Well it has been interesting this Christmas. Had a confrontation with my dad which made me realize that there lies some undissolved pain ahead.

It made me realize that its up to me to try and explain what is going on in me even more clearly to the ones closest to me. It's a hard lesson when you cling too much to others. It made me realize that i have to earn my independence by claiming it. Not by moving myself away from the ones a love, but by trying to engage the relationships in a new way.

This takes time. But it can be done. Also a book has helped me to see more clearly what i've been doing all the time. Because of focussing too much on the past, i got stuck in a self-deceptive cycle. I'm so concerned with what is going on in me, that i lock out everybody else. Reading this made me see this is exactly what is going on. I'm way too busy with protecting myself from others, that i have no time to relax and just be myself.

From the buddhist point of view, i've been building my ego instead of breaking it apart. I guess we can become attached to happiness so much, that we lose sight of what is really going on. Last year when i disclosed the abuse, first to myself and later to others, for the first time in my life i allowed myself to just be with the process. I didn't try to change any of the feelings and i just sat with it.

But now i've build up some defensive walls again and wednesday one of those walls was amplified and perhaps damaged. Yesterday i didnt do anything but thinking about what had happened the day before. I realize that it's very difficult to not act out of victimhood. It has been the daily mode for years and it won't just leave overnight. It is important to be mindful of this process. At first we will be unable to change the process or have any influence. But as time progresses the mindfullness can help us to see what is really here.

And to me i sometimes miss information on the buddhist approach to (sexual) abuse. I'm studying with a group but the teacher only comes and visit once a year and he'll be back in juli 2014. So far i havent been able to ask him about it, but i'm sure to do that the next time he visists Holland. On the internet there are some resources which provide information. There is one story i'd like to share with you, because it points out to something important: forgiveness

http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma8/healing.html

The story is about a woman who was abused by her grandmother. On her grandmother's death bed the woman asked her grandmother to forgive her. This is wild! Not only is she not asking her grandmother to confess what she had done (which would be part of the perpetrator - victim - protector triangle), but she also had the strength to ask for forgiveness herself. Her grandmother had a rough time which made her to distrust men.

And so to me it is hopeful to see that there is more than just the perpetrator. In my case its my brother, which makes things even more complicated - since i realized that my relationship with my parents shows a lot of signs of codependence (not sure what to do with this..) and i can't always hide for my brother. So to read this woman's story, to see that someone has found strength in the teaching of the Buddha, that she was the one who needed to ask for forgiveness.. it turns the whole world upside down!

I have a lot of forgiveness work to do. But i know now that its ok to do it at my pace. I've got work to do on personal level, have to change my daily patterns, clean the house some more, clean myself some more and work on solving my addictions. And for all of that to come to life, i have to start trusting life and be open and naked. Vulnerable.. no masks, no lies, not even to myself.

And so to me the abuse is slowly becoming the tool i needed to take hold of my life and start living it. I'm beginning to see that what has happened in the past isnt pretty, but when i look around in the world today it aint pretty either. Wars, drought, femine, floods, misery, human suffering.. it is here today with us. So no longer running away from this painful truth, that everybody is hurt by suffering.. it's a price you have to pay if you want to become human again. You have to allow the whole spectrum of human existence and slowly but surely drop your guard.

As the beautiful serenity prayer goes:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

All the best to you guys!
Pieter
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Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!