On Sunday, listening to Judy Garland sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz, brought me to tears. As a little girl, that was my favorite song and movie. Long before cable TV, watching the Wizard of Oz was my annual ritual. I never missed it. That movie and the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow always filled me with the hope I craved. The kind of magical hope that an incest survivor desperately needs.
My childhood memories are pretty scarce, but I remember enough to know my father did horrible things to me that no child should ever endure. My days used to be filled with past times like skipping, laughing and playing like most kids. I’m not sure when I stopped being carefree. Unfortunately, I remember the confusion, guilt, and shame. Confusion about bad feelings I had after my father violated me and the monumental guilt after each occurrence. I stopped feeling ashamed after I decided to go public, and tell everyone the truth. However, it wasn’t until early last year that I finally convinced myself that the guilt never belonged to me.
You know, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to mourn the death of my innocence. Like any other life it deserves recognition, reflection, and validation. I just need to be careful not to stay stuck in that time warp. Like all healthy mourning, you need to work on healing and move on. Never forgetting, but also never dwelling on a horrible past I can’t change. Because if I do, it will start eating me up alive again.
I remember now that it’s actually the little girl inside me, Mary Lou, speaking out, and reminding me that it still hurts sometimes. That’s when it’s time to bring out the adult and remind her that the living nightmare’s all over. It’s all in the past, and no one will every hurt her like that anymore. I won’t allow it. A smile comes across my face with tears as if she’s telling me she knows I’m right. She just needed some motherly reassurance. She’s alright, and we can keep on walking up the yellow brick road to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz before continuing our journey somewhere over the rainbow. I hope to see you there soon.