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"A murder happened 30 years ago - should I tell now?"


My problem is strange and probably completely inappropriate, but finding your site, for many reasons, was astonishing for me. Anyway, here it is: Should I do anything about a murder or murders that happened 30 years ago?

Until about two years ago I was a Director of Information Technology, first at the Department of Defense and then at a university. But eventually my life fell apart and now I spend most of my time in my living room in a hospital bed. My nightmares and flashbacks started when my daughter turned two. I ignored them for years. I went to therapy for awhile but I didn't tell my therapist about this. She used EMDR at first and I think the things I saw frightened her. I thought I was just making them up. That's what she told me to do, follow the dots with your eyes, back and forth, and then tell her what I see. She would set the stage and I would write the play more or less.

I didn't know much about myself then. But I know that my therapist didn't like me much. I was too much work for her, I think. She seemed relieved when I stopped seeing her. She really is a nice person, but she told me I didn't need to remember anything to get better. I hoped she was right. But the nightmares got worse and worse and worse. Sometimes the terror was wordless. I can't even begin to describe it. Anyway, I stopped going.

But I never stopped writing in my journals and I tried to keep drawing what I saw (I draw very poorly). Anyway, I began remembering things while I was awake. I'm pretty sure now that my father has blood on his hands. He wrote a confession note once when he thought I was getting close. He only confessed to the sexual abuse and then very little at that. But he was so quick to do it. He seemed petrified that I might pry even further.

But I just didn't remember. I only had flashes and smells --- oh God, the smells! I just figured I was really messed up. Then I caught myself trying to teach my daughter how to get rid of a body the right way. Suddenly I could feel my hands doing things I could barely comprehend. I could hear his voice in my head teaching me, showing me, bragging about how I was a piece of steel, not afraid of anything. He taught me to fight and how to lie. You tell nine tenths absolute truth and only one tenth lie. This formula works every time. By the time I was about nine, most of it had stopped. Mostly my mother lost her second shift job so he no longer had me to himself in the evenings. But things didn't completely stop until I was around eleven. He tried to kill me a couple of times and tried to make it look like an accident.

Then he got "saved" and everything changed. He was always praying. I forgot everything, everything!! But sometimes I would get mad when he tried to manhandle me and once I called him a sex maniac with bloody hands (I was just eleven). Mom was home. He talked his way out of it and when Mom was gone he made sure I would never say anything like that again. It's funny because I didn't even know why I had said it. I didn't know anything. I had completely forgotten. I told the truth, but it didn't change my sentence. I thought I died that night. I wanted to die. He wouldn't let me though. He always brought back so I could die all over again.

Anyway, up until now I've told no one except my husband and daughter and my mother. They all say they believe me completely. But I suspect their belief is based on my emotional (depressed madness) reaction to my memories. I used to be completely stoic. I never cried. But in the past two years I have made up for thirty years of no tears at all. Anyway, they really want to believe.

But down deep inside I know they find it hard to believe. No one believes that a murderer is someone they know really well. Up until now I have felt guilty for every flashback, every memory, every retreat back to my hospital bed. But I'm dying here --- and for what? What am I protecting? But what if I am just crazy?

I know you don't know me and this email is hardly enough to go on - but . . . I don't know; I thought maybe you might get some sort of sense about all this. Should I pursue this or just put it behind me? As the cliche goes though, "I may be done with the past, but the past doesn't seem to be done with me".

I'll understand if you steer clear of this email. I know I sound like the "demented fringe" that sane people like to steer clear of. And I probably am just that. I just thought I'd ask. I don't even know why.

It sounds as if you have been through personal hell. I don't doubt that your inner child is remembering something that is absolutely terrible and terrifying for you. So terrible that you had to block it out and forget it. It seems that for you to be well and to heal, in some way your being is bringing these memories back up so that you can find some peace and resolution with whatever happened. There are people who are child molesters and murderers, and although we don't want to ever believe that one of them can be in our own family, it sounds as if your father was about as disturbed and distorted as it can get. That's a huge challenge to deal with in one's lifetime.

