January again and my book is not finished yet. My (old and mostly gone Romanian) friends know all about The Captive Child. It started several years ago, I don’t remember when, 3 or 4? I don’t care to keep count. You can search this blog to read the other posts about it, if you are interested. I usually keep my promises and this is one of the most important promises I’ve ever made. To myself, mainly. So here I am, talking to you again, the same way, blunt, with no holding backs, not one ounce of fear of embarrassing myself publicly with my little confessions. I know for sure as it was proved on numerous occasions that it helps you face your fears and live the way you should, being authentic and true to yourself and nobody else. If you do that, it makes everything worth it.
As always, I do not care if the people will laugh at others’ tears or be judgmental. If they do that, they are also captive. I care about the tears of my long gone Romanian Captive Children. My everywhere I go Captive Children. My you and her and him and them.
The promise was that I would take everything I learnt and share it with the world, to change it. That I will check with them at least once a year to let them know how the process goes. The problem is, I kept running in circles. I can write literature all right, but that is not what I want with this. Just another book on the shelves won’t do. We, the Captive Children deserve more. Wait, let me rephrase that, we deserve it all. And I am incapable still to figure it out how could I offer everything to everybody in just one book. The real problem is, discovering you have a problem is just the beginning and that’s not a good time to write books about it and pretend you know how it is going to end.
Some say that you know you are healed when you can tell the story without bursting into tears. Here I am, actually smiling.
The story goes like this – several years ago I had an epiphany triggered by the fact that I became a mother. My own childhood suddenly came back to me with such violent memories it shaken me to the core. I confessed it on a Romanian forum about parenting and it created a social phenomena. Thousands of readers and tons of people from all over the country and Romanians from all over the world started telling their stories. We all held hands, helped each other remember, sooth the tears, hug the broken hearts, be there for each other through the ordeal of remembering, cleansing it, breaking free. I abandoned the movement suddenly…
It all started with these words: “Hi, I am Ana and I am a captive child”. I felt like a captive child, trapped in the past, not fully grown, despite my flesh. In a way, we all are. The bad part of being a captive child is obvious, you were denied the freedom to grow in love and respect from your family and now, as a grown up, you do that to yourself. The good part is that even if you are still locked with your emotional development to an early age, this very disadvantage could literarily save your live. Only a child could be so eager to trust, to love, to fly, to smile again so easily and so full-heartedly at any sign the sun is going to shine at least a little. The downside of the good side is that a child is the perfect target of any trap hidden behind perverted acts of kindness. I will leave that story for another time.
That being said, I have to mention one more thing before I write again my annual letter to my other “siblings” in captivity. I always mourned the loss of all of you. I came to learn that once you open the door, *that* door, there would be people left behind and your heart would not come out as a whole out of this profound loss. I mourn my loss of you and I wish I could find the words to convince you it was never about abandonment. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love you. It means I had to go and find out for myself what love truly is. Being there with you in that dark and cold cave of despair did not seem very sane and wise anymore.
I could never abandon a child. I can abandon grown ups. Go figure, huh? (bitter smile here) But never a child. The truth is, I left you led by a subconscious drive rather than being about an well thought decision. Every cell in my body pushed me out the gate, away from you.
Now, after several years, I believe I know why and I owe the answer to you. At that time, although it looked and it seemed different, I was not able to save anybody. You all saw me being this super hero who knows it all and could bring the light in the cave, but I was also blind and deaf and mute and afraid. I do not feel guilty about leaving. I am deeply saddened though. And the only way I knew how to get away from all of you was already scripted and rehearsed for so many times in my life – by making a mess and then running away from it.
It was implanted in my every atom since my conception that I was an unwanted child and the following abuses confirmed that nobody wants me and nobody loves me and they will all leave eventually. I learnt how to barricade behind the walls of imagination and creativity. Art was my savior. So much hurt and rejection made me a savior of everybody else – if I save others, I’d learn enough to save myself. I was always a hero, saving and saving and saving everything and everybody. A rebel, always speaking up, always fighting for this cause and the other, defending this friend and the other, with this cosmic hungry fire always deep in my heart that noting could sooth, no brave action could slow it down. Ah, the sacrifices…isn’t that what it takes to make somebody loving you? (irony here)
I knew nothing better to do with my life than to bring justice, love, and salvation in the lives of others. I lived in the outskirt of myself, while my core kept bubbling like a lava and mutely erupting, unheard, unknown, misunderstood. That behavior is very characteristic to the abused children. Most of us waste our lives trying to recreate the scenarios learnt from our parents, re-playing it over and over and over again, maybe one day somebody, maybe mom and dad, will come and save the kid this time. The reality is a bitch – mom and dad will never come back to love us the way it should be. Instead, a bunch of strangers will sense from the distance the energy of longings and cravings emitted from the perfect victim – the captive child – and the script will be re-played and love once more be deceived.
