I never wanted to face what my father did to me and my siblings. I figured what was past, was past. We’d survived. So be it. But I was chronically depressed, had tried a range of psychotropic drugs, and consulted eight different therapists from Freudian to Feminist, to no avail. Why was I suicidal? Did I find it easier to hate than love? Want to murder my children? Why did making love make me cry?
Out of desperation, I went to see a reclusive shaman, on my sister’s recommendation. He told me that I never would be free of my father’s tyranny unless I relived my childhood from beginning to end and experienced the full range of emotions that had been forbidden me.
This way is not fast or easy. Through hypnosis, I suffered and felt every humiliating and violent act you can imagine, and some you cannot. Let’s just say that my childhood was not unlike a German concentration camp except that my father was a John Birch Society pedophile. At the end of two year’s work, I confronted complicit family members, who accused me of “breaking” the family and soiling my father’s memory. I even discovered more women my father had hurt.
Yet I began to feel different. Better. Gradually, my past passed. Change came, and the richness of new life astonished me.
My shaman would say that our country is sick for the same reason I was. He also would say that, as a woman, I am called upon to relate my own experience (the micro) to larger experiences in my community and country (the macro).
So, what does this have to do with Sarah Palin? Plenty. If she crawls away and disappears, as many Americans hope, then how do we tally the damage? If Palin gets off, then so does John McCain and the others who forced her on us. If Palin gets away, a somnalent populace can forget how they jumped on the you-betcha bandwagon or chose to keep quiet.
Because truly moving on requires the kind of emotional line-item accounting most Americans aren’t too keen on.
I believe that racism is a festering sore at the core of our national consciousness because the U.S. never made apology or reparation to African Americans. It’s possible that because the North raped the defeated South, today we have the Tea Party whites. (Consider how Germany was treated after WWII and compare the difference in recovery and attitude.) Did our quiet acceptance of Bush’s eight years mean that Obama can’t move us forward? What price are we paying because Joe McCarthy never was censured officially? And don’t get me started on Vietnam.
This time I’m not budging until the secrets are out. Every sad, disgusting little thing. I believe that the only way to move forward, free of the Bachmanns and Perrys, Boehners and Roves, is to tar and feather Sarah Palin--the way I had to be willing to take down my own beloved but very dangerous father.
No mercy. No quarter given. No gentle good night on Xanax.
Hear that, Sarah?