Originally published on Levona.org, February 25, 2019
I should start this post from the focal point: I was raped when I was a baby. It used to be very hard for me to say that… but I am happy to say that it is becoming more and more of a fact and less of a crisis for me. It’s a part of me, and I am learning to live with it.
In an interesting way, it has brought many experiences my way that I would probably never have had otherwise.
One of the things that amazed me when I first started to share my story was how other people would then come to me and share theirs. There is so much power in sharing… And also, I was amazed at how common I was discovering rape, and sexual abuse of any kind, to be.
A friend of mine once told me about a dream she had: She was standing at the front of a long line of people: Behind her was her father, and behind him was his father, and then his, and so on - so that an endless line of patriarchs extended behind her as far as she could see.
And then, the very first forefather, standing at the back of the line, took an axe… and killed his own son with it. Then his son took an axe, and killed his son in turn. And so it went on, from father to son, until the foremost father took his own axe raised it above my friend’s head…
And then she woke up.
That image has really stuck with me, ever since she told me about her dream. I think that we are living in a special time. Maybe it’s just me? But I do think that we are becoming ever more aware of what our forefathers have done, and we are also becoming more and more free to choose something else. It’s not easy, of course. One of the great difficulties for me in my own struggle to heal my past was that I felt like I was paying for what someone else did to me. It wasn’t my fault, was it? But now it was my problem. The bitterness, the anger, the feelings of injustice, helplessness, and blame…. I lived in that place for many years of my life. But I think that one of the most important realizations I had during all this time was that if I wanted a better life, I had to work hard for it - and that wallowing in how much it wasn’t my fault was, flat-out, just not going to get me anywhere. As a matter of fact, the fact that it was all in my hands was now, in the end, a great liberation. At this point I feel like there is tremendous freedom, and power, in that. I can choose my own life, as long as I can be brave enough to struggle for it.
And so, I hope that with help, some luck, and a lot of grit - I’ll be able to heal what was passed on to me, and to give my kids a better future.