The victim always dreams of saving her abuser. While carrying the burden of this twisted sickening hope that the abuser would one day stop the abuse and start loving the victim. Insane, right?
Every time I felt love and that was for every second of my life, I also felt the fear and the hurt, but then I had my imagination helping everything to turn all right. In order to avoid being abandoned, abused, physically and emotionally hurt, hated and despised, belittled – things I thought are inherently part of a loving behaviour – I would create the circumstances to be abandoned, hurt, etcetera. If the end is going to happen anyway, I’d rather make it happen sooner, make it be my fault, prove that I didn’t deserve it, and create the cause right now, while I am still on my two feet and not too deeply invested with my heart and all I am and all I have. If I’d wait too long, it would hurt so much, I would never come back to life again.
I did wait too much every single time. With my parents, my lovers, my friends, my everybody. I led an excessive life of extreme dangers and extreme passions and extreme everything. Behind the desire to save, there is the drive to end it all. Tempting God in a way – look at me, I am saving this person right now. And in order to do that, I believe I have to sacrifice myself. Look at me, God, living on the edge, one inch away from the abyss. You will never come, I dare you to ever come and save me, I know you will not, because if you would have ever loved me, you couldn’t possibly have done this to me. Why me?
Well, I did not sort the problem with God. I did sort the problem with “why me?”. Well, better me than somebody else unable to take all of it and survive.
I did not sort the problem with my parents and the rest of the family either. I have no clue why they did what they did. I oscillate with explanations and epiphanies, depending on the Moon phases. Forgiveness is allusive. Love is coming back, but very slow.
I did explain to myself why I left the Captive Child movement and now you too know why. I am not asking for forgiveness, I do not seek that from you. I am still in debt to you and I will keep at it until it’s all over. I am working very hard to keep my promise that I will stay until the end this time, whatever that end may be.
I decided to stay because of my daughter.
If becoming a mother triggered my death, it also caused my incredibly amazing re-birth. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. This is how a star must feel like when crashing the space with its new weight.
I went looking for love, that’s what I did, concluding is the answer for everything. I found it. *I* am the love. I don’t need to kneel for it anymore. It’s right here, inside me, lighting up everything. There are still times when I believe stupid people who claim they can take the love away from me. Nobody can do that, ever. No belt slaughtering bare skin, knives slicing paintings, angry hands throwing away poems…Nothing. And this is where the funny part of my journey starts, for the Captive Children don’t know much about love and how to play nicely with it and how not to run away in terror from it. I have to learn how to keep it alive and spread it around to everybody unconditionally and never look back when I offer it, never measure it, compare it, never regret it, never expect anything in return. So, you see, I am not going away yet, it’s not over, the gate is indeed wide open, but that’s just because I keep going back and forward.
Not very young anymore, not even as beautiful as I used to be, my brains half functioning, everything being so different with me, it just so happened that while I did not love at all the beautiful, brave, brilliant, genius, and innocent young woman I was in the past, then I fell deeply madly totally in love with this older me, flawed like hell (scars should be honored), not really put back together yet. Do you want to know why?
Profoundly hurt, crawling on my knees, incapable to breath of so much pain, having lost it all and being completely alone, I decided there was no better time than this, when I didn’t have absolutely anything to lose anymore, to just go ahead and jump. Over the cliff, that’s it. Not anymore with the goal of crashing into the ground into a gazillion of unrecognizable pieces of my superb flesh, but to fly to the highest and touch the sun and bring it down to others to light up their caves without an ounce of fear of getting burnt, thus hurt, as Platon said it is our duty on earth to do so.
It’s your turn. God smiles back at you when you do that. I can promise you that much.