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Thanks to everyone for the kind words, both the ones who posted here and the ones who wrote me privately.

Jeanie: you are right, this musing was all about the grief, not the abuse. I did deserve better, and this time of year I do miss having that idealized family.

I shared this with a dear friend who wrote to me privately, and I think it sums things up nicely.

Don't weep for me. I grew up. I lived. I healed.

It's just that sometimes I get taken by surprise.

I had been complementing myself on how put together I was this Christmas. No nightmares. No mood swings. I told myself that I had finally moved on.

Then just seeing a couple of photographs leaves me sobbing and writing into the night. How ironic.

I miss them. Not really them, because I'm sure I don't miss the chaos, and dysfunction. I miss that idealized version of them that 12 year old girl has never let go.

I think it's become a little more poignant over the last year or so, as LilMiss has approached twelve, and I've really been able to see what a little girl she is, and what a little girl I was. It makes the betrayal of trust even harder.

I'm angry with my father for the abuse, but I've mostly moved on.

I'm hurt by the rejection of my mother. That's the unforgivable sin. Because I know I would die to protect my children. I would kill to protect my children. I can't understand why.

Mostly, now I just pity them. Their choices lost them a loving daughter. They lost two grandchildren. They lost their souls. You can see it in their eyes.

That's why I weep.


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