Love knows all of the story (part 2)

by Craig on January 13, 2011

Moments can change a life. Whether frozen in time – or setting in motion events that ripple – moments make or break us. These moments made and broke me. This is sharing, this is hard, but it’s me – and love just says the true stuff…

Part one is here.

The man has told the boy, since, that there was a way he looked at him. Like he was inviting the pain. The man said it was like an open dare. I know now what that look was. It was a dare. It was blatantly displaying a target – this way there would only be one target in the house.

The man has shared that even during a beating – the boy never cried.

He would be silent as fists met flesh and feet kicked ribs. He wouldn’t cry. He would never let the man see him cry.

Beatings didn’t happen all the time.

Apparently, only when the boy deserved them.

But nobody else was ever touched.

There was a victory of sorts.

The boy remembers sitting there sometimes, at the age of 6, 7, 8, and 9 – rubbing the hurts and yet feeling like he had won. Each beating was it’s own victory.  He felt it alone. In his room, or in a corner, or a basement, or an abandoned building. It hurt but he didn’t mind so much.

And it was better to feel this hurt alone anyway.

And there was a time before the marriage, even before the beating with the hanger. He was only 4 and this had to be told to him later in life – he doesn’t remember it. But bruises appeared all over his body. He went to the hospital for testing but doctors didn’t know why the bruises were there.

I’m sure they asked. But again, what was he to say? Looking back now it seems the child made the decision spoken about in part one – long before a bedroom conversation.

Regardless, nothing was done. He remained silent. Times were different then. “Falling off the swing” “clumsy child” “active boy” were all accepted as fact.

Anyway, what was happening was just discipline – that’s all.

“So it hurts” he thought, “It’s just pain, it goes away.”

It was just an occasional beating.

And his mom would stop it before it got too far out of hand.

All he had to do was stand there – and not cry – until later.

All he had to do was take it – and not cry – until later.

All he had to do was have nightmares every night about an unknown force that came in and took him away from everything he loved. Almost every night for years he’d have this dream – and nobody in the dream would ever help.

They would talk, or watch t.v., or eat – but never help – never care.

In real life he would eat dinner at the table and hold on tight to that table with his left hand because of fear. Something was lurking in the hall and was sure to grab him if he loosened his grip. He would get scolded for it. The hand would be slapped. But if he let go…

They didn’t know what would happen if he let go.

How does a child do this?  How does a child set this resolve and keep going?

He disconnects.

And when he connects,

he only does so superficially.

To let someone close

is to usher in pain and disaster.

If you learn this lesson at 4

and 5

you learn it for life.

Until you decide to unlearn it.

This is why this year is named “connection” for me.

This is why it’s so important.

It’s time to trust.

It’s time to unlearn.

It’s long past time to let go of the table.

In God’s Love.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

susan January 13, 2011 at 12:58 am

Thank you, little guy. Thank you in your grownup body to understand what you understood so long ago, and knowing that to truly grow up, you had to unlearn everything your little guy had taught you. Thank you for teaching us. Thank you for speaking your truth, the truth so many won’t speak, but use to account for bad behavior as big people. Thank you for not using your victimization as a child *to* victimize as an adult. Thanks for being you,Craig. You have lessons to teach-to never turn away, even if you only suspect; to ask the questions children *can* answer, not the ones they can’t. Keep teaching. Keep asking. Keep becoming the big person your little person didn’t feel allowed to be. And thank you for protecting your sister…thank you for protecting Laska. Now it’s time to protect Craig in a new &open way, the old way didn’t do you justice. Open your heart, and know all who love you will run to help, and never turn away. Let go of the table, dear one. -s-


Craig January 14, 2011 at 2:02 am

Really kind words Susan. There’s still plenty in me that wants to hold onto the table still. God I trust absolutely. He has never and I believe, will never fail me. Me, I don’t trust so much – I know me too well – I fail. And others – I’m only at the very beginning of learning to trust others – we’ll see how that goes. I’ll keep you posted.


Joyce L Gibson January 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Tears again as I read today’s heart sharing. I think I know now why the Lord touched me when we met at the conference and I knew I was to be your grandmother, committed to care and to pray for you every day. I see now that He has been with you through the pain-filled years, preparing you to connect with Him and uniquely with your readers to lead them into a relationship with Him that is healing and fulfilling. They in turn can connect, and the linkage of connections will go on and on. You are privileged to have been chosen for a most precious ministry.


Craig January 14, 2011 at 2:10 am


You have seen the side of me that looks like it’s connecting but really isn’t. You’ve seen the charm, and the smile, and all those people skills at work. And you saw deeper than that too. You have good eyes. Now it’s about really connecting – and that means opening up – and that’s new – and more than just a little terrifying. Thank you for praying. You have always been such an encourager – haven’t had many of those. Thank you.


Debbie January 14, 2011 at 1:02 am

The post is really a hard one Craig. Hard for you to write, to unearth. Crying, but that’s okay. And the comments above . . .crying some more. I want to share this with a friend. She’s adopted boys who have been abused and neglected. I know she probably knows this . . .but maybe it might help her to hear it from someone who was abused as a little boy. Craig, did you see this coming, this revealing? My, it’s not taken God long at all to do major things with you and your writing. God bless you and redeem all those days when you weren’t safe with an eternity of shelter under His wing.


Craig January 14, 2011 at 2:14 am

Did I see this revealing coming? Nope! No way. I’ve been a handful for God – and he’s been a handful for me. Here’s hoping we take it easy on each other for a while. Thanks Deb.


Anonymuss January 15, 2011 at 12:27 am

Craig, I hope you continue to receive an abundance of healing and connection born of this terrible experience. Abuse is shattering-and to children, especially so, for they are so utterly defenseless. It hurts to even think of what you experienced. When abuse is dismissed-in the eyes of others, it is even more painful. Things can start shutting down and dying inside-for me anyway. Was it that way for you?


Craig January 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

It was long ago. I’ve been an adult now a long time. But this year of connecting – it’s hard because of this. There’s more of the story but this is a lot of “heavy” to put on love blog.

Regardless, there are voices present from that time, that still ring hard in the ear – this connecting, and people like you, are going to bring a lot of growth – thank you A.


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