Love knows all of the story…

by Craig on January 12, 2011

Practicing this habit of “connecting” – in this year so named, is strewn with snares. Love knows the whole story of why it’s so , here is just part…

It was Brooklyn New York. His first father was a merchant marine. He didn’t know what that was. But he learned that it means a man who fathers children and leaves them.

So there remained a family of three, two boys and a mom. This was the 60’s – well before being a single mother was acceptable. It was a time when everyone would point fingers. She not only had to deal with raising two boys on her own, but a society that no doubt blamed her for it.

She kept the boys safe, and loved, as only a mother can. She burned the candle at both ends and the middle. And there were aunts and uncles and cousins involved – and friends.

Society pressed hard on her to find a man to complete the picture. But it wasn’t a man she needed, it was a loving husband and father.

She was independent and waited until she found someone who had the potential to support a family – and accept the “baggage” and her “damaged goods” status. It was a different time then.

But what everyone missed was that before she found this man – things were bliss for this younger of the two boys. He was a well adjusted, happy kid. Never having known a father, the boy didn’t miss having one.

Didn’t want one.

Mother, brother, family – that’s what he wanted – and he already had it.

But enter in this chosen man.

This 5 year old boy wanted no part of this man. This man, who before the marriage occurred,  beat him with a wire hanger because he hadn’t changed out of his school clothes.

Did this child tell his mother? Did this child who was now familiar with the rage introduced into their home say anything when she sat on his bed and asked, “What do you think about _______ being your father?”

What is a child of 5 to do? He sees his mother smiling. He knows what she wants. But he has also seen through the veneer of the man. He knows one choice makes her happy and one choice makes her sad. What else but those very basics exist for a small child?

I look at 5 year olds now, and realize how small a child that is. All the complexities of life boil down to happy and sad at that age. So what could he say to the one he loved and trusted without question?

He knew what he was allowing to happen.

He fought back tears

which she thought were something different

he wanted to spill it all

he wanted to say “Please NO!”

“Please protect me!”

But it came down to happy and sad.

He didn’t want his mom to be sad.

So he said, “Sure”.

And she was overjoyed. And she hugged him, not seeing the tears he held in his eyes.

This day he learned not to cry.

You hold the tears back.

You toughen up and wait for the assault.

You build a wall.

You disconnect.

How does a child survive violence?

The child disconnects.

And so it began.

There’s more. Enough for today.

I will continue the practice of making this new habit of “connection”, (thank you Ann). Day by day I will connect and overcome the old script, by writing new scenes.

I just wanted to let you know a little about why it’s such a challenge. I wanted to share why, though I may be likable, faithful, and have “people skills” – connecting is something I’ve learned to avoid at nearly all cost – and it has been costly.

But this year things change.

Love knows all of the story – tomorrow I’ll share a little more.

I’m only really grasping it now, for the first time myself.

I’m honored today to be connecting with Ann Voskamp

and many God centered people for…

Also linking with Shell @ Things I Can’t Say ’cause I heart

her honesty. And today is “Pour your Heart Out Monday”

This story is part of my heart…

Things I Can't Say

In God’s Love.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Shell January 12, 2011 at 10:30 am

How incredibly difficult that would be for a five year old to deal with. I look at my oldest, who just turned 6, or my middle, who will be 5 soon, and I just want to protect them.

Thank you for sharingyour story.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

Shell – thank you – almost didn’t post this one – ’cause some of us don’t have “anonymous” blogs. But it’s truth, and it’s me, and so…

Reply

Anonymuss January 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Craig, thank you-yes, for sharing this. The more a person shares, the more he or she becomes vulnerable and opens up the possibilities to either greater and richer connections or greater rejections. I hope and pray it is the former for you. Opening up like this opens doors for others to make connections with you.

It hurts and tugs at that place in the heart to read about how you had to begin your young life faced with such a painful circumstance-minus all the mature adult skills for coping with it.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

A. It’s past, and it’s forgiven, and now is now – still it explains a little of why the connecting is hard. Never been a big fan of the laying bare of the soul. Always better to keep things hidden – like it was always better to hide in my room growing up. Old habits die hard – and new habits – well fingers crossed (in the totally Christian way of course :)

God Bless

Reply

Renegades January 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I admire you for posting this. It’s so hard to post the real stuff. The heartbreaking stuff. My biological father abused my mother and I watched that and I also learned to dissociate. It’s a survival tecnique for children. Their mind takes them away from the trama happening around them.

You are a strong person to post this.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Thank you. Better late than never strong huh? It’s kind of a weakness hiding it though too. Regardless – now is the time for new patterns of thought – new voices to replace the old. Right? I’m still in your corner too.

Reply

Debbie January 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I thought I left a comment . . .maybe I forgot to hit the submit. This made me cry and pray. That was a big love for a 5 year old . . .and a big love now to reveal it. Thank you for sharing so we can understand . . .and be more compassionate toward those around us who have trouble connecting. Maybe they have similar stories. God bless you and cover you in His love today.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm

It’s funny how moments define us for a lifetime isn’t it. I have never shared this moment before – with anyone. And now it’s out there – and don’t think I don’t want to take it back – I do – but I don’t – and I won’t. That would leave me without a post for the day – and we know how I feel about that :)

It’s so much safer behind the masks :(

Reply

Alida January 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Craig, I truly admire your bravery. There are many out there who need to know that they are not alone. I am sure your words will be a healing balm for someone in pain. Bless you!

