The devil’s dance

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You’re young and you’re lovely
with a brick in your head,
smashing your brain with all that he said.
You’ve been moulded by tricks from that blood-stained day
when puberty hit you and took you away,
stealing the cartwheeling freedom of dawn,
leaving you feeling like Satan’s spawn.
You want to turn back but you can’t find the track
and the future is burning and turning black,
while all of the time he is casting his net,
hinting at filth to make you forget
the caress of the trees and the childish ease
of chasing the early summer breeze.
He is your father but he pushes the bar;
you must concede ’til he pushes too far
and you have to refuse to allow the invasion,
so you turn from his ugly attempts at pursuasion
to coldly seduce you, and from that day
you pretend that it didn’t happen that way,
but you become more wary and don’t let him near,
while you hide your confusing horror and fear
for the father you loved and gazed at with pride,
who you always believed was on your side.
You’ve learnt the worst, he was biding his time
until you blossomed, to attempt his crime,
and you try not to hear when he calls you those names;
you try to pretend life is still the same,
but he whispers his dirty predictions to you
and you hear them so often you think they are true,
threading your life like a string of beads,
polishing each one before he feeds
it on to the lost umbilical cord,
shining that shit with each cheating word
as he weaves his filth into your heart,
telling you woman is simply a tart
and you will reign as the tart supreme,
with ripe juicy peaches and lashings of cream.
Still you look back but your childhood is dead
and your father’s the brick inside your head,
and even long after the day that he dies
he’ll constantly haunt you in living disguise
so that every man that you ever trust
will burn your love and turn it to dust,
and your life will be tainted by all that he said
until passion is spent and your feminine red
ceases to flow, and you get your chance
to escape the drag of the devil’s dance.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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21 thoughts on “The devil’s dance

    1. It suddenly exploded from me, out of the blue, and yes, even though it happened so long ago, it was painful. I hoped it would be a final exorcism, but i’m not sure – every so often it kicks me in the teeth, but the kicks get less painful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suspect that just shows you’re coming to terms with it all. You’ll never forget, but with time it won’t hurt quite so much, and you won’t harken back to it so often. Hopefully you’ll even be able to move forward without the cumbersome burden of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re wrong, you know. It matters immensely BECAUSE he was your hero. In some small way it was like that for me and my dad when he walked out and left that damn letter in the Bible for mom to find with ME playing the angel of death. He came back, I continued to adore, but there was a chink in m armor by then that never got smoothed out.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I could try and comfort you with usual… “Well, it was long ago,” “It wasn’t your fault,” “It will pass,” etc.

    But I choose to elaborate more. Time passing, I realize that this phenomenon – when close members of the family attack you in what you have the most intimate and the most personal definition of you. This used to be (and I’m afraid, is still is) a pandemic phenomenon – much wider-spread that we may assume.

    We may keep on asking, what makes someone (at times, the closest to you, the one that gave you life, that is supposed to protect you above all and everything) attack you physically and psychologically, you, a defenseless child? Would it be that the child is so undeserving that he, or she, deserves punishment and maltreatment? According to common sense, and to new science, a child is coming to this life totally innocent, helpless and unprepared, so it is up to us, parents, to provide to all its needs.
    If, at any time along the child’s development there are reasons to believe that he/she didn’t progress well enough, or less well than expected, then it must be the parents’ fault, and not the child’s. A child may defend himself/herself ferociously against a stranger, for instance, but cannot defend against parental authority – even adults cannot defend themselves against authority (Milgram experiment)

    But these are only rational speculations, while there is nothing rational in this type of behavior. Whatever the reason, it leaves indelible traces in the abused child – for life. Not for the physical damage, but for the psychological one. All our psychological wounds come from any kind of action that is being perceived as out of the norm, condemnable at the societal level. It is a long, well established religious dogma: no incestuous relations between close relatives – it may be that people were observant enough to realize that along time such relations would generate offspring less fit for survival and procreation, something that genetics discovered relatively recently. If animals, wild or domesticated, are avoiding interbreeding, there must be some evolved instinct in nature in order to discourage it.

