The Casualties of Having No Comfort

Abuse was the foundation of my suffering. The freeze that kept it steady was the lack of comfort I received.

My parents had to be sociopaths of some kind or they would have seen the pain of their children. They would have noticed the night hours I was up in agony. They would have seen the despondency in all of their children.

They would have tried to comfort the loss each one of their children carried.

I don’t try to figure out who they are any more. What does it matter? To do the atrocious things they did! I’m sure that had plenty to do with their blindness.

I do know how the lack of comfort affected me.

It held me captive to the belief that I was of no value to anyone. Suffering in silence day after day, year after agonizing year, I was left with only one thing to believe. I was worth nothing: Not love, not comfort.

No thing was I worth.

That’s possibly the most devastating lesson I took out of that bleak home. A worthless life was what I brought out and all I had to offer. Believing I was not worthy of love, I didn’t have very high standards. That’s almost a joke to write. Written truthfully I’d have to say, I had no standards at all.

Comfort has always been a bit of an elusive word to me. I imagine the nearest I know to that feeling is being close to my children and grandchildren. Otherwise, I don’t look for comfort much because I don’t know it’s definition.

I had an ingrown fingernail the other day and it was swollen and painful. My husband told me, “my father always told me to soak it in warm salt water to draw out the impurities.” I got a glass and did as he instructed. It seemed to help!

The next day at dinner when I thanked him and told him how grateful I was to hear a story of his father’s comforting words, I couldn’t get through the telling without breaking down in tears. He looked at me a bit puzzled.

I told him that it must have been so great to have received the comfort of a parent. I hadn’t known that.

It’s these small moments that I notice in a grand way. The hope of a stronger tomorrow. A belief that I will learn these lessons of comfort and pass them on to my own children and grandchildren.

“Everyone says that forgiveness is a wonderful idea, until he has something to forgive.”

C.S. LEWIS

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