Climbing Out of the Past

Photo by Paul Downey

Photo by Paul Downey

We were talking about fathers, and their legacies. I told her that I have recently discovered my purpose in life: to end the abuse of my past with me, to let none of it creep forward into the generations of my children and their children. Abuse has that way of climbing out of the past. Its shadows creep over every relationship, tainting them with roles and expectations never chosen. My friend worried aloud about a young woman she knew, bullied by her husband. She wondered what she could tell this young woman, how to change the course of her marriage, how to change her life. I began thinking about my younger self, and what I would have told her if I could reach back across time. Continue reading