This I Believe

Cindy - Gary, Texas
Entered on March 21, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I Believe . . .

While writing in my frayed, spiral notebooks, I reopened my great-uncle’s grave and buried painful, haunting words alongside his body. With several sweeps of my pen – betrayal, abuse, shame, anguish, unworthiness, disgust, and powerlessness were all covered over with soil.

The aging, depraved man stole both my childhood and my future when I was only four years old. By the time I was twelve, he had destroyed my understanding of love. But, on white paper with black ink, my pen converted “child-molest” to “self-respect” and reclaimed what was mine.

The little girl, lost between the twisted urges of a cruel and selfish adult, became my inner-child. That inner-child was rescued, in the midst of my own adulthood, among the lines of soul-searching prose and thoughtful, written words.

For many years I was silenced, “don’t tell anyone,” he warned, “they’ll send me to jail.” Now, the suffocating silence is finally free to scream out loud with the sound of my writer’s voice.

Before recounting the past in my notebooks, my writer’s voice spoke in essays, speeches, and letters throughout my life. I learned early the power of the pen. Poems and cards I created in grade school rewarded me with much needed smiles and hugs from my parents. An essay I wrote in college forced a professor to cry in front of the class. Later, I wrote speeches that provoked crowds into action, and letters that evoked laughter from friends. Now retired, I write in solitude of emotions, thoughts, and memories.

Some of those memories, far away from my great-uncle’s grasp, were of the Sundays Mother took my brothers and me to a nearby country church. No matter the weather or our reluctance, she piled us into the car and drove two miles down the road to worship. It was there, in Sunday school, my seeds of faith in a Greater Power were planted.

This I believe . . . while writing in my frayed, spiral notebooks, the same Greater Power I met in that country church now guides my pen, removes the silent poison from my childhood, and lovingly heals my soul.