Eventually, the trauma survivors I see glean their own answers to some of the mot fundamental human questions.You know what one of those fundamental answers was for me? My father was strict in some ways - always Please and Thank You. After dinner, we didn't get up without permission....and a thank you (usually with a kiss on the cheek) to our mother - whether hot dogs or steak. We were thanking her for her work in providing for us. And I don't disagree with that custom at all.
My current husband of 20 years has thanked me for my work in dinner at least 10 times in 20 years. It used to just break my heart to try so hard and he would finish his dinner and just get up and walk away, leaving me with my kids. My sweets knew it hurt me, so they'd make sure to say thanks and usually the same kiss....but I didn't make them do it - they just felt sorry for me.
Now the fundamental question (done in the most basic black/white thinking)......was my father more correct than my husband? Should we show fundamental manners - and teach them to our children? If so, then was my father correct in other things - monstrous beatings, rapes, animal killings? Or is my husband's dismissal of me correct - and his general tenderness in 20 years (and he is).
Believe it or not.....this fundamental sizing up between my father's beatings and thank you's vs my husband's distance and tenderness haunted me for over a year. Finally, I was able to put it into perspective, but it was a totally doubting year.
I love the quote, lauralisa, and will look into that book. Beautifully written - thank you so much.
I love it when someone resurrects this thread - imho, a beautiful thread of common minds.