JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.
I am one with my father. Our struggles are now acknowledged to be intertwined. But it is not so… elegant as Jor-El and Kal-El becoming one. We are united in our pain (and I could sense it for so many years).
United in abuse.
My friend Bobbi Parish told me last night that his immune disorders, the pancreatitis, and so on– are marks of long-term abuse. Abuse from his father, my grandfather, who beat him when he spasmed in the night, not knowing what else to do. Abuse from my mother and her parents, my grandparents, who witheringly disapproved of him for many, many years. And more… more I am probably unaware of consciously.
I see abuse as a corruption to our natural weaknesses, marinating in fear, hatred, and evil suffering. In Superman III (sadly, mostly a really bad film, due, I think, to the wrath of the producers), August “Gus” Gorman analyzes the known kryptonite sample from a meteorite crash in order to synthesize it. Finding a portion is an unknown substance, he replaces it with an ingredient he finds on a pack of cigarettes– tar. After exposing the imperfectly synthesized kryptonite to Superman, Gus realizes it didn’t have the intended effect. Instead, Superman is vulnerable to the toxic emotions and vices of mortality. (See also A Hero’s Journey: Superman & the Ordeal.)
So Kal-El had to grapple with that weakness, and fully reconcile Clark Kent with Superman.
Thus I have realized my quest to overcome childhood abuse is not just for myself, but for my family- generations before, and generations after. The goal is not only to Seize the Sword, but also to grasp the Hammer that will rebuild.
So I stumble through the #CSAQT and #sexabusechats, watch the Trauma Recovery University Google Hangouts, make my Sanity Street Signs to understand it all (drawing deep on past art projects), cry, rage, and carry on, as best I can.