As time passes it becomes increasingly clear to me that you are incredibly shocked and perhaps even traumatized by recent events. What started as a journey rooted in solidarity and a narrative of history held in common, stitched together by memories of holidays, traditions, and countless days in the sun has been blown apart by a story describing a life experience so different and distinct as to seem like the most crazed and addled of fictions.
Except it is far more complicated than that…both your experiences of it and ours.
And trying to put the spotlight of truth on “what really happened” is as fruitful as running on the beach to try and catch a seagull…memory and our past flies up and away when we run hard at it.
Certainly there is a plethora of artifacts that buttress my own experience…but here is the rub for me:
So much of those days is fuzzy to me, blurred by time and by the assumption that we were pretty fortunate to have one another…but most of all so much of it was swallowed whole and robbed from me by a Leviathan called Dysphoria. In the bone-frying terror of trying to survive the assaults of despair, a lot of my memory is reduced to memories of just hanging on.
As you all have been processing things, you have gone silent, gone angry, but mostly, just…gone. Nothing. And what reports do trickle back have been shocking in their vehement accusations and recollections, have been utterly astonishing in the gaping holes where context tells a radically differing tale…and completely and totally devastating to read and encounter.
It has been like a pogrom on my history…and what is worst of all is that whatever or however it happened, you have come to this time and this place where you have these driving needs to tell your story and write your history thus.
And thus the heart of this post: I want you to know that it is okay.
I want you to be and do and say whatever it is that will bring you expiation and freedom.
I want for you liberty and fruitfulness.
I want for you life and wholeness.
I want for you what I have always wanted for you and sought to provide you.
And I love you…regardless of what you might think or not think, say or not say, remember or forget.
I will never not love you.
Perhaps someday there will be enough said or done that you might begin to feel those relentless scales within entering into a sort of equilibrium…the doors of my heart are flung wide open.
Perhaps someday you might be handling the artifacts that my fingertips and heart tendrils trace daily, and you might find the tracks of my tears and the perfume of my love…in letters, in cards and emails…in memories other than the ones who swell and swarm our landscape like Red Tides…
…and if that ever happens, please do not waste one moment of your lives in regret or remorse…while it is evident to me that it is highly unlikely that this will ever happen, there is a chance that you might feel as if you have in some fashion or way done wrong in the process of this becoming of ours, and if this is ever the case I say to you
I love you
I forgive you
I have no record of wrong
I believe everyday in who I know you are
I want the best for you as you are able to discover it and access it
It is my honor to have had a part in your coming to be and it is my doom to be accountable for the innumerable ways that I failed you and caused you pain and horror.
I hope everyday that you are finding the sort of strength in becoming that I am experiencing.
Should you ever glance my direction, I am here at the end of the lane of home, everyday standing on tippietoes and my eyes combing the horizon and my heart listening to the wind and my nose sniffing the air for your presence…
…hoping to see you, praying for your safety and shalom…and never ever failing to hold you in my heart precious.
I also want you to know this: whatsoever you need to write, need to shout, need to throw, need to yell, need to think or tell or believe…whatever you need to do or be in order to be whole, it is okay with me.
I refuse to ever be “a betrayed one”
I refuse to ever be “a wronged one”
I refuse to ever be “offended”
I choose you and your wholeness.
I choose you and your horror that you lay at my feet and at my accountability. So be it. Let it be on me, to make things lighter and easier and more fruitful for you it is my glad and sacred honor.
If the narrative is now that I was the worst abuser, a victimizer, a (fill in the blank)…whatever it is…as long as it is an assignation of responsibility that enables you to be delivered and put in a place where you can choose life and choose wholeness and becoming, then it is a sentence that I want to have over me that I shall do my absolute best to carry in the way that creates the freedom and deliverance and cleansing within that brings you the very best that can be brought.
May it be my meals for the rest of my days if in eating it there is even a modicum of relief and wholeness for you.
Everyday without you is like Kafka’s world with no exit…unless in the absence I have the assurances it is resulting in your liberty and gladness and joy…
…and in that case it is the greatest of honors to be in this place.
I think I know who I was…and who I wasn’t too, finally. I think I acted in good faith, but who really knows? When one is dysphoria’s ball of yarn it gets a bit discombobulating to be batted around for 5o years.
But now? I know I know who I am, and who I am not…and while I can do nothing about what has happened, the future is mine to write, each and everyday that is left in God’s coffers for me to walk out.
I love you with all my heart, and I am honored by each of you in your strength of voice, your commitment to one another, your loyalty to truth and your heart for justice.
There are many who could have loved you more perfectly.
There are none who could have loved you more.
I loved you utterly, totally…I still do.
And I always will. Love you.
Say on…it’s okay, let it rip…do what you must and need and want…be…become.
Cus I am here now: Charissa Grace, and I am finally free and not a helpless bystander any longer, and nothing can ever lock me up ever again.
Written in my blood and tears and sweat…and the tattoo ink of forever love,
Me…the one who was there and now is here…the one who engendered you…
Your loving parent