I know what’s going on. I have at least become that self-aware in the last sixty-one years. I am practicing the art of avoidance. I know that I am going to have to write this sooner or later, but I am assiduously putting it off as long as possible.

We all have that tendency, don’t we, when it comes to dealing with the unpleasant realities of our lives? I know I’m not the only one who does it.

There is a niggling question in my mind – which I am trying to fan to life like a Boy Scout building a campfire – that this isn’t the appropriate place to deal with this anyway. If I can just get the spark to catch and the doubt to flame up, I won’t have to do it.

But, you see, I’ve been doing this series on the subconscious and I’ve gotten to the point where I need to talk about how we break the hold that the subconscious has on our lives, so this is as good a place as any to address that issue with a personal anecdote.

Maybe you’d prefer to read about the variety of bird songs I can hear outside my window on this beautiful June day (68º this morning!)? Or maybe a review of the Sue Grafton novels I’m re-re-reading as a means of defusing the emotional impact of the psychological work I’m doing?

*Sigh* Here’s the thing: I was sexually abused by my father when I was a very young girl. As a consequence of that fact, my subconscious is just chock-a-block full of negative scripts that have controlled my life.

Just a few: “I’m not lovable; the only reason my father loved me was because he wanted to ‘play’ with me, so why would anyone else love me?” “It’s my fault. In fact, everything is my fault.” “I am a bad person.” “People – especially men – cannot be trusted; so I can never, ever let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.” “The only way I’ll ever be safe is if I keep myself fat and ugly.” “I’m ‘damaged’ goods; I’ll never be a success, never amount to anything, never be able to make my dreams come true.”

Well, I’m sure you’ve caught the gist. You may even be wondering why in heaven’s name I’m just now dealing with all this junk. Sheesh! Sixty-one years old! You’d think I’d have cleaned up my act years ago, right? You are thinking that, right? Or is that just another one of those negative scripts? You see how complicated this is?

The fact is, my father’s betrayal was so complete, so horrendous, that I repressed the memories for over thirty years. My conscious mind couldn’t take it in so it threw it out (You see, the conscious mind is a bit of a coward and has a short attention span, besides.). But the memories were still there in my subconscious, leaking out into my life like battery acid. The subconscious mind never really forgets anything.

When I was finally emotionally strong enough to deal with the abuse I was caught up in other dramas. I was married (though that ended in the wake of my realization that the man I had married was another version of dear old Dad), I had two young children, I was just re-starting my education and launching myself in a new career that demanded that I at least present the semblance of having it all together.

It is only now, twenty years later, that I have the time, the liberty, and the emotional freedom to deal with all this garbage from my past. Though I must admit that my life might have been much better if I had dealt with all this earlier. That’s the problem with avoidance. It comes back to bite you.

So. How is my wrestling match with my demons working out, you ask? A legitimate question. After all, that’s what I’m supposed to be writing about, isn’t it? How we can overcome the demons of our past.

All I can tell you right now is that I’m working on it. And how I am working on it is going to have to wait until tomorrow. Just writing this has been a big step in the right direction. Just conquering the desire – the NEED – to avoid the issue is a start. Now, though, I feel the need to get back to H is for Homicide and relax with a little murder and mayhem.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Baby Boomer who is reinventing herself and an internet entrepreneur focusing on self-help for the Baby Boomer generation. I spent sixteen years serving as pastor in United Methodist congregations all over Kansas. Those congregations were made up primarily of Baby Boomer or older members, so I developed some expertise with the Baby Boomer generation. I am now on leave of absence and living in Atchison, Ks. with my thirty year old son and my cat. I also help my daughter, also living in Atchison, with three sons, ages 8, 6, and 18 mos, while their father is in Afghanistan. My website is found at http://www.for-boomers.com