Alida

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Alida – really, not so brave. But thank you. God bless.

Reply

Missy @ Wonder, Friend January 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Wow. I held my breath while reading.

That is so much more than anyone, age 5 or age 55, should have to accept for their life.

Prayers for you, friend.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Thank you Missy. It was a long time ago. But the shadows reached far into life. There has been plenty of forgiveness. It’s just that it created a “me” that required a lot of changing. And the hard shell exterior that wouldn’t let anyone in close enough to allow it. And then took until my mid twenties to meet the only One who could make the changes. And I fought hard against him too. Thank you for reading Missy. Really, thank you. God bless.

Reply

Lisa notes... January 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Wow, Craig. I’m very moved with your story, and how you are letting this be the year of change for you. The more I read your posts each week, the more I know you’re serious about connecting. Praying God’s greatest blessings on you!

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

That’s where it began. That was the beginning of the shell. And like layers on a pearl it just kept getting harder and harder – but it all covered up the inside. You learned everything important from the wrong point of view – you know? But then God. And now this year of connection – and the not so baby sized steps :)

Thank you for reading. God Bless you Lisa.

Reply

Joyce L Gibson January 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Oh Craig, I read with tears for the dear, brave five-year-old and for the child I was—whose pain I have never revealed. Thank you for connecting. Your words are come with skill and creativity, but there’s always more. They work their way into hearts, evidence that the Lord is speaking through you. My prayers continue with you.

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

GJ

How humbled I am every time you come here and say I’m doing something right. I am so blessed to know you. I wonder all the stories you have to tell. God bless and keep you.

Reply

susan January 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Craig…i suspected,and prayed I was wrong. I am sorry. :( -s-

Reply

Craig January 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Susan thanks, but it’s ok – it’s past – now it’s just about forgiveness, and finishing well. God Bless.

Reply

susan January 13, 2011 at 12:06 am

Oh, Craig…it’s never ok. I was so overcome I couldnt even write/talk! Yeah, me, MissMouth. :( I am glad for the strong path you are taking, the adult one. So many adults stay the victim. As victimized as you were, I am happy for the adult you are. I know there will always be a scared little guy in there somewhere,but you have shown the good path,the good fight. The forgiveness…bless your heart. In some ways the healing may not be complete but you are healing, you’ve shown us it’s there, your heart is opening. I want to be like you when I grow up…different reasons/abuses, same shell, had to give the forgiveness part to God. Can’t/won’t forget, can’t forgive in my puny heart…yet. Your work is good&true. And blessings to Ann. OK, the Mouth is “back”. :-/ -s-

Reply

susan January 13, 2011 at 12:11 am

PS-I got the last copy of the book we discussed at the 5th store I had called/visited. 30mi away after a bladderCa surg consult for Daddy. In a snowstorm. And almost collapsed&scared the store staff. But that book had my name on it and it was on sale. Yay.

Reply

I am His beloved January 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

That little boy was a remarkable child. Such a beautiful heart he was. Such a hurting boy that learned to protect himself the best his young heart knew how. That young boy needs to know what a treasure he was, that Jesus had never left him. He was loved, deeply. Will you please engage that little boy and let him know? Its truth.
Yesterday, I was triggered. It was the darkest day and night I had ever experienced in a very long time. I wanted to die..but instead called my counselor and asked if I could speak with her. She asked me to engage that little girl who was raged against as a young child. To affirm her and not hide her in shame. It was powerful.
You are loved Craig.

Reply

Craig January 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thank you Julie,

Old voices are giving way to new, isolation yielding to connection, the story is an old one, the little boy is a man now, and things will change. God is an awfully big ally, and the dangers of reaching out will also I’m sure bring support. It already has. I’m ready for the fight. The battle is the Lord’s.

God bless

Reply

Dawn January 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Iwo Jima wrecked my dad and brought rage against my mother to our house. I can remember sitting as a 5-year-old, in my little sister’s crib covering her ears with my hands so she would not hear him beat our mom. He never came after us physically, but i remember many harse things he said to me. He died of a massive heart attack when I was 38. I had nothing to say to him before he died. Mom and Dad had separated and he lived alone. Without mom, he was calmer and lived more peacefully because the triggers that enraged him were no longer there.

My mother remarried and has a doting husband now. Birthday party for him tomorrow, I better get on it.

Thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to have a stranger come into your home and attack you. How did you turn out so kind?

Reply

Craig January 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm

But then … God.

And it wasn’t an easy job to break through.

I’ve always been pretty nice, never inherited his rage, always had a softer way, and even temper. I guess I just decided at some point that I wouldn’t let him win. He did though, I relied too much on charm, I developed the shell, I learned how to lie very well – he did win in many ways – all ways God and I have been reversing for a good while now. But looking back on things somewhere I must have made the choice to be the anti-him.

Hmmm.

No fair making me think!

thank you for your kind words. God bless.

Reply

Belinda May 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This broke my heart, Craig. Nobody should have to learn not to cry as it is one of the most cleansing things we can do to cope. I have a 4 year old boy and I can’t imagine him going through something like this at such a tender age.

Reply

Craig May 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

truth is Belinda, this broke my heart for a long time too. It formed who I was for far too long – in all honesty it still speaks to me sometimes today. Blogging in this community as I do, and meeting so many of the moms that I read at Blissdom, it just makes me respect and really heart what moms like you do, when you care, and provide safe and loving foundation from which a child can grow! Thank you for reading Belinda, and God bless and keep you and yours.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 10 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: