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#394901 - 04/25/12 09:26 AM A Child’s Homily
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
I’m sitting here after reading a speech my adult daughter wrote and delivered telling her audience about the unusual life she lived as a child of parents who did not live a traditional family life. I have to admit I’m at the edge of tears for tucked within her loving kindness towards us as parents, never doubting our love for her; there are glimpses of some of my failures as a dad who was on the run from a past that had no trouble keeping pace.

I know no parent gets through the complicated process of raising a child without some guilt knowing they could have and should have done it better but that doesn’t lessen the sting when reminded that my demons, no matter how suppressed, effected my family in ways I should never have allowed.

It was only four years after the rape that my first of two children and author of this discourse was born – a cute little product of a deep passion and sweet, sexual love towards my wife that a lifetime of failures and successes have not diminished. Her birth was thirty six years ago and I remember viewing this miracle of life and feeling the weight of a new responsibility as if it were yesterday.

Though silent, I was still very angry about the rape and mistrustful of humanity and yet here this gooey little six pound, naked girl lay silently looking around, trusting that everyone in the room was there for her safety, men and women who I had also entrusted my wife and newborn child. It was a moment of relearning for me, a lesson I all too often set aside overshadowed by a different life message – not everyone in the room, any room, is safe.
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#394915 - 04/25/12 01:11 PM Re: A Child’s Homily [Re: earlybird]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
Wow, this is so powerful Earl, thank you for sharing whit us so intimate feelings! You are great dad despite some self-doubts posted here smile !

"I know no parent gets through the complicated process of raising a child without some guilt knowing they could have and should have done it better but that doesn’t lessen the sting when reminded that my demons, no matter how suppressed, effected my family in ways I should never have allowed."

Somehow we survivors are always perfectionists and let me say very hard to ourselves. It is not possible to have all in life under control, no matter how hard we tried and no matter how valuable cause could be. We have to accept that we are fragile human beings who did best at specific time with our limited knowledge, strength and confidence...

No matter on later life style or tradition involved, love given to child is only that matters. And it is obvious for me that you have it in huge quantity; just seeing new life as miracle is enough proof for me.

Share that love further, there is no reason to stop doing so, you and your loved ones need it. Not four decades ago, not couple years ago, not yesterday but this very moment- now is the time for loving/giving/accepting and as consequence changing everything wink
_________________________
My story

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#394960 - 04/25/12 09:50 PM Re: A Child’s Homily [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Hi Earl,

We are both in very different life stages. I'm a bit younger than your daughter but of that generation. As a young father, I see how much work is involved in raising a child. I wish I could do more of it, but I do see every ounce of labor that is poured into the upbringing of this tiny person who shares my name. It's a strange feeling, being old enough to evaluate your own parents' influence in your life, but my son is not old enough to give his side of the story. One of my darkest fears is that my influence as a father won't be enough to prepare him to become a man. I wonder when he'll pick up on the fact that I'm not as strong as he thinks I am, or as honorable.

The fact that you were able to get married and have children at all after what you went through is impressive by itself. But even through all that, you have a daughter who is proud of you, not because she's too young to know any better, but because you taught her how to love and how to be human. Every parent is bound to have some failures to look back on, even when they haven't been through sexual trauma. I know for me I consider it a huge success just to be able to have conversations with other humans right now. When I read your story I don't see failure, I see a lot of strength and wisdom.

Peter
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#394961 - 04/25/12 10:27 PM Re: A Child’s Homily [Re: CruxFidelis]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: CruxFidelis
One of my darkest fears is that my influence as a father won't be enough to prepare him to become a man. I wonder when he'll pick up on the fact that I'm not as strong as he thinks I am, or as honorable....
Every parent is bound to have some failures to look back on, even when they haven't been through sexual trauma. I know for me I consider it a huge success just to be able to have conversations with other humans right now. When I read your story I don't see failure, I see a lot of strength and wisdom.


i've felt that too.
and i agree with the other points as well!

Another good resource for any man - not necessarily related to abuse :
goodmenproject.com

lots of valuable stuff there - (i don't agreee with every article - but that's not to be expected.) worth checking out...

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#395029 - 04/26/12 07:21 AM Re: A Child’s Homily [Re: earlybird]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2590
I think part of our job as parents is to realize that everyone isn't safe. Yes some of us learned that way to early and some learned it later in life.

My daughter is 4 and VERY social. She'll talk to anyone. BUT I'm always nearby. I don't scare her and tell her not to talk to people, but believe me, I'm like a lion in those moments. Watching... waiting... ready to destroy any SOB that might come too close and put her in danger.

I work to protect my kids innocence. My oldest son is 11 and just last week had the lessons in school about their "developing" bodies. Wow, can't believe how utterly uncomfortable it all made him. Part of me is happy, it means I've let him be a kid and protected him from so much crap that I didn't get protected from.

Anyway, that's probably a tad long. All to say though, I think it sounds like you did a pretty decent job. No ones perfect. Even my father apologized to me quite a few times for the areas he knows he failed in. And I know that I'll probably do so as well at some point.

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#395238 - 04/27/12 09:53 PM Re: A Child’s Homily [Re: earlybird]
Ischyros Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 78
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Earl,

I've had the privilege of spending time with you and your family and all I can say is that I think your relationships with your wife, your adult children, and your close friends are completely awesome. You are an amazing husband and father, and I know firsthand you are an amazing friend and brother on our healing journey. I know how difficult it is for all of us freaked-out, traumatized survivors to do, but share with yourself some of the incredible compassion and respect your family and friends feel for you!

You are, beyond any question, one of the very finest men I've ever known.
_________________________
Proud survivor and WoR alumnus - Sequoia, April 2010

I want to live in the world
Not inside my head
I want to live in the world
I want to stand and be counted
With the hopeful and the willing
With the open and the strong...

--Jackson Browne, "Alive In the World"

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