of it didn't surface until years later, and the two are definitely intertwined.
How they've hurt me: Shock. Tears, oh, so many tears. Denial. Accusations. Loss of trust. Complete loss of trust. Dislike. Distance. Hours spent searching for help; more (futile) hours in 'detective' work. Grief for what might have been. Grief for the pain and suffering my loved ones have had. Grief for my hopes for their future. Grief for their hopes and potential. And So. Much. Anger.
Oddly enough, guilt was not a factor, although I'm usually very good (and quick) at it. But I didn't even suspect the abuse and therefore could not take steps to end it. I wish with all my heart that I could have stopped it -- but the authority of a child molester over his victim can be more powerful than the victim's desire to speak. The molester still lives, free today from a way-too-brief prison sentence for molesting another child. We know of many more victims for which he was not tried. I believe that what goes around comes around; I hope with every molecule of my black, revengeful Scorpio heart that it will. And that I will be around to see it.
The drug addiction was never mine to fix and it is always a choice to use or not to use, regardless of the circumstances. It took me years to truly, deeply understand that you cannot love someone clean. It will take many more years to trust again, and to stop feeling angry that this dear person has chosen such a horrible, destructive path. And the grief over the losses will probably never go away completely. I have learned that mine is the only life I can save. And I pray every day that my loved one will be able to save their own.