When it gets this bad, and the healing process is such a deep, many, many layered one, I think that what you are facing is the challenge of surrendering it to Spirit. When I do healing work, with myself or others, there is a point we can come to where we realize that we can't do it by ourselves and we have to consciously ask for the grace of God, the Creator, whatever name you want to give it, to come in. Both times I asked for you, what showed up was faith. I have never been, and hopefully never will be, the kind of person who spouts evangelical, one way, all or nothing, fanatical stuff at people. I think that that method and level of understanding is quite narrow, and is an extreme. Usually there is still a lot of fear behind that kind of reaction and thinking. However, there is a point in our spiritual journeys where we do have to deal with the issue of faith because we come up against something so big that healing it takes divine intervention. It means we have reached a point where we are being asked to recognize that there is something greater than ourselves in a physical body, greater than this one lifetime.

I think, for whatever reasons you had to experience this level of horror and trauma, that you are being asked to discover what motivates us to make the choices we do, and whether we are putting our energy, call it faith, if you will, into our fears or into the Divine. You have come to a place where you have a need to recognize that you have lived in so much fear that it has made you ill. The issue at this point may not even be whether your father committed a murder or not, in terms of your own healing. The issue is where are you going to put your energy now? If you continue to put your life energy into fear, then fear is what you feed the tissues and cells of your body with, and that can only bring disease and illness to you. Not to mention mental and emotional dysfunction and upset. I think that it is very important that you have remembered what you have, and those memories have shown you that you were taught and lived with and experienced an incredibly distorted, traumatic understanding of life. This is a huge thing to deal with.

First of all, let me say that anyone who wonders if they are mad, isn't. Mad people never question that. So you're not insane. But, you have arrived at a place where you have to make a choice. We all reach a moment when we ask "who is in charge of my life?" "Why aren't things working out the way I want?" Some unplanned event or relationship or illness will show us that our personal power, or even the love and belief and support of family, will not be enough to get us through a crisis. We are meant to wonder if some other force is acting in our lives and to ask "Why is this happening? What do you want of me? What is my purpose?"

Gaining an awareness of our own limitations opens us to considerable choices we would not otherwise have made. During the moments when our lives seem most out of control, we may become receptive to a guidance that we would not have welcomed before. Then our lives may move in directions we had never anticipated. Most of us end up saying "I never thought I would be doing this or living here, but I am, and all is well."

It may help you to arrive at the point of surrendering if you can use what is called "symbolic sight" to view your life as ONLY a spiritual journey. To see the events in your life as a way of learning the lesson you came here to learn. We have all known people who have recovered from dire circumstances and credited it to the fact that they let the Divine take over. And every one of these people shared the experience of saying "Not my will but Yours." If that one prayer is all that is required, why are we so afraid of it? We remain terrified that by acknowledging Divine will - by surrendering our will to a greater will - we will become separated from all that brings us physical comfort. So we struggle with our will against Divine guidance. We invite it in yet strive to block it completely.

Remember that your physical life and your spiritual path are one and the same. Taking pleasure in your physical life is as much a spiritual goal as achieving a healthy physical body. Both are the consequences of following Divine guidance in making choices of how to live and of acting out of faith and trust. Your faith in life and other people was destroyed by having a father who was probably insane and a mother who didn't recognize that or your terror or protect you. There is a reason you experienced this, horrible as it was. If you can now shift your lost faith and trust to the Divine and regain it from a larger perspective, you will allow healing to come into your life. I don't know what roads you will need to travel, as that will be Divine will. But I do know you can trust it.

If you can, read Caroline Myss's book Anatomy of the Spirit. There are many stories in there that you may resonate with, and it is also an incredible guide to what we are doing here, how the energy of life works, and much more that may help you.

Blessings and peace to you on this journey, Ayal

96. "Is there hope for our relationship?"

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