"I see Father wash himself.”
Part 2, Chapter 9, page 142
Here my heroin Maya is 13 years old. But she looks much older. To see her expression, makes me feel very, very sad. Maya watches her father’s nudity while in the morning he stands at the wash stand and washes himself. A bird is painted on the water jug. Birds are a phallic symbol in German.
It is interesting to see what is happening on the floor: A pair of slippers neatly put away under the night table next to a teddy bear. On the carpet is lying an insect with 6 wings. The two arrows on the right and left side seem wanting to squeeze the insect into oblivion. However, the insect is not killed so easily. It is an archetype that has been existing in our minds for time immemorial. It is one of the creatures that has survived earth’s upheavals, like earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, droughts, etc. I see spider legs coming out from underneath her father’s pillow! The design of the bedspread is not inviting either. The whole image is creepy and unpleasant.
In this context I am referring to an excerpt of one of my therapy poems “The tomb of the Black Butterfly.”
“ ... never a father and daughter should ever come so near,
Ever share the same bedroom,
Breathe in the same sheets.
Receive the same messages in their dreams. “
We can throw away the carpet, change the sheets, have separate beds and sleep in separate bedrooms. But to become conscious of sexual abuse that went on in this bedroom, understand it, digest it, heal it, takes a whole lifetime. It is a challenge to extract from this situation wisdom, forgiveness and eventually love.
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