The Hollow

Just an old man and his thoughts/feelings about having survived child abuse. I'm just one voice of many who are survivors.

Name:
Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

I tend to be reclusive, hate crowds, can't stand loud noise, and talk too much once I know and trust you. I have a 'New Yorker' attitude and accent. Love Jewish and Italian food. I'm Hebrew when convenient and Buddhist when serious. I am INTP. See http://www.personalitypage.com/INTP.html

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Unquantifiable

I believe the emotional pain I experienced as a child cannot be quantified. The disappointment of a rich boy who does not get the car he wants is no greater than the disappointment of a poor boy who does not get his BB gun. There is no scale of 1 to 10. The tears I shed are no more or less than another person 's tears. The pain I endured is no more or less than another person 's pain.

I write this because some people tend to express the idea that I had one of the worst childhood's imaginable. That somehow, my struggles diminish theirs, leaving them with very little to complain about. I understand where they're coming from, but I also don't believe my childhood is a valid measure of anyone else's nor do I believe that the pain of one person should lessen the pain of another.

I also believe it's wrong for people to expect me to forgive those that abused me and forget the abuse. I have accepted it, but will never forgive them. With acceptance, I no longer struggle with the past. I have learned from those bad experiences and they are just as much a part of me as any good experiences. I am at peace with it all.  

This is not a contradiction that the innocent seven year-old boy still exists within me longing for Momma or that acceptance would have resolved that need. It means I have accepted he exists within me. Sometimes, late at night, when I’m thinking of Momma and the tears begin, I am grateful that I can feel the lost love. I am most human when this occurs.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Chuck
I just read your new posting, "Unquantifiable." I like how you compare the rich boy and the poor boy and the magnitude of their disappointments. Again, something to ponder...
Your comments about not forgiving those that have hurt you "I also believe it's wrong for people to expect me to forgive those that abused me and forget the abuse. I have accepted it, but will never forgive them. With acceptance, I no longer struggle with the past." I am not sure I understand. Forgiving, as I define it i.e. letting go of the need to understand an event or seek revenge, those who have wronged or hurt me over the years has allowed me to go beyond the event leaving no bitterness in my soul. How do you define forgiveness? I think knowing your definition would help me to better understand what you have written.
Again, great job.
MW

11:07 AM  
Blogger da old one said...

Hi MW,
Definition of forgive: to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; to stop being angry; to pardon.

Almost true. My acceptance removes resentment, desire to punish, and anger. I will never pardon them.

Definition of pardon: to release a person from punishment; to cancel or not exact penalty of an offense; forgive.

Almost true. I will not release or cancel them from punishment. It is not in my power to exact penalty.

That is what I mean by “I will not forgive them.” I do not want to do them physical harm. I have not wished them bad fortune. However, whatever punishment befalls them for their deeds against me is what they deserve.

I will not enter any dialogue dealing with religion or ethics on this one. This is my belief. My feelings. My way of dealing with my ‘stuff.’ You asked. I answered. Can’t get any better than that.

Chuck

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Chuck
Thank you for responding to my question. Your definition greatly helps me to understand your writings better. How you define forgiveness incorporates a component that I had not considered i.e. "I will never pardon them. Definition of pardon: to release a person from punishment; to cancel or not exact penalty of an offense; forgive."
When I think of pardoning someone my thoughts tend more towards using the word justice than forgiveness. Justice demands penalty for wrong doings. My forgiveness does not negate justice, but is more of a personal nature. It is the saying, to the me, myself and I, do not hold this wrong against them. I no longer dwell on what has occurred and therefore events are not of a crippling nature. You go on to say just that i.e. "That is what I mean by “I will not forgive them.” I do not want to do them physical harm. I have not wished them bad fortune. However, whatever punishment befalls them for their deeds against me is what they deserve." The same and yet a little different.
Lets keep "chatting", and you are right, it can't get any better than that...that is, unless it's chocolate ....LOL.
Sincerely,
MW

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