Abuse and Imagination

Jan 30, 2016

Abuse and Imagination


Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Question #1
Rite of Passage Three –No Longer Alone-


1944 aged 10-11

Abuse comes in many forms, some more damaging than others. Is it possible that we ‘invent’ in our pain some ‘added’ events that may not have happened? Do these stories help to keep the pain alive?

I am very sure of the abuse I suffered during my early schooling. I know I was beaten on several occasions. But did a fellow student really soap a step and cause an abusive master to fall to his death…or was it just an accident?

Did I, in the company of others, form an “anti-beating up society” that attacked another house that had badly beaten one of ‘ours’ simply because he was Jewish?

These memories are so fresh and real, in my mind, but I have no confirmation other than the pain that surrounds the entire period after so many years. I have used this difficult time to declare it a ‘disaster that impacted many years of my life’

SO…what about now?

I have largely come to the conclusion that a degree of imagination had crept in over the years. I feel that it came on the heels of being a ‘victim’ and that justified my antagonism to institutions that either permit violence or even perpetrate it; as in politically inspired warfare where an entire nation can be manipulated into taking another nation’s lifeblood and feel justified in doing so.

Warfare is still the taking of life and this is what now remains of my early pains. I plan to do no harm in the years I have left but do all I can, in the company of others, to be at peace with all men.


  1. Mike . Says: 7:21 am

    Because memories are formed in the past, we tend to interpret them much like someone trying to describe an auto accident that has just happened. Each person involved in the accident will give a slightly different report depending on his perspective, that is, if he was the driver or the passenger, in the front or the back seat, if he was injured, etc. and all the reports would be correct.

    Because of this, memories cannot be interpreted objectively. To arrive at something resembling the truth of what happened may require a lot of research. That of course is a daunting task since even facts can get distorted over time.

    Therefore it does no good to blame oneself or others for past events. We are not the same people now that we were then. In our every day existence time moves forward, not backwards. We are different people every second of our lives. Holding a grudge or dwelling over what happened or what might have been is living in the past. Forgiving ourselves and others for past negative events is the proper action. It frees us to move forward.

  2. Rob Houghton Says: 7:55 pm

    Your comments have me thinking… thinking about how most of the acts of violence that I’d experienced were early on, before I was 12. It is curious how we, as children somehow adopt violent behaviors when we know in our hearts that all of us would prefer to be loved and to love.

    As we grow older, we learn that it is not acceptable to hurt others outwardly but we also perhaps become more afraid – hence, our tendency can be to espouse political and social stances that act out these violent tendencies that we’ve suppressed.

    In order to transcend this, you need to first acknowledge how one’s fear engenders violence and then work from there.

    What heartens me is that folks like us, some well past the five century mark, are still well-aware of the deep influences the events of our childhood, whether real or imagined, have on us and that we are willing to be responsible for how they affect us.

    Kudos to you Graham! Thanks for being brave and honest with yourself and us!

    PS: do you have a twitter account?

  3. Anne Says: 6:58 pm

    To “be at peace with all men” should be the goal of all people and we should strive to live without conflicts. War creates insane acts of cruelty, enormous losses of life and tragedy for countless numbers of good people. Wars often start with lies. As Hitler is reported to have said, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” (Imagination) It’s the same today as it ever was. I’m glad that you are opposed to warfare and the taking of life, just as I am. For years and years I’ve prayed for peace on earth but it still eludes us. However, that’s no reason to stop praying for peace.

  4. Rhoda Says: 2:25 pm

    I think one of the worst abuses is Spiritual abuse from within the Church. This is so sad. As Christians when we suffer any kind of abuse, we are in some minute way entering into Christ’s sufferings.

  5. Margie Says: 3:17 pm

    I think all memories get distorted over time, even good memories are embellished. For example, when I was a little girl, my father was Superman, in my mind. When I think back, it is not possible he could have done everything that I credited him for. Likewise, I think it’s very possible painful memories could have fabricated aspects to them “to keep the pain alive”. However, painful memories are often suppressed. As for war, it will always exist because it is profitable. I will just leave it at that. as this is not a political blog.

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