(I have continued to gather submissions for the extra:ordinary project — stories from our community of our recovery, resistance and resilience — and I am excited to share with you our next piece from Janice in California. I am so grateful for her words — thank you for holding her words here.)
Child of Sorrows
Infant, uncovered, cries alone.
Defenseless child of sorrows
holds her breath, listens in the dark, and
weeps alone in silence, afraid to fall asleep.
Where is mother when
she calls, “Mama”?
Where is God of love?
“Suffer the little children.”
Why must children suffer?
Why do adults
betray her trust?
From her struggle
in the hush of winter,
she flies on voyages
to the stars
until the light of dawn
returns her to
How does a toddler distinguish the truth that is taught by the one she honors and trusts? She is taught holy verses: The lion and lamb shall lie down together. Who is the Lord? The Lord is Our Father. Obey the Lord. Honor your Father. Your Father loves you . . . too much. Fear not . . . but I was filled with fear and Sore afraid. Our Father . . . hallowed be Thy name. Thy will be done. I don’t understand . . . why does Thy will hurt me? What does this teach a vulnerable child? In whom should she trust? Trust in Our Father? First she trusts everyone. Then she trusts no one. Who can she talk to when her mother won’t listen to “stories”? Where does a child go when home is not safe? Who can she trust when she can’t trust her parents? Can your child trust you?
Am I alone? That’s hard to believe. Yet, I, a preacher’s kid, have not located a reference to other PKs who were sexually molested by a Protestant pastor parent. Are your voices still silenced?
AWA writer friends know my history. I am grateful for these safe writing groups, the excellent therapist I had and the journals I continue to fill.
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