Gentle Recovery

Healing From Child Abuse & Rape

Healing Journey

Seeing Beauty Where There is None

Posted by gentlerecovery on March 17, 2010 at 7:35 PM

"He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery." Anne Frank  

It's hard to think Anne Frank was only fourteen when she wrote this. Fourteen and hated - for no other reason than being Jewish. Fourteen and having her world as she had known it - turned upside down. Fourteen and not able to go outside to smell the flowers, or attend a dance or sit in a classroom and daydream about boys, or her future or life....

In spite of the hatred and brutality that had taken over her world - in spite of  being stripped of all the comforts of home and school and friendships - in spite of those who believed she had no right to exist......fourteen year old Anne wrote as if her world was if nothing had changed....putting her thoughts down on paper - the thoughts of a normal teen.....

I try to visualize what it must have felt like to be 14 and forced to live in a small space with people terrified for their lives - fearing the craziness of those who wanted to kill not only you but your whole race - people who lived with fear that if they were found - they would die.....or worse...

Anguish- cries heard in the streets - family, friends, respected elders -taken - their lives stolen - beaten like violent criminals - intemples, in shops, in communities - there was no safe where to hide. It was always just a matter of time. 

Yet in the midst of that senseless brutality - 14 year old Anne kept her diary and wrote like any typical young teen pondering the world around her and her place in it.

Her words strong, positive, powerful: "I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be....I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains."

I didn't have the strength that Anne had. Or the courage - nor her positive outlook. I felt the hatred and I hated back. I felt thebrutality and I wanted to lash out against every perpetrator who hurt me. I let the brutality pull me into its lies - into its fear, into its hatred - Everything in my world was black - dark  - I saw no beauty. I wanted so bad to give up and to give in to the darkness. I saw no hope- no light - no meaning.


Anne had been raised by loving parents - parents who gave her security and a strong foundation  - so strong that when the darkness came - she was able to push it aside and still see beauty. I'm trying to parent my girls that way. Maybe it's working. My oldest  14 - is amazingly positive. She inspires me - she teaches me....


Growing up in a Jewish home - I heard the phrase over and over: "to not remember the past is to be condemned to repeat it."  I used to wonder why do Jewish people constantly talk about what happened....and hold memorials and give honor to the survivors.  I was told - 'so it will never happen again. From one generation to the next - we must tell what happened.' 


I think I'm beginning to tell of the brutality we lived- in some way is a protection for the next generation - to know - to be aware - to live a bit differently - to understand there is darkness -but there's also a strength, a hope - a light with each survivor who stands up and says, "I survived. The darkness couldn't destroy me."

I never wanted anyone to know what happened to me - all those things I lived - Today I want you to know, "I survived." And everytime I read someone else' story - and know they too have survived - I'm cheering.

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Reply Karen
12:08 AM on March 18, 2010 
You did have strength and come out of the darkness into the light....and your daughters' lives are forever changed by the mother you are to them....

Amen for survival....
Reply Lisa Anna Bull
11:53 AM on March 18, 2010 
I am humbled by you story and have hope that it will gain momentum and reach
so many that still have their light and are comming out of the darkness that they
been hiding in for too long. They to can be a survivor and thrive just like you have.

Your story made me cry, for the tender moments that Anne endured in her heart,
mind, & soul that she was important and she carried a special message that
turned your story, & your life into a Miracle.

You are one of my Angelic Miracles. Thank you for writing this story for all of us that have endured our own dark times, in our lives to carry our light out of that darkness and
share how we have survived.

You are so incredible. Again i am humbled by your words from your heart to all of us.
Lisa Anna Bull
Reply Cheri
1:14 PM on March 18, 2010 

This is such a beautiful post. Full of honesty, courage, promise, and hope. The enemy's power is in silence and secrecy. When we are open and transparent, he loses his hold over us, and we become invincible warriors, no longer silenced by fear and shame.

Keep shining your light!
Reply Kimi Foley
11:13 PM on April 29, 2010 
Your daughters are lucky to have a mother like you to teach them the hidden dangers in the world. They must be proud to know you were strong enough to overcome all these hardships.

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