The “recent searches” section of my website indicates that someone is interested in memory loss. A large number of survivors of child sexual abuse have either no memories or else the ones they have are obscured by fear and confusion. I have heard more than one victim, including me, say that they remember a steamroller coming over them and crushing them to death as they lay sleeping. How can you handle recovery when you don’t remember? Clues are everywhere. Check our page Abuse Victim Profiles on our Lamplighter Movement web page. If you see that a number of these traits describe you and your behavior then you don’t need the memories. Sometimes, as you progress through recovery the shadows will begin to come to the fore. If going through recovery begins to remove some of these not so healthy traits then you know you are in the right place, recovery from child sexual abuse. The majority of my memories remained hidden for many years. But I had one memory that was vivid and terrifying, one that caused decades of nightmares, that only ended after my father’s death. Below is a portion of the Prologue to my book, I Never Heard A Robin Sing. It will be available on amazon.com as a Kindle by the end of the year.
In a tiny bedroom, a young girl lies, swirled in dreams of innocence. A shaft of moonlight beams through worn drapes, exposing yellowed wallpaper and stark metal bunk beds. Nestled asleep in the lower bunk, she draws thin, coltish legs closer to her chest as her breathing deepens and her eyelids flutter. Wispy brown hair scattered about her face, frames small bones, and delicate features. A rosary creeps from under the pillow, its beads still warm with prayer, the cross dangling above the hardwood floor. Under the bed, a multi-colored mutt named Rusty hiccups his way through his own nighttime visions as he twitches in time to a windup clock that sits in protective watch on the dresser. A three-year old child sleeps in a crib nearby. A younger sister lies in the upper bunk unaware of the impact the trauma of the next few minutes will have on her life.
As slumber guards the scene, the handle on the door turns, creaking in protest. It opens slowly, shrouding the room in a hazy light. A tall man, gray slivering his temples, casts sharp shadows that spill into the corners. He watches for a moment as she sleeps, then enters, closing the door in a surreptitious manner.
Her life will never be the same.
I buried the memory of what happened deep in my unconscious mind, to be lost for over thirty years, as my emotional growth became locked in time. At the age of thirteen, I didn’t even know the meaning of the word rape, much less incest.