Writer Miss Britt has an extraordinary piece on the lingering effects of childhood abuse at the hands of a stepfather — effects that linger 20 years later and make forgiveness impossible.
After reading the heart-wrenching story, I can see why:
“Forgiveness vanished from my heart as quickly as the breath escaped my lungs.
And in its place came a hot, fiery rage that I have not known in years.
I remembered the hand shaped welt on the thigh of a five year old.
I remembered standing in a puddle of my own urine, stinking and ashamed that I hadn’t been able to control myself better during a spanking.
I remembered screaming at my mother “Shut up! Shut up! Mom! Just shut up!”, desperate to protect her from the inevitable punishment for “her mouth”.
I remembered the look of disgrace on the faces of two young boys who had done nothing wrong except bear the same last name as someone in the local paper. ”Is that your dad?” their friends would ask, and the two boys would come home and cry when they thought no one could see.”
I wanted to basically reprint the whole thing here, it was so gripping and moving and raw, but you’ll have to read the entire piece over there, and it is well worth it, because it offers an interesting snapshot into the lingering after-effects of childhood abuse probably many people don’t want to talk about in public.