    However, humans have found their way, as usual, to go around religious and natural prohibitions: ancient Egyptians’ royalty encouraged the practice, so that it became a sort of “privilege of the gods” (pharaohs were “gods on earth”). Christianity also knows of glamorous examples (among who knows how many secret ones) like the illustrious family that gave the world three popes. “Borgia were an incestuous family”, says Giovanni Sforza about the family of his wife, Lucretia – their Vatican orgies were quite famous and in plain daylight.
    There is no evidence that in these examples, people were in no way affected by the weight of their acts, on the contrary, they caused their singular ways to be seen as privileged and exclusive – who knows how many envious followers they left in their historic trace??

    In our days, conventions in our society dictate that incestuous relations be prohibited and blamable – probably partly on the religious bases, partly as a natural instinct that even animals follow. How does a child, victim of such abuse, know that this is an outrageous thing, outrageous enough as to cause deep psychological trauma for a life time? Maybe the child knows it deeply, innately, the same way animals “know”. Why does the abusive parent do it? Because there must be something gone terribly wrong with him or her, something to have rendered him/her psychologically and emotionally impaired – maybe, most probably, something similar had happened to himself (or herself, as mothers and grandmothers are known to do it too).

    When a person is acting this way against his/her own progeny, he, or she is doing it because he/she is deeply hurt, hateful towards self, even desperate and disgusted with oneself – and it doesn’t have to be consciously known. In fact, their biggest problem is that they are not conscious that they are so profoundly hurt, and why. They can only act blindly, repeat and mirror the reprovable behavior that caused them such painful emotions on a similarly vulnerable victim, the way they were themselves. Which makes them feel even worse: this is why they blame the victim, the child, for their own ugliness and helplessness – from here the bad words, the beating, the worsening of the abuse. This is a typical example for “projection”: a psychological term that explains how unacceptable, negative behavior is being projected, reflected on others. A liar would see that everybody is lying, a thief would claim that everybody is a thief, a stingy, avaricious man would poke fun at others for their stinginess.

    I am amazed at how many brave men and women, even children, decide to speak up, let the world become aware that all these reprovable things like incest and pedophilia are happening. It is by bringing dark things to the light that dark, uncontrollable instincts lose their power and become harmless, as awareness and reason gain over emotion and instinct.

    We are currently in plain evolution of consciousness: the process of transformation of the animal instinct into evolved awareness is happening. We are humans in the process of bringing light into millenia of unconsciousness and darkness – it’s hard, but we are the transforming heroes, so that these things never happen again in the next generations.

    In the end, Jane, you should be proud of what and who you have become, you should sing and rejoice the hero in you – and forgive that poor thing, he was for sure more pitiable than you can ever imagine. I am sure that, if only you could knew this before, you would have forgiven yourself long ago, and you would have had a different approach and different expectations from the men in your life. But, you know what? Your bigger prize is in becoming the Contemplator: you are now rising above all that, able to look at it from a height, the perspective of the one who judges, understands, forgives and forgets – life goes on, but always for the better (even though not always apparent).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking up your time to compose such an intelligent, thoughtful and well-written comment. I feel truly honoured. You have given me something vauable to work with. I already knew that the perpetrator has usually been a victim himself, but through your words the message has hit home in a more meaningful way.
      How did you manage to do that, I wonder…
      Your remarkable comment could help a lot of people. It would be great if you edited it to work for a wider audience (which would only require you to jiggle the last paragraph, because that isaimed directly at me) and posted it on your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Jane, for your kind comment; I have been lately increasingly aware of this harm done to humanity – if a child is hurt, chances are that the adult man or woman, if they are not aware of the mechanics (and usually they are not), most likely will do the same to their own children. Every time when I hear a mother talking bad to her child I hear the little girl she once was crying under insults. We just have to stop that each one of us to the best of our knowledge. You brough a big smile on my face when you suggested that I sould post it on my site; I thought of that myself, and I already posted it, with the necessary changes as you yourself suggested – what a happy encounter of minds 🙂
        Pls see: https://wordpress.com/post/patternsofsouldevelopment.com/1252

        Liked by 1 person

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