Meditation on Father’s Day from an incest survivor

I wrote several poems today after a meditation walk I do to clear my head. Here are two of them:

 Father’s day
Sobs shake me in the silence
of the labyrinth
the creak of wood floor
He’s not dead yet.
But neither am I.


Blessed be

all of us
strong and struggling

The single lesbian who
wheels a chair

The self critical

The daughter
of a psychopath
on Father’s day

The alone.
the connected.

This is one of those father’s days when I’m feeling emotional. It isn’t always like this. I’ve been dating a new woman and am perhaps a bit more open hearted, or maybe it’s the Buddhist style meditation I’ve been doing. You connect with whatever feeling you are having, without getting too involved in what it is about, and then feel empathy and connection with all the other beings who are having that same emotion right now and try and send them (and yourself) support. An antidote to shame and isolation is connection, and knowing that we are not unique or alone. I get caught up in thinking I’m unique, but of course I’m not. There are unfortunately lots of people with a psychopath parent and a complicit other parent, and how I feel about all that, however it is, is completely normal. Even if I had a completely unique life circumstance, the feelings I have about it are not unique. Sadness, shame, anger, hopelessness, the feeling of not being understood, of being judged, or oppressed, or even isolated by having a unique tragedy, are all feelings that human beings have, and have often, around the world in this minute.

Even as survivors, we are not alone. There are a lot of us, today, grieving, raging, ignoring or being numb in response to father’s day. There are survivors who are going through the motions, and spending time with their abusers this day and pretending to honour them, because they do not yet have the strength, validation and support to do otherwise, or because their abuser still has economic or social power over them. And we are together in this too.

To my survivor sisters and brothers: We are together in this. You are  understood. You are respected. We will outlive them all, and may we dance upon their graves, for we are alive and we have survived.

4 thoughts on “Meditation on Father’s Day from an incest survivor”

  1. Amen to that! I am a father to one son and have been troubled by Father’s Day all of my life and I never knew why until I had the courage to come out and live authentically as the woman I always was instead of the man I never was. Some people don’t have that strength to change, your father apparently never did. As an incest survivor, you have an opportunity to turn tragedy into a gift, a gift of compassion for your father who didn’t have the strength you have shown by your example.You don’t have to ever forgive what he did to you and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Compassion for another person doesn’t require forgiveness for an act of cowardice that your father demonstrated because forgiveness is for the forgiver, not the forgiven and it is always a choice that often will go against reason. Each and every Father’s Day will always have a special meaning for you that no one can ever share. If you never can honor your father, no one hasn’t any right to judge you. I certainly don’t. I can have compassion for you and your trial by fire, whether or not you are ever willing to forgive or not. That is the nature of both compassion and forgiveness! .May you one day find peace and closure from your father’s insanity. Always be strong, but never at the cost of your vulnerability..I believe that vulnerability is what makes us human

    1. Hi Deanna,
      I am at peace with it, as much as anyone is. I understand the desire to give me advice, and the positive intention, but please don’t. I can completely understand that, as a father yourself, and with mixed feelings about father’s day, you might have difficulty with this topic (that of a father being a psychopath), and I hear your comments as understandable coming from that.

      I’ll tell you a secret about forgiveness. The nature of grief for a tragedy of this magnitude of horror is that eventually one comes to peace and acceptance. It’s a good, solid place to stand, but it doesn’t mean that pockets of feelings don’t flow through from time to time and that’s okay, it’s all part of the journey. It’s vulnerable, I agree, but it’s what is, and that takes strength to face. Have you read my post on forgiveness and the kvetching order? Blessings to you on father’s day, Deanna.

  2. Reblogged this on Kate Is Rising and commented:
    I was too upset to do anything much on the day. But need to share this wonderful empathetic, compassionate, and connectedness post.
    Good and healing thoughts to us all in the coming year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *