If it wasn’t obvious, I positioned the “Zero to Hero” WordPress challenge as part of the 10-year blogging Journey story arc. I could not line up the entire Monomyth (A Hero’s Journey) cycle to my 10 years of blogging… yet.
The challenge seemed to fit very well to stages 9 and 10 as Vogler describes them: Reward/Seizing the Sword and The Road Back in the Outer Journey, and Accepting Consequences of New Life and New Challenge and Rededication in the Inner Journey.
A new challenge and rededication. Because this is not my first time blogging, does not taking the Zero to Hero challenge fit this quite well?
Now the Day 3 and Day 4 Challenges fit a reblog I was going to do, but I decided to comment on the post a little more. The post in question is Betrayed but forgiven…REALLY??? by Kenneth “The Culture Monk” Justice, a blogger I’ve mentioned here before. The subject of forgiveness and letting go of grudges, and the thoughts I had in regards to them, fits both the “What’s On Your Mind?” challenge of Day 3 and the “Explore The Neighborhood” challenge of Day 4.
The assignment for day 3 is write the post that was on my mind when I decided to start a blog.
I’m cheating a little bit– there is a reference to my first (hidden) post on LiveJournal in A 10-year blogging journey: The hidden beginning. (If you’re wondering what prompted my current blogging focus, see The Hero With A Thousand Faces.)
What does this have to do with Kenneth’s post? Well, my blogging journey had to do with starting to delve a little deeper into the roots of my complex PTSD, and coming to let go of some of the hatred that triggered it. What was obvious to me at the time was the anger towards my mother. She had crushed my self-esteem and sense of worth numerous times over many, many years. I was also the object of competition between her and her mother, my grandmother. My mother had a little brother that died before his 2nd birthday due to Rh factor complications (she has type O negative, which my second sister and I inherited from her). This was before medical science could effectively suppress antibodies in a mother’s bloodstream. In short, I was not just the “golden boy” only grandson– I was my grandmother’s surrogate son. (Cimmorene noticed this when Grandma showed her pictures of me and my first sister, noting that her tone of voice changed when she pointed each of us out.) Since she did not approve of my father, Mom tended to treat me as a surrogate husband in some ways as well, especially as I got older.
My father beat me when I was young. I suppressed a number of memories of that, and didn’t really remember them until my youngest sister flat out reminded me that he did. I was terrified of him when I was very little.
Forgiveness for my father came much quicker than it ever did for my mother (in some ways, the pain about my mother is still there). I wrote about this in …the father becomes the son, Supporting my father, and Bill Withers & The At-One-Ment with The Father. Some details I forgot to include in the last post: “Lean on Me” has been a source of strength for my father during his illness (and he says so in his personal history), while “Lovely Day” has been a source of strength for me during mine.
When my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, that was when I began to let go of hatred for my mother, as I wrote in So this is justice, part 2. I had sworn for so long that the sword of justice would fall on her head, or that I would scream, “You cannot escape justice forever!” at her funeral. This thought came to my mind: “Is this the justice you wanted?” and I said no, I would never wish such a terrible disease on anyone.
That doesn’t mean all trust is restored– I learned quickly that my parents could not be entrusted to watch after my children– the last time we did so, they tried to lay hands violently on Cimmorene and Boy after we came back, and Princess is still upset about that to this day.
Anyways, a lot of grudges I’ve held trace back to that childhood pain. As I’ve come to terms with it, it has become easier for me to move on.