About a week ago I opted to write a few words for Sunday's Scribblings titled Then and Now. This is what I said,
"Once, I was a spoiled, spoiled little girl who basked in the love her parents showed her.
Soon, my world came crashing down around me and I was forced to confront a hideous crime.
Then, I was filled with incredible hatred.
Now I feel pity. And regret. And sadness."
Many who commented wanted me to elaborate. Especially, I think, on "the crime". I'm not quite ready to do that, and don't know if I ever will be, publicly, but I will try to address my thoughts on how my life was filled with hatred and now it's not. That's My Great Escape.
It didn't happen over night, or over the course of a few months, or even over a few years. I can't tell you really how long it took, but I can estimate. The crime occurred when I was exactly the age my oldest daughter is now, and it's been at least 8 years since I realized that how I felt had changed. I'll do the math for you. About 20 years. You know how people talk about having an epiphany of understanding? I didn't happen that way with me. Rather, over the course of a period of time I realized I wasn't filled with anger and hatred towards the person that committed "the crime" that wreaked havoc on my life, and so many others, including, I'm convinced, his own.
The hatred ate at me from inside. It was a negative energy that nibbled away at pieces of my heart and took the good from the great and left me feeling beaten. It made most situations appear worse than they were, and kept me from truly enjoying many great moments. It made me envy others that had what I didn't have. It was insiduous and sapped the light. It was downright unhealthy, but I could justify it because at first it was the only way I knew how to survive the situation. I was angry at my mom for leaving me, even though she didn't have a choice, and I hated the person that took her away from me. But then it became an excuse and it seemed like justifiable anger. It became the scapegoat for things that happened in my life; choices I made or that others made and their relationship to each other.
And then I started to grow up and look at my life from another perspective. One that didn't blame someone else for everything that had happened. I began to contemplate how a series of choices effected many others, and stopped looking at only how it effected me. I started to see the world as not just revolving around me and my hurt. I started to ponder the interconnectedness of all of us and how we deal with what life throws our way. Mostly though, I think I was blessed with Divine Intervention and the sure knowledge that I was important and valuable and that overcoming this hurdle was possible.
And that's my Great Escape. Breaking the bonds of hatred and feeling free for the first time in many, many years.