My mind was a suspicious, surprising tool. In my early years, it spent all its time hiding away my family secrets and blending in other, more palatable scenes in order to survive.
This Kenny Rogers song reminds me of that:
Wait – friends? Um, lovers?
Sure, aren’t those words more suiting when you live in a house filled with sex and love? That’s what it was, right? Not abuse and rape?
The redemptive work of healing soothes the mind enough to expose the raw, unadulterated truth. It’s the only road that winds us through the decay and rot and brings us to a road of freedom. For sure a road less traveled.
I’ve heard things like, “If it wasn’t for the times he raped me, my father was a good dad.” That is not even an oxymoron, it is a lie. In other words, it is not a contradictory term, it’s flat out untrue.
The men and women who perpetrate these acts are not good people. We have got to get this straight. They are people who are in desperate need of help. They are sick individuals with a twisted moral fiber. Only God can help save them. We cannot.
It is sometimes still a struggle for me to see my parents in the totality of the truth. I want them so much to be something different. My mind still wants to bring the cloth of denial to their existences, making them a little bit better than there were.
Surely, they weren’t pedophiles all the time, were they? Surely, they had moments of utter shame and grief at what they had done?
My mind wants to race to a separate conclusion. Each time a different memory arose, I wanted to escape it. I wanted to find an absolution that there was some kind of beauty in all of the rot.
The truth: there was not beauty to be found there. There just wasn’t. Trust me when I say, I’ve tried to find it. I’ve searched for it.
That makes me think of another song by Johnny Lee, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places:
My vessel would have remained forever broken if I kept returning to my parents seeking their help. There was never going to be help there. It is still broken.
I am not.