On the third of next month, I’ll be making a return trip back to England after five and a half years. England has always been special to me. So special in fact, that I consider England to be my Heart Home, So, what exactly IS a heart home? A heart home is a place where, though you may not have been born and bred there, you might just as well have been because it’s the place where you feel most comfortable and at peace. For me, that’s what England is. There are many reasons why, but one of the main ones is that I’ve always felt a connection to it ever since I was a very little girl and watched Princess Diana marry Prince Charles, That connection has continued to stay with me, and it has continued to grow stronger over these many years, as each friend that I have over there has taken me into their hearts and cared for me as if I were a member of their own family. Given that my relationship with most of the members of my family of origin has been strained to say the least. the connections I have with my friends in England are doubly precious.
It is also important that I return there because as some of you know, I lost my father almost two years ago now, and many of the people I’m going to be seeing on my trip are people that were with me from the time of his stroke and eventual cancer diagnosis through to the end and beyond. Emotionally, I’ve not fully recovered, and I may never fully recover from the loss of my father, but I’m hoping that by the time I return from my trip, I’ll at least have my feet back under me a bit.
Some, if not all of you know what I experienced as a child. I’ve struggled, and very much continue to struggle with comparing my experience with what has happened to others. I know intellectually that I shouldn’t compare my experience with abuse to other’s experiences, but for some reason I can’t get what my head knows to connect with my heart and emotions. While I don’t question that what happened to me was in fact abuse, when I hear about or read other’s stories about what their experience with abuse was, I often say to myself: “This makes what happened to me look tame in comparison.” Or something similar. Many have said to me that no experience is more valid than anyone else’s and again, I know this to be true on an intellectual level, but cannot get it to resonate with me on an emotional level. I also know without a doubt that this is something I need to work on, but I’m unsure how to go about stopping myself from making comparisons between mine and other’s abuse experiences. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
Valentine’s Day is one of those days you either love or hate….at least for most people. I heard a lot of grumbling out on the interwebs about how commercial the day is and how it’s just an excuse for companies to make more money. I also heard people in very deep pain for one reason or another. Both points are very valid, I, like many others find Valentine’s Day very painful because of my father not being here anymore, He was very much a holiday type person, by which I mean he loved any type of special occasion and did his best to make days like Valentine’s Day special for all of us, but for my mother in particular. Needless to say my father was very much on my mind yesterday.
I try to spread love and light every day no matter what I do. But on Valentine’s Day I try to amp it up a notch, especially because there is soooo much darkness in the world. On a day like Valentine’s Day, the darkness is often emphasized for people because of things they’ve experienced in the past that are painful, or any number of other reasons. So, as a way of trying to prevent myself from being swallowed up by pain, I try to make the day brighter for someone else, whether it be a friend or a stranger. I do it in many ways. As a new friend of mine so eloquently says, any time you smile at a stranger or do something kind, no matter how small, it counteracts darkness. So this is what I try to do every day, but especially on days like yesterday.
As many have said already, I feel Dylan Farrow is a very brave young woman. It took enormous courage and strength to share what she shared, and publicly no less. But her open letter has yet again exposed a very discouraging truth. And one that, for me, is very difficult to swallow. Pedophiles will nearly always be defended, as will any sort of abuse it seems. That is not to say that there are not those who will speak out when abuse occurs. But it has become very clear to me that more often than not, those who speak out are not believed and that makes me sick to my stomach to say the least. I hope that someday this changes, but right now, I’m afraid that it won’t and that disheartens me to no end.